Run Your Way to Fitness

Over the last few years has your weight steadily increased? Do you wonder where that svelte teenager who could eat and drink anything without putting on or a pound has gone? Has “maybe tomorrow” become your mantra when you think about taking action? Or have you sadly accepted that this is now me and you’re too set and busy to change?

Let me tell you that with the right choices this is not you. It’s not easy and if you want to feel success, nothing is. There are lots of promises out there about the one key diet or just do this one exercise and you’ll look like the picture, it’s not true. I’m sorry to tell you it takes time, effort and above all mental discipline.

Six years ago I reached 83.5kg, the heaviest I’d ever been and at 44 it was becoming more difficult to shift. I looked around for a good gym offer and found a good deal. The only trouble was I found it hard to motivate myself to go. Yes, it was easy to begin with after the induction you are raring to go, but after a few weeks I just wanted to be home after work and the mornings were too much of a rush. How much extra money did I waste before I got around to cancelling? Does that story sound familiar?

Why not try running? One of the first things I discovered that helped me was the Couch-to-5k app. It’s very encouraging and it starts you off by splitting running and walking until you reach the goal of 5Km. With 3 scheduled runs a week it increases running time over walking.

The next step is the 5km Park Run, a worldwide organisation to get people moving. At 7am on a Saturday morning people of all ages, sizes and abilities gathers at the starting line. They track your progress and publish the results later that morning. You can keep track of PBs and how you do against the competition.

After running with Park Run for a while the next step is enter an organised event. These are well organised and there are different distances to sign up for. This is an ideal opportunity to try for a 10km. You have a set date to aim for and can upgrade your training accordingly. The feeling you get after beating the 10km is phenomenal.

What’s next? You can enter more events trying to beat your 10km best time, but what about the half marathon. As you do these events you’ll see the half marathon runners come in and think “I can do that.” And you can, it’s another goal to aim for. It’ll take some more training but you’ll get there.

Remember the only person you’re competing against is you, and you didn’t come this far to only get this far.

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