Early bird

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

This blog post is being published as I’m running one of the 3 mile (5km) routes that I do as part of my 20 miles a week running activity. I’ve written a few times about losing weight and getting fitter and I am grateful for everyone who notices – your kind words help spur me on and give me the motivation to keep going*. It was while I was out the other morning at 05:30 (what’s the 0 stand for…Oh my goodness it’s early) that I was thinking about why this form of running is called training.

Following the motivation that Simon Heath provided with the #tweepathon a couple of week’s ago, I decided, in a fit of confidence to sign up for a 10k run through the Olympic Park in July this year. I’ve not run that far before and when I worked out it was over 6 miles, felt a cold chill down my spine. I realised that I hadn’t trained for this distance and needed to learn how I was going to be able to cover it a) in a reasonable time or b) at all.  What is a reasonable time? I looked it up – for someone my size, weight and gender there were indicative times but they are, in all fairness, just guesses and the only way to understand what a reasonable time is would be for me to run it. So I’ve started training to understand what a reasonable performance might be for me.

I didn’t know where to start so spoke to people I know who run and asked them for whatever advice they thought might be appropriate. I now know what would be an appropriate time might be for me as I have a decent app which tracks all the runs I do, shows me the routes I’ve taken and tells me the pace I’ve managed. It provides me with the right data to monitor my performance.

I’ve not been on a course about running, I’ve not completed a pre-course questionnaire about running, I’ve not completed a test about running but I have documented all my runs so I have metrics which show me where I’ve run and how I’ve improved. I have rated the runs I’ve done for myself so I have a record and reflection of what I’ve done.

If, as Jane Hart imagined this week, that there wasn’t an L&D or training function, my approach to learning how to run is how people would ‘train’ in the workplace – treated as adults, with appropriate support, with access to experts and opinion that would help them improve, with help to understand what good looks like and realistic and achievable targets. Self-directed, individualised, tech-enabled and built into the workflow.

So why does it feel as if we don’t do enough of that in workplace learning now?


*I’ve lost over 6 stone in a year at last count – that’s 40 kg and a third of my body weight.

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