Hey peeps, I hope you are all doing well. I have been away for a couple of days- once I have some photos I shall do a little recap (probably….) but for now I have some pondering for you.
If you don’t run, why don’t you give running a try?
About to take on the Great North Run. This was after I had to have a break from running as I was awaiting an operation, so re-started the run/walk programme in about May, and did the half marathon in September.
I think this post might turn out to be a little evangelical, but I really do think you should give it a go. Now, if you have not been reading my blog for long, or in fact if you read it from the start, you might not realise that I have not always loved running.
When I was at school I liked being active- I liked cycling and I liked playing hockey, but most sports were not my thing, and for sports day I was usually given whatever was left. I cycled when I was at uni too (I didn’t learn to drive until my final year) and kept active, but didn’t think I was built for running.
After I had been working for a few years (way back in 2008) one of the teachers mentioned that she was doing a local Race for Life and wanted to get a school team going. I had not even heard of them, but she was going to walk it and so I signed up. Whilst walking the course I felt very inspired to see so many people of all shapes, ages and sizes running the 5K course, and really felt like I should have been able to run it.
The following year I signed up to my local one, but didn’t tell anyone for ages. I looked on the internet for training guides but they were all so complicated (run 1 min, walk 90 seconds, run 3 mins, walk 45 seconds etc)- no way could I remember that! Then I found in a magazine the most simple run/walk programme ever. I cannot remember what it was from, possible Zest magazine, but it was super easy to remember what to do, so I started following it, using the clock on my phone to time each section. It was also easy as you did each run 3 times in a week, so it was more of a routine. What I do remember is that I didn’t have any special running kit (apart from a sports bra)- I had old skechers trainers, some old khaki capri combat trouser things, and just old cotton t-shirts. At least now there are plenty of websites (including Millet Sports) who can provide affordable exercise gear.
I still remember each week thinking that I would never manage the first run, finding the second run OK as I knew I could do it, and then on the third run wondering how I would manage the step up next week. In case you are interested I will put it at the bottom of the post.
I honestly thought that I would train, run the race, and then stop running. I did manage to run it (it was my first time of running non stop too, as in my training I had a walk break after 15 minutes), but at some point I realised that I actually enjoyed it. I think partly I enjoyed achieving something that I didn’t think was possible, but I also love being outside in the fresh air, and found it rather therapeutic to be outside just running.
It was a year later that I signed up to a “proper” race, a local 10K- again I kept it a secret in case I didn’t manage it, but I did, and then I was well and truly bitten by the running bug. I really wish I had my blog back then, but I didn’t start it until 2010 when I was running regularly and had run a half marathon.
In 2011 I ran a marathon, and crossing that finish line was such an amazing moment, and such a proud achievement for me. But really it is up there with my first 5K, because I didn’t believe that I could do either of them, but for both of them I followed a plan, and did them slowly (I am a tortoise and not a hare), but I finished them, and proved the doubting section of my mind wrong. Of course when you look at them side by side, a marathon is much harder than a 5K, but my journey for achieving both was similar, and I think it has given me confidence in other areas of my life because I have achieved things that I didn’t think were possible.
I suppose my point to you is that I am not a natural runner, but I run, and I love it, and through running I have met wonderful people and had wonderful experiences. Also you never know unless you try. I really didn’t think I could run a 5k, and now running is just a part of me. When I was not allowed to run a few years ago, I was really fed up, and so I want to make the most of it now. I see senior people running races and I just think it is amazing, and I hope that I can continue to run for years and years to come.
So, if you run, when did you start and why?
If you don’t run, have I tempted you at all? Or if not, what would you be evangelical about?
In case I have tempted you the plan I followed was this:
Each week do 3 runs.
Week 1 Run for 1 min, walk for 90 seconds 8 times = 20 minutes
Week 2 Run for 2 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 7 times = 24.5 minutes
Week 3 Run for 3 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 6 times = 27 minutes
Week 4 Run for 5 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 4 times = 26 minutes
Week 5 Run for 5 minutes, walk for 1 minute 4 times = 24 minutes
Week 6 Run for 8 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 3 times = 28.5 minutes
Week 7 Run for 10 minutes, walk for 1 minute 3 times = 33 minutes
Week 8 Run for 15 minutes, walk for 1 minute 2 times = 23 minutes
Now you are ready to run a 5k race!!!