Megan S (Year 10 ) talks us through her lockdown PE challenge

I have always been ‘into’ running, but I have never found the time to get past running 5k. Since lockdown started, I have had more time to focus on my running and I saw that Sport St Edward’s had uploaded a 10-week training timetable to the Dashboard that I could follow and hopefully end up achieving my goal of running 10k. So, I printed out the timetable and stuck it on the wall in my gym. I told myself that I was going to complete this challenge and achieve my goal.

Instead of starting on week one, I jumped straight to week three because although I would have found the first two weeks challenging, they wouldn’t have pushed me hard enough. The timetable instructed me on which days I had to run and the days I had to rest. The timetable also instructed me on the amount of time I was meant to run or walk during each session.

My first challenge was to walk/run for five minutes, run for 20 minutes and walk/run for five minutes. I didn’t find this easy, but I completed it and crossed it off on my timetable. At this point I was thinking to myself; it would be a miracle if I could run for any longer than 20 minutes.

In the evening following my first run, I was trying to think of ways that I could improve on my running technique and I had noticed that my breathing pattern when running was irregular. So I went onto Google and learnt that instead of breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, I needed to breathe through my nose and my mouth at the same time and then out of both my nose and mouth. I tried this on my next run and it really helped, I wasn’t getting out of breath and I could run without feeling like I was going to die (a bit dramatic!).

Just as I had done on the evening of my first run, I sat down again after run two and tried to think of ways that I could improve even more. I had noticed that although I wasn’t aching after my runs, my warm-up could do with a bit of attention so, once again, I went onto Google and found some new warm-up and cool-down exercises. I tried these new exercises on my next run and found that my pace increased and I was running a lot faster for longer. I was now comfortable with my running experiences, I could breathe (quite important), and I could run without aching the day after.

On Sunday (28th February), I only had one more run until I completed week five. I looked at my timetable and it said that I had to run for 25 minutes, walk three minutes and walk/run 25 minutes continuously (total: 53 minutes). Although I had completed all the runs previous to this, the maximum time they consisted of was 40 minutes. All that was going through my head at this stage was how good I would feel if I actually managed to complete this run. Of course, Sunday ended up being really sunny and rather hot for this time of year, the one day I wanted it to be cold, it wasn’t!

I opened the big Velux window, jumped onto the treadmill and started my run. The sun was blazing down on me and I was absolutely boiling, I had to keep drinking ice cold water in order to cool myself down. In my head I always like to try and guess how far I will be able to run in the time I am given. I expected to do 6.5k in 53 minutes. I didn’t want to aim too high because I was really hot and although I wanted to push myself, I wanted to finish the run in one piece.

After 53 minutes, I finished my run, looked down at my watch and I was so happy. I couldn’t believe that I had run 8k in 53 minutes with an average pace of 6’33’’. Although the timetable instructed me to walk for three minutes, I ended up running for the full 53 minutes. I was only halfway through the timetable and I had already run 8k. The next day, I didn’t ache either thanks to the new stretches that I found at the start of the challenge.

Not only am I enjoying this challenge, but I have discovered new ways to improve my performance when running and have also improved my cardiovascular endurance. Only another 4 weeks to go until I hopefully reach my goal!

 

Senior School | 05/03/2021