Earlier this year I took part in the Reading Half Marathon. I had been running on my own for about a year and I had never ran further than three miles when I decided to book it. I signed up because a few people at work were doing it; I didn’t realise it at the time but doing it with a team of people was fantastic, it puts pressure on you when training and you have people to celebrate with after the event.
Running is now my favourite past time, it’s free to train and you feel an enormous sense of achievement when you reach the finish line.
I know what you’re thinking…you can’t/don’t run! Just take baby steps. Start slowly and run for as long as you can. Keep doing it twice a week until you feel like you won’t die if you don’t stop after five minutes.
Eventually your muscles will build up and you’ll be able to go for 20-30 minute runs on a frequent basis.
Once I reached a certain level of fitness – the level where my I wasn’t as self-conscientious and could keep going without getting a stitch – I found that the best way for me to keep moving was to embark on a running challenge. I started with a simple 5k ‘Race for Life’. I’m not saying that charity runs are the only way to find motivation, you may get this from running with a group of friends but it is important to have small goals.
After completing my 5K I was ready for a real challenge, a half marathon! I won’t lie, it was tough! I finished in 115 minutes and I felt like my legs were going to give way at the finish line, but I DID IT!! I’m going to do two more next year so I can build up to the 26 mile monster in 2014 (also known as the London Marathon). Wish me luck.
If you’re a running fanatic I’d love to hear your hints and tips for taking it to the next level.