Never in a million years did I think I would become a runner.

Never in a million years did I think I would become a runner. Here we are though, four months down the line and I’m still going strong.

I wanted to do an activity that didn’t need any major equipment. I didn’t want to sign up at the gym and I wanted to be able to exercise any time I liked. The answer was staring me in the face. There was a free treadmill right outside my front door.

The problem was, I had often seen runners as if they were from another planet. I saw runners as a strange group of Lycra-lovers, pounding the pavements day after day. Not quite the crowd I wanted to be associated with.

I chucked on my normal trainers and leaving my fears at the front door I took my first step into the cold early spring evening. I broke into a very light jog and I was off.

1. There is no need to buy loads of expensive clothing and equipment when you first start running. At least work out you are going to stick to it before you spend £50-£80 on a pair of new running trainers.

So, I decided to run to the end of the road and back. There was a slight incline but it felt achievable, and it was. I didn’t try to overdo it but I felt out of breath when I got back. The run was about ten minutes max.

2. Start slow. Physiologists believe that any running pace can deliver health benefits. Start slow and take walk breaks.

Going out in the evening was great. I aimed for three times a week. I loved the peace and quiet. How the rhythm of your breathing fell in with your step. It was hard but the endorphins were kicking in and they were giving me such a lift. Before I knew it I was back at my front door.

3. Keep an exercise diary, mark the calendar every time you do a run and for how long. It’s a great motivator.

I did a few calf and quad stretches and I was done.  Some nights the job felt easy and others it felt like you were lifting someone else’s legs but you still got the same buzz from it.

4. There is no need to stretch before you run. Stretch after your run or later that same evening. You only need to stretch for 10 – 15 minutes.

So, by chance I found a running partner. They showed me a nice route with a gentle incline, a tough finish but quickly followed by a heavenly downhill return home. Now I feel bad if I don’t run. Not only for me but also for my running partner.  I hardly notice the run any more.  I’m not sure if I’m getting fitter or whether my running partner is taking my mind off the hard work. Either way it’s good.

I expect some injury but I’m not worried as long as I treat it correctly with rest, ice, compression and elevation.  So, now I’m a runner. My kids know I’m a runner and I’m aiming for my first 5km and yes, I just bought some lycra!

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