Saturday, 5 July 2014

On Running

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As I briefly mentioned in this post, in the past couple of months I have tried to take up running, again. It would be an understatement to say that I'm not a sporty person; the only sport I've ever really enjoyed or actually been good at is netball and I haven't played that for a very long time now, although I would love to get back into it at some point. Before I moved house, I used to walk for about forty minutes every day, unfortunately I now can't do that as I have to get the bus to sixth form. The bus stop is right outside my house so I think if you do the maths it's pretty clear that since moving last year, my exercise significantly decreased.

I don't think it necessarily resulted in me putting on weight, or at least not much if that is the case. What led me to take up running was more that I want to be fit than anything else. Sometimes I did feel insecure and apprehensive that I was putting on weight, but I don't think it was much so the main reason I took it up remained to try to become fit. And I concluded the later I left it to get myself fit, the harder it would be. A friend had also recommended the Change 4 Life Couch to 5k app, which is made up of podcasts over nine weeks in which you should run three times a week in order to slowly but surely build up your stamina with the aim of  being able to run for thirty minutes without stopping, and I wanted to give it a try.

The first run was absolutely awful. You know that feeling where you genuinely think you may be having a heart attack? Well, that summed up my first run. But I tried again, two days later. And I found I could actually do it. I think my mistake when I used to go running was that I would only run once a week. I went once a week for quite a few months and couldn't understand why it wasn't getting any easier. However, now I realise that once a week isn't regularly enough to build up stamina. Whereas I've found that three times a week, slowly building it up with this app, really has been achievable.

At least it was until I got to week five of the app which has three different sets of runs, the last one being to run for twenty minutes straight. Having been able to do every run but the first on the first try up to this point, I really trusted the app and assumed that I'd be ready to do this. And yet, I ended up having to try to do it about four times before I actually achieved it. I could do fifteen minutes but for some reason just couldn't get past that for what seemed like forever. It was incredibly frustrating as I really was trying to put in the effort and simply wasn't seeing any results.

I've heard that all runners have bad runs and the best thing to do is just let them go and the next one will probably be better. So four bad runs in a row wasn't easy. But on Tuesday I managed to run for twenty minutes without stopping. That might not sound like a long time or a great achievement, and for many it's probably not. But for me - someone who felt like she was dying after running for two minutes without stopping - to run ten times that felt pretty damn great.

So maybe running isn't for everyone, it definitely wasn't for me until recently. But I think the key is persistence and to feel good about what you achieve. Something that also helped me a lot was buying a sports bra, running trousers, and trainers. Having the right things definitely gives me more confidence and encourages me to actually get out there and go for it. I've also found that I find it much easier to run in the morning so am trying to do so wherever possible. It's been difficult recently to find the time to fit in three runs a week when I've been so busy but I'm trying to do it whenever I can and not beat myself up about it if it's just not possible.

2 comments:

  1. The bf and I thought about taking up running but we mistakenly tried to start in the winter so failed miserably at it. Like you, we had the same reasons for doing it and I was surprised at how good I felt after. It was relaxing and helped with the stress I felt. We're keen to start again and we just have to get started. We plan to run on the weekends and hopefully work it into the week but it's not too easy with our work schedule and I hate the thought of getting up early to run.
    Maybe I'll look into this app :)

    Congrats on your progress!!

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    1. I know exactly what you mean, it's difficult because I don't want to run on an empty stomach but at the same time I like to leave a couple of hours after eating before going on a run, so running in the early morning isn't an easy or appealing option! I might try first thing in the morning before breakfast and just see how it goes.

      I would definitely recommend trying the app, for me it's really helped. And thank you! xo

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