Running is good for you. That’s what I’m trying to tell myself anyway! I’ve always had a bit of a love hate relationship with running which started when I joined the local running club during my college years trying to increase my fitness for my job lifeguarding on the beach. Once I moved away to University I tried to keep up the running but with workload and cold winter days these runs became few and far between.
Over the years I have been a member of a couple of gyms and gone on the occasional run but it’s never been anything consistent. Until now!
While scrolling through instagram last week I noticed that one of my friends had been out running, so I messaged her and said that next time she goes I’ll join her. The conversation progressed, far to quickly for my liking, and before I knew it I’d agreed to run a 10k race with her at the end of May!
A few days later we headed out for a 5k run on our local beach, and things have been progressing from there. We have just under 5 weeks now until ‘race day’ so for now at least I am a runner!
The hardest thing for me is to find the motivation to just get out of the house and do that first run. Once you’ve made that commitment the running part is never as bad as it seems when you are sitting on the sofa. For me having company on a run really spurs me on, and just helps to get you out running as once you’ve made a plan to run it’s harder to back out. Try to find someone of a similar ability to you and just head out for half an hour to begin with, even if you walk for half of the run it’s a start!
Walking and running is a great combination to increase your distance over time and help you to increase your fitness. Just run for a long as you feel able, then walk for one minute as recovery, but make sure it’s still at a brisk pace. Then over time run for a longer period and try to walk for less time. Before you know it you’ll be running for the whole time with little need for walking breaks.
That’s the great thing about taking up running as a hobby is that you can do it anywhere! I tend to lean more towards running on the beach and sand dunes, but there’s woodland, moorland, country lanes and towns to take your pick from. It’s great to choose a variety so you don’t get bored of the same loop from your front door, and running in less familiar surroundings will help you to increase your distance or speed without noticing as much.
There are so many benefits from taking up running, they far outweigh the negatives. To name just a few it makes you happier, sleep better, destress, burn calories, strengthens joints and immune system, prevents high blood pressure, reduces risk of diseases and keeps your brain sharper as you age.
There is also a hidden bonus in that it will save you money if you are currently forking out on gym memberships as there’s no need to hit the treadmill once you’ve taken your exercise al fresco. Also if you have a dog it’s great to have a companion but also they will love you for that little bit more exercise, or made running around on the beach or in the woods.
Keep it up
Now this is the hard part, and the bit that I’ve always seemed to struggle with. But finding a running companion and setting a goal seems to be the best way forward, for me anyway. Setting a race as a goal is a great way to aim towards a specific distance, and that’s all that I’m trying to do. Keeping a couple of runs a week in my schedule and trying to aim towards being able to run 10k with relative ease. There’s no way that I’m going to win the race, and there’s no chance in me even try to ‘race’, but it’s the taking park which is spurring me on.
I downloaded a running app to help me track my progress and determine how far I’m actually running when I head out over the sand dunes. It’s a great little tool as you can set goals and it will tell you how many runs and what distance you should be aiming for, although I never seem to hit the targets, but don’t be disheartened. I’m just using it as a positive reminder that I can run, and I have been, and it’s not actually taking as long as I thought it would.
10k here I come!
Stay tuned to find out how my running journey is progressing…
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