When I published my July goals recently I set myself a running goal that said I’d like to ‘run more than 5k’. Which at the time felt quite scary…and I wondered if that was even possible. I had only been running for about a month and only recently finding that I could run 5k without stopping.
However, since then I have done a few 6k ones, an 8k and then last night I ran 9k! I am shocked (and really proud) that I have gone that far. It is not at all flat where we live and believe me when I say that it is not easy pounding those hills.
I’m in training for a 10k race in September with my friends. It’s my first race in about 20 years so I’m feeling very nervous but also am looking forward it (a little).
Training has been TOUGH in this hot weather though. I can’t really run in the summer daytime heat without really struggling and so I tend to go later in the evening after the twins are in bed, or first thing in the morning. It’s far easier when it’s cloudy and cooler.
I have had a few messages on Instagram about my running from people asking how I got started and how far I go. Whilst I am no expert I thought I’d share my tips and some of my advice so far if you want to get into running too:
- I highly recommend for anyone interested in starting running (that maybe hasn’t run before or hasn’t done it in ages) to try the couch to 5k by the NHS. It’s supportive, a good way to ease yourself in and you can follow a plan. So many people I know have used it and have got into running as a result of it.
- Running with friends means that you don’t quit as much and they help to push you further. Plus it’s a good support network. It’s also more fun! We’ve been sharing our runs via our WhatsApp group, getting competitive and having a right laugh about it all.
- It’s easier if your partner is into fitness. Dave has also recently got the exercise bug and is training for a triathlon. It’s been great because we’ve both been keeping each other going.
- Book a competition for yourself. This is really important because it’s SO easy to give up when you’ve zero goals to aim for. I am definitely running more in the week because I know I have my 10k race in September.
- I use the MapMyRun app to help me track my progress and to keep me going when I run (it calls out the miles/k and your time). I love it, plus I can see my progress, which does make me feel better especially when you feel as though you’re not getting any better.
- It doesn’t matter how old you are. I’m 40 this year and yes my knees hurt when I started, and my back twinges the day after a run (fun times), however I feel really good at the moment. I haven’t felt this fit and healthy in ages.
- You get perspective on life. It’s such a cliche but running is the best for clearing your head or shaking off a bad day. I had such a rubbish day recently where I cried lots, then I went for a run and I literally felt as though my problems had gone. As people say — it’s cheaper than therapy.
- I feel so much better about myself again both mentally and physically. Not only do I feel more confident about having toned thighs again, but I get a really good buzz from running…it has absolutely improved my mood and outlook on life.
So if you’re feeling inspired then GO FOR IT! I urge you to just start and don’t worry about how fast you’ll be or whether you walk pretty much the whole route. All you need is gym clothes, a decent pair of running trainers that fit well and you’re good to go.
Good luck if you’re starting out — and please do get in touch with any tips or advice or just want to share your experience too.
Love, Jess x