How I became a runner | Logan Rouleau
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How I became a runner

May 13, 2018

I’ve been running for about 8 years. Occasionally I reflect on the progress I’ve made in that time, and I thought it would be interesting to write some of it down in detail.

Early years

I wasn’t a particularly active teen, but one summer near the end of high school I started biking around the Bear Creek Reservoir in Grande Prairie for fun. After a few weeks the loop was starting to feel comfortable on my mountain bike, and I thought I’d try running it. My running experience at that point was limited to the occasional school track meet, where I raced without really training.

It was a 10k loop, and my first attempt took about 80 minutes. I ran the whole loop without walking. I vaguely remember a lot of muscle soreness for days afterward, with my hip adductors in particular bothering me for a week afterward. The next time I went out to repeat the loop, it felt a lot easier. The rapid improvement was addicting, and I ran very casually throughout the summer.

Floating along

Living in Northern Alberta, it’s difficult to train through the winter. I did continue to run in the summers throughout university though. Somewhere around this time a friend convinced me to race a sprint triathlon. This was possibly my first racing experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed it despite my atrocious swimming ability.

Running!

Faster and further

By the end of university I was running more regularly, up to 3 times/week in the summer with the occasional run or strength workout in the winter. In the summers I dabbled in longer runs up to 20k, while short and fast 6-7k runs remained a staple. In retrospect I was definitely getting enough quality in, but my volume was quite low. I doubt I ever topped 40k/week as I was running about 3 times/week.

Getting serious

After moving to Vancouver in 2016 I decided to train for the BMO Vancouver Marathon. This was my first time running consistent weeks over 40k, and I ended up succumbing to injury fairly early on. I transferred my registration to the half marathon and set a PR of just over 1:30. Later that summer I broke 19 minutes in the 5k. These past few months I’ve been averaging closer to 50k/week over 5-6 runs. I’m still working on reducing some of the quality tempo-style runs that I enjoy in order to ramp up the volume even more. I’m building on a great base at the moment, having set a 1:26 half a year ago.

Running!

I find myself planning my life around running more and more, always trying to fit in longer runs on the weekend and being more methodically about where I place tempo runs, fartleks, track, and hill workouts. I’ve been uploading my runs to Strava for a couple years, which gives me a bit more visibility into my training since I never kept any training logs prior to that. I find the statistics very satisfying and motivating, and enjoy seeing the progress of others.

What’s next?

I’ve signed up for the 50k Knee Knackering North Shore Trail Run as my second-ever trail race and first ultramarathon. Within the next two years I’d also like to make my road marathon debut. If I get tired of the grind I have some shorter race barriers to break as well. I’d like to run a 17:30 5k and a sub-36 10k. The long term plan is to stay healthy and injury-free so that I can enjoy running for many more years. Who knows, there might be 90+ age group records on the horizon.