As I am now in the suburbia of life heading towards the commuter belt of middle age, the country bolt-hole of old age and my eventual arrival at the terminus of life that is Eastbourne…I am still endeavouring to retain some kind of fittness and fend off the middle age spread.
Middle age spread is not some kind of Cougar top-shelf periodical but a condition when people from the First World no longer give a shit, drink more wine than ever (under the flimsy justification that – because of their increased spending power – drinking good wine is not really drinking) and sit on their expanding arses watching Scandinavian crime dramas because anything with subtitles is instantly imbued with a sense of educational worth. So, you start to put weight on around your middle and before you can say the words elasticated waistband you have a gut. I don’t want this to happen to me, so I run.
Well, when I say run, what I really mean is that I jog. A couple of years ago I could run a 10k sub 50mins (and if you know anything about running then you’ll know that that ain’t half bad for a 40yr old) but now I just run for pleasure, not for times. ‘Pleasure?’ I hear you gasp. Pleasure? Yeah, it’s mad to say it out loud but I genuinely like running. I like pulling on a pair of runners and running 7 or 8k…listening to some music and forgetting about my troubles. For 45mins or so all I care about is the road and the lactic burn and the endorphin rush is still as good as it has ever been. I like the fitness as well. I like that I can keep up with my kids and kick a ball about without wheezing.
So in true MrShev style here are some bullet points:
- Shoes – Don’t believe all the bollocks about pronating this, arches that or whether you are a hell or toe runner. It’s all a load of shite. Get shoes that support your ankle (a wide heel in other words), feel nice and light, are cheap and are not a shit colour.
- Clothes – The only important thing is a T-Shirt that is made out of breathable fabric which you can pick up on Sports Direct for very little money. If you use a normal t-shirt the sweat just stays next you your skin and you will get zits. Lots of them. So, wicking (I believe is the proper term) t-shirt and have a shower afterwards. Ye mingers. Oh, and gloves. I tried running in ski gloves but I looked like a nutter so I bought proper running ones. Again, Sports Direct.
- Stretching & Warm Ups – It’s been shown to be better to do a warm up than stretch because your muscles and tendons should be warmed up before you stretch them. So, I tend to walk then slow jog and then get into normal running pace. Then I stretch at the end. Which is a lie. I always forget.
- Hydration – Apparently you should be drinking isotonic hydrating fluids. What I do is have an apple juice and a cup of tea before I go running. Then I only drink when I come back if I am thirsty. I am not going to die of thirst FFS.
- Music – I use Spotify because I get bored of my music very quickly. I also listen to podcasts. Apple headphones are utterly shit and won’t ever stay in your ears. Most cheapish ‘sports’ headphones are terrible and have awful sound quality. I use a cheap pair of Kitsound headphones as they stay in your ear, are nice and punchy and if they break (as they all do – but these have been going a year!) you won’t cry over them. You can run with the DJ style headphones but you’ll look like a wanker. Don’t bother with waterproof cases for your iPhone or Galaxy just stick it in a ziplock bag.
- Running Apps – You can, if you so wish, record your times using your phones GPS and then share this scintillatingly interesting information on Facebook so that it drops like a proverbial information stone into the netherworld of rolling bullshit because, really – you know this – no one cares. Yes you can see if you’re running faster or slower than normal but I have since given up giving a shit – you should too. If you really care about your times and what pace you are running you are an athlete and you should as it is your job.
Finally, some people like running with other people. I hate it. They always want to talk. ‘Look how fit I am as I run and talk at the same time!’ If you wanna talk we can go for a coffee or you can run and zip it.
Anyway, I will try and post more in future. I have simply been a combination of busy (though not that busy, really) and lazy (this bit is true) and procrastinating (this is undeniably true) but I promise I will