Give running a try

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? 

*Collaborative Post

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!!!

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14 thoughts on “Give running a try”

  1. Great post. I started running in 2009 after I finished uni, I decided I wanted to get fit before a 5 month trip to South America and an Inca Trail hike so I just started out really slowly, running round the corner and back first and then gradually increasing it each time. I can’t imagine my life had I not discovered running, as it’s taken me to so many amazing places, I’ve met so many people and I’ve pushed myself further than I would ever have thought possible. I’m so grateful to have found running and the physical and mental benefits it has brought to my life. Nice to hear your story.

    1. Lovely to hear yours too 🙂 It is funny how we start these things as just for something specific and then carry on with them.

  2. I love reading about how other people started off running – it is always very interesting to see how they came to it and progressed.

    I first attempted a few years ago, using a Running Made Easy book (in collaboration with Zest I think it was). I didn’t stick with it and gave up any hope of running for a bit. Then I tried again, and again it didn’t stick. Probably a year on, I heard about couch to 5k, downloaded that and completed it. Unfortunately, as you know, I haven’t stuck with it much, so back to C25K it will be for me!

    Thanks for sharing your story 🙂

    1. I had to start again after my op, but I think that is why it is good because if you complete it once you know you can do it again. 🙂

    1. Yes I started reading blogs too- originally I was part of a forum and used to post on the running threads- I loved reading race reports and a few people had their own blogs and would link to those so I started reading them more than the forum. Funny how these things start!

  3. Sounds so much cooler than how I got in to running. I just went to the gym and found I could bare to be on the treadmill longer than I could the cross-trainer! I did do the Greak South 5k fun run wth Ben (2010 I think?) but thought nothing more of races after that. Then I lost my gym membership as I moved jobs and decided the only way to remain healthy was to run outdoors. The rest is history I guess!
    I know exactly what you mean about some of those plans being complicated. I mean I find interval sessions hard enough – 3x what and then how long rest? I need someone to tell me what to do otherwise I just do simple fartleks!

  4. I think the free aspect was a big part of it and the ability to just go and do it. If you have a pair of trainers then you can start running or walk/running and progress from there. You don’t need to buy loads of gear or spend a lot of time learning rules. You can just start.

    Mrs Running Buffet has been a big fan of the C25K programme and that has really helped her overcome the initial challenge of not over-reaching when first starting out and having a motivation to keep going with the running. The incremental improvements and steps along the way were a big help.

    1. Yes I agree it is easy to go out without any fancy kit.
      The couch to 5k programmes are so good as I think often people start off running too far or too fast, and then get put off. It builds up slowly so your body gets used to it.

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