I’ve signed up for a 10K run. It’s in 7 days’ time. It’s my first 10K. I have run further before, but it was when I was training for the Dublin marathon, in 2000. I got injured 3 weeks before, having done all the training, and had to miss it.

My wife does 10K 3 times a week and will be doing this one too. It’s a regular event for her; she breezes through them. SHe’s a good bit younger than me and rebounded back from a serious ankle injury earlier in the year by doing her rehab religiously. More on that aspect later.

I don’t usually run more than 5K. It’s simply something to get the heart pumping for 25+ minutes so it qualifies for aerobic exercise. I also haven’t run in about 3 months.

Why the appalling preparation, I hear you say? Well, I get injured a lot. Not major injuries, just niggly little calf injuries that put me out for a few weeks at a time.

I went to a new – new to me – sports physio about 2 months ago, complaining about the fact that when one of my calves breaks down, it’s about 15 minutes into a run, when I’m nicely warm. He had me run on the treadmill for a couple minutes and diagnosed a bio-mechanical fault which was causing my right leg to move out slightly, rather than forward, during the lifting-striding phase. This was causing my right side to dip slightly, which, he felt, was creating the imbalance that cause either calf to break down and start paining me.

He gave me a raft of exercises to do 5 times a week, that would have taken me an hour or more to do, if had ever done them all. I didn’t do them at all for the first 2 weeks, as I was travelling. Since those 2 weeks I’ve done a fraction of the exercises he gave me, maybe twice a week. I haven’t been able to make the time. You know the drill, or if you don’t you can read here.

So, here I am, with 7 days to go til my 10K. Here’s my plan. I realise that 10K isn’t very far and many of you reading this will wonder what all the fuss – and all the planning – is about. After all, it’s less than half an hour’s exercise for proper athletes, and less than an hour for many average runners. It’s hardly the Ironman. Well, for me, it is what it is.

This evening, day 1, I’m going to play a game of 5-a-side soccer with the lads. It’s my favourite exercise. I like to start in goal and then I’ll be running around for 45 minutes or so. It’s a useful test of fitness and of how my calves are feeling. In two days time, I’m going to go to the gym, on the advice of my good lady, and try to run about 8K on the treadmill. Apparently it’s more forgiving than the road.

If that goes OK, then in 4 days time I’m going to run a 10K on the road. If that goes OK, I’m going to take the next 2 days off before the big day, 1 week from now, in 7 days’ time.

There’s a lot of if’s in the plan, and no plan every goes perfectly, so doubtless you’ll be reading about adjustments, avoidance or even abandonment.

I’ll let you know how I get on. I have to. After all, you can’t have Part 1 of a total of 1 Part, can you?

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