It’s the morning after and my quads hurt. I’ve never run and had my quads hurt before.

I remember reading somewhere or someone saying that in order to run fast you have to run faster. You can be happy with what you do and stay at that speed forever, or you can push yourself.

I had to push myself to be able to run a whole kilometre, and I had to push myself to be able to run a full five kilometres, but beyond that I had the ability to tack on a bit of extra distance without too much effort. Go out and trot along at an easy pace, and do 10k. It takes as long as it takes. If it takes you an hour and a quarter, fine.

Next week run at about the same pace and tack on another kilometre. Same again next week. In between maybe do a session of intervals each week too. Add in a bit of a tempo run and easy run and after about three months you should be conditioned enough to be able to run a half marathon.

But my long run was always at an easy speed, which is as it is meant to be.  And my tempo run was just trying to keep Jeremy alongside. Eventually I got fast enough that keeping Jeremy alongside wasn’t too difficult. And then winter started to set in, and my reluctance to peel back the covers every morning and go for my run faded a bit.

And I’d noticed that my times at parkrun were settling around 27-29 minutes. As long as if I ran I finished in under 30 minutes I was happy.

But I want to be faster so I decided to tell myself that I had to be faster.

Yesterday it worked.

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