Running is at the heart of it . . .

Don’t read me wrong. I love my newfound cycling and still have huge, if gradual, aims for it, and I do recognize that people keep cycling to later ages than they keep running.

Yet there is something about jogging, something reflecting its difficulty and pain, that might be even more precious. For sure running is tops for cardio and I’m told it’s also the best for bone density. But beyond such bland “what’s good for you” arguments, arguments that never really motivate, I reckon something existential lies at the heart of why runners run. Perhaps all runners know this. Using every part of the body, interacting with the world by pounding on it, striving against inbuilt laziness . . . isn’t that grand?

So as I recover from minor injury, I’m thinking anew about combining cycling acclimatization with retaining a “proper” running regime (which I associate with last year’s four 10 km runs a week). I know that means spending more time exercising, and I know this year’s writing pressures sent me back the other way, resisting longer hours and shying from exercising twice a day, but where I am now – suddenly less fit than I have been for years – is not the answer.


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