Fairly recently I decided to take a step back towards exercise. My weight loss has been sooo slow, I’m not sure if my body is just reluctant to lose more weight, I have struggled at the three stone mark previously, never really breaking through it. Alongside joining slimming world, I have also signed up for a gym membership at the gym local to me, it’s a small gym but has all of the equipment that is required for me. Although I will eventually be taking on weights, at the moment I am really focusing on burning calories, and cardio. And I have a secret aspiration, I want to take up running, specifically running long distances.

I am slightly confused why running is something I would like to do, I hated running when I was at school, going so far as to stop with my friends and take shortcuts to avoid having to run the whole distance. When me and my now husband first got together we were both rather thinner, and he loved running. We occasionally went out running together, I remember the first time I ran a mile without stopping, I was so happy with myself. At that moment I thought wow, I could be a runner! Sadly, I put on weight massively over the years, and while I have been out for an occasional jog, I’ve never progressed.

Around a year ago I started using the app Zombies Run, I love this, but I was walking it, I have now nearly completed up to season four, all walking my dog. I have dipped my toe in the water with couch to 5k a couple of times but never completed the plan, the embarrassment of running outside and the willpower required to go out no matter the weather is just too much for me. My gym however has lots of treadmills, so this is where I find myself mainly when I go there.

Why do I want to be a runner? I’m not 100% sure, I’ve mentioned before but I listen to podcasts by Rich Roll, and No Meat Athlete and I find both of these highly inspirational. I have dreams of stepping out of the door and being able to run (or jog slowish) for hours. There is something about the freedom of it that just appeals to me.

My problems with running:

  • I’m very overweight – an obvious problem, when you’re lugging around all the extra weight any form of cardio exercise becomes harder. I am trying to help that issue though!
  • The where and when – I’m running at the gym currently, that is good, but it means actually going to the gym. I have limited time to do this but I do try to fit it into my schedule three times a week. I need to go in the mornings which leads onto the next issue…
  • The energy expended – After a run I am often completely wiped out. Running at this weight is tiring. Being wiped out isn’t great for the rest of the day.
  • Mental weakness – I’m not sure if everyone suffers with the same mental weakness when running, it something I really should research into further. Half of the time I’m running I’m thinking don’t stop, the other half I’m thinking stop. I wish I could get that split down a little. I try to focus on how many minutes I have left, constantly repeating that to myself, 35, 35 35, 35…34, 34, 34 etc
  • Speed – I’m really really slow. I am only 5 foot 2 but I’m lucky if I’m jogging at 6 km/h. I would like to build that up.

Currently I can run for around 35 minutes at 6km/h, doing just over 3km. My first aim is to get this up to 5k at around 50 minutes. I have joined a local parkrun but don’t want to go until I know I can run 5k. I try to add 5 minutes on occasionally to my time, every 3 or 4 visits, but man it is a struggle! I need to work on my mental strategy, when you’re telling yourself that this run is killing you it can’t be good for your physical capabilities!

My running plans for the next month :

  • Rather than adding on 5 minutes (which seems like a very long time!) I will add on 2, every visit or two.
  • I will keep going 3 times a week.
  • I will research mental strategies and what is the best thing to think.
  • I will attempt to lengthen my stride. I always feel small and tight when running, and I guess I should really feel the opposite of that,

I will post about this again in a month, 11th January, with the aim of being able to run 5k in just under an hour. I would really like to join the vegan runners club, but feel I’m a bad example at the moment, so once I can do 5k I’m going to do that.