Today, on a day when thousands are running a marathon through the streets of London, I became a runner, or at least I am attempting to make myself one. Inspired in part by a friend who is running said marathon today after only commencing running a little over a year ago I have decided to start the C25K programme which aims to get you from couch to running 5K in 9 weeks.
Now exercise does not come easy to me, at all. I can't pretend to enjoy it and motivation to actually do some is hard to find but I can't deny I have a need. I'm not grossly overweight but I am carrying a little more timber than a lady of my height should and I'm not happy with my figure. More than that, I have a real need to increase my fitness and health as I am only seven years away from the age when my mother had her first heart attack. I find dieting hard but very effective over the years when I have wanted to lose weight but have never really backed it up with exercise and gradually over time the weight creeps back on. Dieting, when you love to cook and bake is also a bit grim and depressing. This time I want to attack it differently with common sense - eat less, exercise more.
I've toyed with the idea of running several times over the years but never actually gone out and done it. This morning I did for the first time much to my family's amusement. I prepared myself last night by downloading the NHS Choices C25K podcasts from iTunes and this morning I pulled on my trainers and just went for it. I live in the countryside and the sun was shining so in-between the times I thought I was having a heart-attack it was quite a pleasant experience and I walked/jogged down roads that I've only ever driven on so it gave me a new perspective.
|Image Credit: NHS Choices|
I'm not going to lie, I found it tough going towards the end which makes me feel hideously unfit but I also feel proud of myself for taking that first step. The podcasts definitely help as they tell you exactly when to walk and when to run and the lovely lady at the end told me in total I had run for 8 minutes which on reflection seems a bit pathetic! For week 1 you do the same session three times - alternating 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of brisk walking. I have two more sessions to do this week and the real test will be seeing if I can motivate myself to go out on Tuesday night after getting back from work. I'm usually completely lethargic after a day of sitting in a hot office and fit for nothing.
I really want to be successful at this and follow something through for the first time but I know it's not going to be easy. My ultimate goal is to be able to run 5K and then I hope to take part in Park Run which I recently discovered.
If you done the C25K programme or are an avid runner yourself, I'd love to hear your stories/advice/words of wisdom! I'll report back when I've made some progress.