I hated Running...So I became a Runner

Last Summer, after I had returned from my 2 week getaway to Canada, I decided it was time to kick myself up the butt and start exercising properly. I knew I had put some weight on but I didn't realise to what extent. I looked so unhappy and unhealthy in my holiday photo's and I was upset at myself. How hadn't I noticed that I'd piled on a stone (and maybe a little bit more)? I suppose I hadn't even tried to avoid it - I never watched what I ate, I drank full fat fizzy pop on the regular and was guilty of little-to-no exercise... and it had started to show - not only physically, but mentally too.

My boyfriend is a regular runner (ya'know he does a half marathon just for fun). He would wake up at the crack of dawn and run before work or come home from work and go for a run. I mean, naturally I thought he was crazy, like why would I go outside and run and get all sweaty when I could have half an hour extra in bed in the morning, or get home from work and slump on the sofa binge watching Netflix? (Yes I still do that now... but I don't feel guilty anymore because at least I exercise too). I was so lazy and he was so energetic and fit and healthy and I wanted to feel like that too. I was fed up of feeling constantly sluggish and I just felt so tired and irritable all of the time. As a result of this I also had constant headaches and I had to force myself to do things, as I genuinely never had the energy to do anything. Enough was enough.

I first started (and tried) running a couple of years ago but I would get out of breath after about 5 minutes and give up. I decided it wasn't for me, so I bought myself an exercise bike to try that instead... but that didn't cut the mustard either and I got bored of it. I just didn't feel like it was doing anything, I was just working out my legs, and only marginally at that.

It was only when I got back from my summer holiday last year, after being upset about not having the energy to enjoy myself as much as I could, and feeling uncomfortable with the way I looked and felt, I decided to give running another go.

I joined the gym and I had so much determination. Somehow it just clicked. I started forcing myself up every day before work - and boy it was hard, but I was SO motivated. I knew that I'd rather get up early and get it "out the way with" so I could come home from work and relax. I realised that, as the old saying goes, you get out what you put in and only I would be able to change the way I felt. I also became more wary of what I was eating, I converted to sugar free pop (because I wanted the caffeine kick but hate coffee) and I started to cut down on snacking, and stuck to 'naughty' meals on the weekend and started eating more basic dinners during the week (e.g. chicken & rice with vegetables).

I started by running 2-3 times a week for around 10 minutes at a time. I then gradually increased the time to 15-20 minutes and eventually to 30-40 minutes. I have only recently (in the last couple of months) been able to continuously run for around 50-60 minutes comfortably, however I usually stick to doing a "long run" on the weekend and generally keep to a couple of 30-40 minute runs during the week. I also increased my pace gradually once I was comfortable with running for around 30 minutes straight at the same pace. E.g. from running a pace of 8 mins a km to 7 mins a km etc. I want to build up both my endurance and my speed and I like to set myself personal goals and compete with my past run times - I always aim to beat my last run, even if this is just by a second or two!

I will also be taking part in the Great Manchester Run in May and this will be my biggest challenge yet as I will be running 10km. I signed up to run with work, and I have chosen to raise money for Manchester Royal Infirmary (specifically for the cancer services that they provide). The longest run I have achieved so far is 8km, so I am almost there! Ideally I'd like to have managed a 10km before this time, and my goal is to complete the run in under 70 minutes - wish me luck!

Do you go running or have any tips or tricks to share? I'd love to know!


  1. Ah well done! I'm kind of felling how you were, I've put on over a stone and really want to shift it before my holiday. I used to run loads but just kind of stopped and now I'm so unfit!

    So saying that, I don't really have any tips. But you seem to be super motivated already! xx

  2. Thank you! :) It was pretty hard to begin with but once you get into the zone and get into a routine it just sort of works! Getting started is always tough! xx