Follow Worksop Guardian reporter Hayley Gallimore as she embarks on an eight-week beginners running course...
TONIGHT I had an extreme attack of the excuses. It was going dark, I was tired and slightly hung-over from a squiffy Saturday night, and I was feeling rather full after a generous plateful of Sunday lunch.
But I did it. I dredged up all the energy and willpower I could, and went out to pound those streets.
And dare I say it… I quite enjoyed myself.
There’s something refreshing about pulling on a yellow hi-vis running top, strapping on a reflective arm band and crunching through the crisp autumn leaves, chasing your own steamy breath.
In the time between now and my last blog post I’ve upped my running time from 30 seconds to a minute, repeated seven times and interspersed with two-minute walking breaks.
I didn’t make it to the Run For It beginners class on Wednesday evening because of work commitments.
But running coach Roger Laidlow kindly offered to take me out on my lunch break for a run around the Canch park in Worksop.
The ‘homework’ runs I had done on my own had been manageable, but I felt I’d been going too fast and getting out-of-breath too soon.
Maybe it has something to do with the undulating ups and downs of the streets where I live. But it was good to jog alongside Roger and find a slower, more comfortable pace.
He said it was common for beginners to go home after their ‘easy’ first session and push themselves too hard.
It’s dangerous too – tiring yourself out too soon can throw you off track and make you question whether you’re cut out for running. I’m talking from experience!
So after my session with Roger, I realised if I had any hope of succeeding I would have to slow down.
And it has worked so far. In week two I am managing to complete my minute-runs without keeling over. It might not sound much, but it’s an achievement for someone who never thought she would be able to run for that long – let alone the 30 minutes I’m working towards at the end of week eight.
So far I’ve overcome my crippling fear of running in public. I’ve even signed up to the Lycra brigade. But next week comes the big one – running for two minutes.
I’m pretty worried I won’t be able to do it. I can only just catch my breath after one minute.
But if I can overcome this hurdle, I think it might just be possible to push myself that little bit more each week.
I’ve also found comfort through the brilliant Run For It group on Facebook.
Members use it to leave messages of support and update fellow runners on their progress.
It’s a great tool which I’m sure will prove very useful in the coming weeks as our group of Worksop ladies continue on our journey.
- Run For It is a running club which promises to build your fitness in eight weeks so you can run for 30 minutes. Find out more at Run For It
Classes take place in Worksop, Harworth, Doncaster, Barnsley and Dinnington. They are open to men and women of all ages and abilities.