The truth about running

Running and I have a turbulent past but we’re mending old issues and becoming friends again. Here’s how…

Way back when, in my school days, I was very sporty. I represented the school at lacrosse, tennis and athletics but as I got older the puppy fat started to appear and I lagged behind everyone else. The final straw was not making it into the top 30 of the cross-country run and therefore being dropped from the lacrosse team when I was 15. After that I pretty much gave up.

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I played football for my university and struggled through every single fitness session, only ever coming on at half time as I wasn’t fit enough to play a whole game. I half-heartedly tried to improve my fitness by going on a few runs but together with the prodigious amounts of alcohol I was drinking and my weakness for Chinese takeaways, I didn’t get very far.

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Jump forward to mid-2013 and I’d been working at a desk job for 4 years. It had taken its toll on my fitness to the point that walking a couple of miles felt tough. It was time to get in shape…

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I started going to classes at the brilliant London Fields Fitness Studio, doing Pilates and yoga to strengthen my muscles and eating properly (most of the time). But running was still a pretty major mind block for me.

I started small and slow, 10 minute runs down the road followed by 20 minutes of walking. Everything hurt, I sweated and swore but vowed that I would get better.

Gradually, I started running the short route home from work (1.75 miles) at a crawlingly slow pace but eventually I could do it without having to stop and walk.

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Fitness and eating clean began to be a major part of my life. I was exercising 6 days a week and eating healthy and nutritious food. As boring as it sounds, the difference it’s made has been amazing.

I can now run 4km without stopping which is a major achievement for me and my little short legs. My goal is to run 5km in 30 minutes or less this summer and I’m working up to this by doing some steady runs combined with interval and strength training at various different classes. It’s a big challenge but I’m determined to do it.

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And the strange thing is that I’m actually starting to enjoy running!

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