Friday, 21 June 2013

Fancy a chat?

Yesterday I ran with a super brilliant bunch of women, a fantastic 7 km around a lake in 8 degree temperature. I so needed the run after a stressful week, it just felt like I wasn't even touching the ground. We ended up pairing up and chatting along the way. Who knew it was only 8 degrees?  Not me, too busy solving the worlds problems.  So it was entirely appropriate I was tagged on Facebook with this picture.

Oh how true that is, although I'd be in trouble......there'd be nothing left of me!

I have always loved a chat.  I chat to anyone and everyone. I think that's part of why I love working in kindergarten so much, nobody loves a chat more than a 4 year old child, except perhaps the teachers. I strike up conversations with people waiting in queues or waiting rooms, sitting on trains, walking past the house, woe betide you if you are a salesperson knocking on the door and I'm in a chatty mood.

I have gone from running on my own and working out on my own to having the highlight of my week running with someone to talk to. And talk I do. I've been accused of being able to talk underwater. (which I'll never know because I'm too scared to put my head under water.)  But I do know that on a 2 hour run I can talk the whole way and not be out of breath, or subject matter.

But it's not just the social side of talking while running that draws me.

Talking while you run is a great indication of your heart rate and effort. If you can talk while you are running, then you are not overworking the cardiovascular system. While I'm training for these long runs, knowing I can sustain a comfortable pace to keep talking and still do the distance is important to me. When I can get only a couple of words out between puffs, I know I'm working hard in that workout.  Still doesn't stop my chatting!

I also find my breathing while running and talking is regular and relaxed, it gets into a rhythm that makes running so much easier. I've been on runs where I've lost control of my breathing and I felt all weird....breathing at the wrong time felt a bit like trying to write my name with my left hand, awkward, uncomfortable and just plain wrong. Talking though has stopped that, and made it easier to slip into that natural rhythm.

Mentally chatting  makes a run fly by. My brain is so busy conversing and listening with others, there's no room for the general whinges that pop up....the "It's too"'s too cold, it's too long, it's too painful blah blah blah. Sorry, no time to think about that, I am currently solving a particular knotty problem of who is going to win X factor and why with my friend. Or swapping a recipe as we run and thinking "omg yes I am SO making that when I get home."

Talking while running saves my marriage, my children's lives, my professionalism, my sanity, stops me from missing out seeing Commando on TV. Talking with my friends on the run encourages me when I think the next hill will kill me, as I encourage them when they are feeling it. We talk about next races, so we can all sign up together and party on afterwards. We talk about dreams, hopes, irritations and sadness. And we look forward to the next run.

So my advice to you runners is:

And to the girls I run with...feel free to tell me to shut up if needed.....and be thankful I don't sing and run.

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