Last week I embarked on a new regime to get running. I have never really mastered the art of running … or jogging … or even trotting. It’s one of those things that I would really like to be able to do, but as soon as I get my trainers on my body says no and then my lungs agree with gusto.
So, having been to my local sports centre to ask the advice of Ros, one of the gym instructors, I left with an outline of a training plan. I, of course, turned this into a spreadsheet. (I love a nice spreadsheet.) The plan involves some weight training to activate muscles that I could have sworn I don’t actually possess, and some cardio work. When I looked at the time I would have to commit to said plan my heart sank. Until, that is, I came up with the brainwave of combining Toffee’s fitness regime with mine!
The first few weeks require some speed walking. Great – I can kill two birds with one stone; the two birds being me and Toffee. Week one requires Team Toffee to walk one mile in fifteen minutes. This sounded achievable. I quickly mapped out a mile-long walk from my front door (a mile is a lot further than I thought), downloaded the ‘Mapmywalk’ app to time myself and got cracking.
At this stage it is worth knowing that the average walking pace is about one mile in 20 minutes, and that the average walking pace of two women chatting is one mile in about half an hour (in my case anyway). So, a 15 minute mile is actually quite fast. Add in a dog with half her genetics from a cocker spaniel (cockers are bred to sniff things out so walk with their nose to the ground and stop dead at the slightest niff of anything) and you are not off to a good start.
When I am walking around my local area I tend to use a standard lead. The retractable lead is used when we are away from roads. Since I had an inkling that Toffee would struggle with our new brisk perambulations, I took pity on her and allowed her a ‘bit of give’ by using the retractactable. Having limbered up with a few stretches, off we set at a fair lick.
I am not kidding you when I say that the lead was at full stretch for the full mile … with Toffee firmly at the rear! I reckon it would have been easier to drag a bag of coal behind me. Despite the additional traction, I managed my fifteen minute mile, complete with a poo stop and a quick ‘sorry I can’t stop’ to my fellow dog walking chums who happened to be en route. I felt very chuffed with myself, although it is fair to say that Toffe did not really share in my jubilation.
The problem is that we have to do three more weeks of this … and then we start running!