Go on, you know you want to

Start running, that is.

I still view myself in many ways as a beginner runner. This seems silly when I type it, but for the majority of my life I was not really sporty (my family was active e.g. swimming, cycling, ski-iing, walking- but I was never good at any of them compared to my family or others!)- I really hated PE (although I was too scared of the teachers to try to fake a sick note!!), I was left with the races no-one wanted at sports day (high jump and shot putt normally- I am 5ft 2).

So I did not run. I hated cross country, I hated sprinting when we did athletics; I just thought I was someone who was not built to run.

All this changed a few years ago. Sorry if you already know this- someone at work mentioned doing a Race for Life- she said it was a 5k walk and so I raised some sponsorship and went along. On the day I was soย inspiredย by everyone else running that I secretly decided to set myself a goal to run it the following year. It was a whole year away and I forgot about it.

But then I got the email reminding me to sign up, I did, and found myself a training plan.

I dilligently followed the plan to the letter- to see my plan look here. I ran 3 times a week, and started off with 1 minute of running and 1 minute of walking, alternated for 20 minutes. I found the running so hard- I think I made the classic beginners mistake of thinking I had to sprint! Each week the running increased, and the walking decreased. Each week I would panic on the Monday about doing it,and by the Friday (3rd run) would be amazed that I actually managed the training run 3 times that week!

On the day of the race I was so nervous- I had only got up to 15 min run, 1 min walk, 15 min run, but some friends had joked they would only sponsor me if I ran the whole way. Well, I did it! I was so proud of myself. I find the Race for Life emotional anyway, with all the messages on people’s backs, thinking of family members etc. But I was so proud of myself. I still am ๐Ÿ™‚

Originally I had thought I would stop, but I actually found I really loved it, and so have increased each year. The following year I (secretly) entered a local 10k, and only told people once I was close to that distance in training.

Then last year myself and Andy (who had joined in with the running and also completed a few local 5k’s and 10K’s with me) entered a half marathon. Anyway, shortly after that I started this blog, so I won’t go on.

Basically, what I want to say is, if you want to start running, then do!

  • Follow a plan (the one I followed, or a couch to 5k plan- they are all similar). Satisfying to tick off the runs as you complete them.
  • Start off nice and slow- it’s not a sprint!
  • Wear proper trainers (I started off with pink suede-y skechers! Not good)
  • Get a proper sports bra (ladies)
  • Sign up for a race to have a goal to work towards. I love the Race for Life’s as I think they have a friendly atmosphere, and of course raising money for charity is always good. But there are loads of races to enter.

I really cannot stress how much I enjoy running, and how much I never thought I would even be able to run. So I think if I can do it, anyone can!

I am still pretty slow- I am getting faster and what I enjoy about running is that I measure my achievements against myself. At races I was worried about elite runners laughing at the sight of me, but in fact races I have attended have had a lot of people doing similar speeds to me. And the atmosphere has always been supportive too.

Any other tips for beginners?

Anyone thinking of giving it a go?

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8 thoughts on “Go on, you know you want to”

  1. That’s weird – I sort of do want to!
    The only ever run I’ve done was a 6k charity “Santa Fun Run” in the town my paper’s in, which all the reporters did, and it was anything but fun! I couldn’t walk for days ๐Ÿ™‚
    That was because I hadn’t done any training but it did put me off, even though I did kind of enjoy doing it…
    But reading blogs like yours, I want to give it another go! I just know I’ll never have time in winter, with mucking out horses and work, but might do a bit this summer… thanks!

  2. Great post – I’m similar to you in that I was never very sporty until very recently and would have never ever dreamt I’d be a runner. I had always secretly dreamed of running the Great North Run and last year I decided to bite the bullet and I’ve never looked back since. In many ways I still don’t consider myself a ‘serious’ runner, but for anyone wanting to start I think the important thing is to just get out there and do it, take each mile at a time and don’t put too much pressure on yourself – enjoy it!

    1. Do you know Laura I think loads of people start like us? I think with the Race for Life being so big now that loads of people give it a go who would have been daunted by club organised runs and things. And you are right- enjoy it- so important.

  3. Wow, from being un-sporty to training and running marathons is fantastic inspiration. I will get to it this week, I’v been putting it off for too long now and the GSR won’t wait just for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thanks for this post. Having just started running it’s good to know that it’s OK and I should be going slow and having walking breaks. So many bloggers are accomplished runners now, I forget that they started somewhere. I totally relate to your school PE experiences. My Mum wrote notes for me to skip cross-country even when I wasn’t ill (how bad is that?!)

    1. Glad you liked it! For me it still seems recent that I was not a runner, whereas in fact I have been running for a few years ๐Ÿ™‚

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