This for me perfectly sums up running. Those first few minutes when you think yeah I can run, I can run for miles! To 20 minutes later when you start to feel tired, then sick and like you just can’t carry on.
I started to run three years ago. After years of smoking and eating rubbish and doing literally no sport at all, I decided it was time to get fit. It was a very challenging start and a literally started on the treadmill doing a few minutes running, then a few walking for around half an hour. I think my first session I lasted about 20 minutes before I was bright red with sweat streaming down my face.
Luckily the gym near my work had a ‘cardio room’ i.e. a room full of treadmills that no one really wanted to use, so I could carry out this embarrassing quest in relative privacy. At this point running non-stop for half an hour seemed literally impossible. I imagined it would take years to build up to a 10k. But I carried on, I think it was the novelty that spurred me on, I was actually getting up and going before work!
I would definitely recommend investing in some good trainers, even when you’re just starting out. I went to Runner’s Need and did a gait analysis. Turns out my ankles go inwards as I run (over pronating), so I able to get a pair of New Balance trainers with high insteps that would help support and keep them straight as I was running. Hopefully reducing risk of injury and making my running style more efficient (not that I was going to be noticing that at this stage!).
I read Ruth Field’s ‘Run Fat Bitch Run’ and built up really slowly adding a few more minutes running and a minute less walking. So instead of two minutes running, three walking, I was doing four minutes running, one walking.etc. I got up to eight minutes in one go! A slow and steady start, but after a couple of months I’d built up the confidence to sign up for my first race, a 5k in Battersea Park.