I've recently rediscovered this forum, after recently rediscovering a motivation for running after six years in a parenting wilderness.
Where have I been:
Back in 2014, aged 36 I ran PBs for 5k (21:53), 10k (45:22) and Marathon (3:53), off the back of marathon training. I began running around 2008 shortly after turning 30, having been v sedentary for most of my life. I dipped in and out of running, with little consistency, until around 2012-2014 when I followed P&D 55mpw programme for a couple of marathons. Although slim, I have never considered myself a naturally fit person, and I have to work hard for every tiny improvement.
I became a dad in 2015 (with a second in 2017) and since then I've had long periods when I've not even laced up my shoes at all, and ran fewer miles since 2015 than I ran in 2014 alone. So fair to say running hasn't been a priority.
A few months after turning 40, I started doing some calisthenics, as it was something I could fit in around work & parenting. In the 18 months or so I've been doing that I've put on about a stone (thankfully in lean bodyweight, but weight is weight) so I look a bit different now. Just to be clear, i'm not Geoff Capes, i'm still only 11.5st, just not as skinny as I once was. I don't expect it's that helpful for running, but I do feel stronger, have better posture, and no longer suffer neck and shoulder ache as a result of my desk job.
Where am I now:
In Jan this year I started running again, with the goal of just making a habit of running again. I very slowly eased up to running 5 times a week, albeit much much lower mileage than I was running in 2014 when I did 40-60mpw depending on the week and where I was in my marathon prep. I'm now running about 20-25 miles a week, since May/June.
I don't have the time at the moment to train for longer races, so I'm content to slowly build up to ~ 30 miles a week across 5 runs, broadly following the Monaghan rules, which suit my approach. I do a "long" run of about 6-8 miles, a "tempo" of ~10-15 mins effort and some 200 or 400m reps, with the rest of the mileage being slow easy, conversational miles.
I'm generally quite cautious with running, which means I don't often get injured but also that I probably don't get the most out of myself.
I'm still doing bodyweight exercise, but don't plan to put on any more muscle, in fact I suspect i'll lose a bit of bodyfat by regular running, which is what I've seen over the last couple of months. I enjoy doing strength to feel strong and to avoid neck/back/shoulder pain. 2-3 times a week, nothing too strenuous,
Where am I going:
I'd like to get close to my 2014 5k PB this year. I'm awake early with the kids, then work all day, then bath the kids and put them to bed, so it's usually 9pm before I've got my trainers on and i'm out of the door. I don't have time to commit to longer race training at the moment (maybe when the kids are a bit older and it's not quite so intense) but for now if i'm going to run i'd like a goal at least.
I've not run a parkrun or a race this year, so i'm not sure where i'd come out if I thrashed myself (it's not quite the same running a "hard" 5k in training by myself) but based on how I feel after my runs, esp the harder runs, i'm probably somewhere around 24-25min 5k form at the moment. I want to get myself into a decent shape so that when (or if??) races and events open up again I can give it a good crack.
I'm telling you all this, because by recording what i'm doing, I can solicit your advice when I run into trouble, and it will act as a motivator to me.
I'm planning to use this thread as a sounding board and i'd be very very grateful for any tips, advice you more seasoned and gifted runners can give.