It dawned on me recently that I may have missed the boat to winning a Most Improved award. When you first get off that sofa and start running, the progress made can be staggering. From not being able to run for more than 30 seconds, programmes like Couch To 5K can get you running more than 3 miles in 30 minutes just eight weeks later!
This month, The Running Bug is organising an on-line challenge for its members. Split into four teams, the challenge awards a weekly prize to someone in the team that has run the most miles. However, it's also tracking who's speed has improved most over 1 mile. To be considered for the most improved title, you have to log your runs using a GPS watch or app, presumably to make it harder to cheat. Of course, I now realise I should have timed a painfully slow run and logged that as my first mile, before sprinting a super-fast dash near the end of the competition. That would be cheating in my book and I don't think my conscience (or my wife) would let me get away with it!
So maybe I've missed out on such prizes, but I'm still trying to improve the best I can. The most notable way I've found so far seems to be running farther. After I've been running longer distances for a couple of weeks, a 5k parkrun seems to go much quicker. I know there's lots of science behind it, that's way over my head, but as long as I see those numbers improve bit by bit, I'll be happy.