I used to hate running, like despise it with the same hatred I reserved for mushrooms, anchovies and other food stuffs I found revolting. I struggled massively in school during cross-country; that forced running around the back lanes of the village where our school was located. Always coming in last, being helped along by my PE teacher….which wasn’t helping so much as telling me to run and not walk…yeah great really helpful, thanks for that! So you may ask yourself why I started running for EXERCISE/FUN….well let me try to explain!
Waayy back when my parent’s went to New Zealand a good few years ago, I started the Couch to 5K running app and would go running around my village every other day, slowly building up my energy levels and confidence. All was going well in that 3 week period but then life got back to normal and my new running routine went away.
When I moved upto Harrogate for work in 2016, I found a running group and started going along (when I could!) every Monday at 6:30 and found that running with a group of mixed abilities, with the aim of just going for a run and making it fun, really helped because there was no pressure to keep up with the leaders or even do the whole course if I didn’t feel upto it. I found that my love of running returned and by going regularly, so my cardiovascular and respiratory systems improved. I was actually able to run for longer and stop less which amazed me because I always thought I was too fat for running and didn’t have the lung capacity it required. This proved to me that I don’t, all I really needed was a decent pair of trainers (£10 in the sale!) and a route to run.
Why do I love running? Simply put, because it’s free and anyone can do it. It’s inclusive, I never feel left out when I run with my group – there’s always the choice to continue a bit further or to take a short-cut, no military guy shouting down your earhole to ‘GET MOVING!!! NOW!’ This really motivates me to keep going and see if I CAN go a bit further.
When I can’t make it to running group I have now found that I can go running alone around The Stray and can usually go for about 30 minutes without stopping. Sometimes I admit, I can give up earlier before my 30 minutes is up and sometimes I don’t go at all. But the BIG change here is that I CAN do it, it’s something that my body knows how to do and doesn’t leave me out of breath. Occasionally I even add in a mini workout to mix it up and again keep me interested. I’ll do tricep dips using a bench, I’ll do sprints in between lampposts, I’ll even SKIP! Anything to prevent me from getting bored! Handily there’s a railway bridge on The Stray which I always attempt to run up each time I go running. It’s like my nemesis, I tell myself I can’t stop until I’m at the top, especially if there are people looking! Haha! Thanks to workout videos from my girl Em Sheldon (@emshelx) if I’m not feeling upto a run or I want to mix things up, I sprint up it 5 times, doing 10 star jumps when I get to the top before walking down and repeating. It’s a killer but so worth it in the end! Em has recently done another workout video of what she does when exercising outdoors and this has given me loads of inspiration for other exercises to do when I’m out and about running around The Stray!
Sometimes though, it’s easier to stay indoors and not go for a run, but like I say in this Instagram post you always feel better afterwards! So I am making a commitment to myself to go at least twice a week, if not three over summer to see what results it brings in the Autumn when I can have some time off!
It also helps that I see runners each time I look out my kitchen window…the guilt is real if you see people exercising and you’re stuffing your face! Haha!
So I hope I have maybe inspired you to do some exercise or continue with your current gym routine. Please remember that each small amount of exercise you do builds up over time and can equal a big pay-off in the end!