Getting into running when you are totally unfit
I cannot believe I can run 10k in just over an hour (I am working on getting it under an hour). Before you skip this post thinking that you could never do this then let me tell you that’s how I felt too. In fact it was only a few months ago that I protested that I could never even run 5k. This time last year I could not jog a couple of yards up the road without being completely and utterly out of breath!
Starting to move when you are unfit
Have you seen those pictures where they say it doesn’t matter how slow you are going you are still lapping those on the couch? Well that was me. I have to say my husband was hugely supportive and we started by going for walks around the neighbourhood. These weren’t particular fast but it got us into a habit of just getting out there and having regular exercise. It also gave us a chance to talk – in private. This slowly turned into a bit of jogging and more walking. OMG did my legs itch! I had to keep stopping to scratch them, and scratch them. Again I just thought that I can’t do it! I am not really sure what changed but one day my attitude did. All you need to start moving whilst unfit is to say, “I can do this!” I found it easy if I had a reason to go out. I added it to my routine. Regularly popping to the market to get bananas (every Wednesday) for example.
Setting goals, targets and Motivators
I think it helps to have a goal or target. Initially I needed to be able to do 5K for Pretty Muddy. I started by regularly walking 5K and then trying to do it quicker. Then I wanted to beat that time so started to run bits of it. I ended up walking Pretty Muddy and it was more of a supportive atmosphere than a quick race – but I do think it made me want to get better at it. To have the belief that I could possibly run 5K – which was something I didn’t believe at all beforehand.
Then I wanted to run a whole 5K in under 30 minutes, next without stopping and finally I wanted to do 10k – and then 10K in under an hour. I figured that I had just under 3 years until my 40th birthday – and that was a very reasonable amount of time to train for a Marathon. What a goal for my 40th, yet so far away it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge (*gulp*). Breaking it up into more manageable parts – I need to run a 5K race, then a 10K, then a half marathon first. But I feel so enthusiastic now I may skip straight onto the 10K (but we will see they can be pretty hilly lol).
I also set myself some treats to help reach these goals – even if it is just new music. I do like to stop and taking pictures of things of beauty in nature – and watch the changing seasons. Maybe find something that motivates you to get out there – other than just getting fit/losing weight.
I found it hard in the beginning to start moving as I am already in my body mass index and feel that people think I do not need to exercise – but it isn’t about my size, it is about my health. Before I couldn’t keep up with my children on the school run (not without my Microscooter) – but now I can! Being able to play and keep up with my children, without losing my breath, is an amazing incentive to keep going. And to be honest my belly isn’t a pretty sight and those leggings are pretty tight – I needed to push past not caring what I looked liked to other people. In fact what I look like is someone trying their best to take care of myself.
Look at what is holding you back
Eventually I started looking at things that were slowing me down – the wires on my headphones (I got wireless ones now), my straps of my bra annoying me (I got a sports bra now) and eventually I got running gear (which makes me not only feel the part, but I feel a right wally if I walk slowly too much in it – like I should be running lol). A good app on my phone I feel helped, and good music (although I think you are ideally meant to run without any). I have since got an arm strap that holds my phone too. I then looked on YouTube for breathing techniques and stretches. The big thing though is time – making time to do it. I try to go straight after the school run so that I don’t come home and find things that need doing before I can go out.
Now I need to keep it up. When it got cold it was hard. I get hot really easily and so I can’t really layer up as I sweat so much when running then. I need to check that my posture is right and listen to my body. Last time I ran my ankles really hurt – I need to find out if that’s because I pushed too hard too soon, or if I am not standing right. Don’t think you always have to run, or push yourself more. I really hurt my foot (again) after a break – trying to go straight back into 10K – I stopped at 9k and have walked since. It is a balance between knowing when to push yourself and when to stop. I need to keep pushing forwards – even if slowly; keep telling myself that I can do it. Things that make it easier are my husband telling me that he sees a difference in me already (well more so when I stopped for a while lol). I did take the before pictures too (for myself).
Do you have any tips and/or advice for me?
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