Am still plugging away with the slow runs, adding two minutes each time (up to 24 minutes now!) and was getting comfortable in the very controlled environment of the gym. Ah, treadmill, with your shock-absorbing flat surface, zero wind-resistance and computerised panel. I would've liked to have kept our new relationship going but I was getting advice to the contrary which went something like this:
Advice: It's time for you to run outside now.
Me: But what about the stress fracture? Is my leg broken?
Advice: You're leg is not broken. Your stress fracture is healing. It is soft tissue that is causing pain – which you know is a complicated thing (the pain, that is). And you can't train for a marathon on a treadmill.
Me: But what about the uneven surfaces and the lack of control with speed? What about dogs darting into my path? Stray pebbles on the pavement? ARE YOU SURE I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE THINGS WORSE? And are you sure I should run outside?
Advice: Yes. Try it.
So I did. And it happened to be fabulous – an absolutely gorgeous morning on the seafront. Of course my legs naturally wanted to revert to old habits and stretch out with big, long strides but with the help of the metronome app, I was mostly managing to stick to the 178bpm. It's so much harder than on a treadmill! But still, it was wonderful being back outside.
Run time: 24 min / Pace: 8.5kph