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It’s All Downhill From Here

Me and the Hound!

So it’s been a month since I started running and a week since I ventured onto the open roads, and it’s had it’s ups and downs - literally.

This week as seen me breaking my first 5K barrier, testing out some new equipment and being hit with a bout of ‘dead’ legs that any corpse would be proud of.

But the biggest thing I learnt this week was the difference between uphill and downhill running.

I know, it sounds obvious and might be for some but I’ve learnt a lot about my body and what I can and can’t tolerate when running uphill and downhill.

Firstly uphill..

As you probably all know walking up certain inclines can be hard work. But the challenge that faces me is that I technically live on top of a hill overlooking the village of Saundersfoot. If you have been to Saundersfoot you will know that the whole village is pretty much built on the side of a hill, a very steep hill. This means that no matter what running route I take at some point (usually on the way back home) I have to tackle some serious inclines.

So I’m usually well into the second part of my run when I have to tackle my first vertical climb. My feet start to pound, my calf’s start to ache, my chest feels like I’ve dropped a Mentos into a Coke bottle and just wants to explode....But I love it! It’s a pain I understand. I can push through and pat myself on the back when I reach the top of the mountain. ‘Feel the burn’....’No pain, No gain’ and all that stuff. I get it!

Downhill and Cakes

...but Downhill

OMG! Downhill running. You think to yourself ‘Downhill, that’s the easy bit‘ and to a degree it is. You may naturally speed up slightly and have to control your speed so you don’t take off down the decline like some weird hybrid of Usian Bolt and Bambi on ice. But it’s what you don’t feel that hurts.

While running downhill you activate a different set of muscle triggers than if you were going uphill. And because momentum and gravity are on your side travelling down there is far more stress on your joints and muscles in the legs, 2 and a half times more than normal flat running.

Now for a Chunky Hunky like me, that poses a problem. Now currently on my last weigh I was just over 26stone. So times that by 2.5 and you get 65stone (or 910pounds). So every time I take a running stride downhill my joints and muscles take the weight of a Grand Piano with every step....see what I mean!

Now mentality I can take that kind of force but my muscles at the moment can’t. After about 10mins of downhill I come to a flat near the coast so I continue for another few minutes before I take a break. When I do my legs simply ‘STOP’. That it, no more, finished, nada. I can’t run another step. I feel as useless as a hog roast at a vegan convention.

And thats the part I can’t deal with. Uphill I and push through, it hurts but I can still move and perform.

To much downhill and I can’t physically run, every fibre of my being wants to but I can’t. It’s pointless trying. Like Anne Frank taking drum lessons.

But I won’t give up. I’ll keep taking my magic joint juice and get some compression trousers (Yes! Basically Lycra) that reduce the pressure on your legs and soldier on!

So if you see a giant in illuminating green pants running down the streets of Saundersfoot...Leave me alone cause I’m probably being chased by Zombies.

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