Disqus for Where Are My Knees

Guest Post - Helen from Afeitar

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Before my Wednesday run

Hi, I'm Helen from Afeitar! I was honoured to be asked to be the first guest poster on Where Are My Knees? and to specifically post about my running. I am a new runner - I only started seriously in December. In November, I decided to sign up for the Great Manchester Run which is a 10k run in May. 10k doesn't sound TOO far until you actually start running and realise that 2k leaves you aching and breathless. But I was committed to the run so I had to keep on going. Now I can manage to run about 6.5k and keep increasing it slightly every week. Over the past few months I've learnt a few tips about running for beginners:
  • Start off gradually. Don't expect to be able to run constantly on your first run. The rule of thumb is to always increase by no more than 10% week on week. One week you might run 2k and instantly think that you could run it again but don't go straight up to 4k! Follow the couch to 5k plan to give yourself an idea of how to start and progress. It can be so disheartening if you just go straight out there and run and can't keep your breath. Intervals of walking and running are good to build up your fitness levels then you can work on your speed.
  • Don't be embarrassed. I run outside and at first it is always awkward when you see someone you know. I've seen a few of my colleagues when I've been out running and the make up-less, sweaty face look isn't a good one. But the day after in work, they don't mention how 'bad' you look, but rather how great you are for running! It really motivates you to hear people congratulate you and say 'I wish I could do that'.
  • Get a good sports bra. Especially if you are a larger chested lady. Running is high impact and you'll regret all that jiggling around in 20 years time! I have a M&S one that was about £16 but am thinking of eventually investing in a shock absorber one as they are the creme de la creme of sports bras. Ugly as hell but keeps your boobs looking prettier in the long run.
  • Enter a race to stay motivated! I seriously would have given up by now if I didn't have my 10k run in May. The Race for Life is a good run for beginners, because you can choose either 5k or 10k.

Library books

  • Read about running. I have bought a few copies of Women's Running and also borrowed books from the library to give me a few tips. It's always good to have some advice from an expert (not an amateur like me!).
  • Talk to other runners to stay motivated & inspired. One of my best friends is a runner has just entered herself for the Liverpool Marathon so we keep cheering each other on throughout training. My boyfriend also runs and has ran 2 half marathons. An online network is also good, I posted on my blog here about a few girls who really inspire me. I hope that this post also motivates people to get involved and start running and we could maybe build up a little Where Are My Knees? running club? Yay or nay?
Finally, I will leave you with this quote which will keep me going throughout my 10k run in May: “The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” (John Bingham)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'd join a WAMK running club definitely! (Almost a very unfortunate acronym!!)

    I totally agree with points 1 and 4 - I've got a place in the Great North Run (21k) in Sept, so I've also signed up to a 5k and a 10k race to build me up. I started three weeks ago from nothing at all, alternating literally a minute's jog and a minute's walk and I can already run for ten minutes non-stop :)

    Thanks for the informative post Helen :)

  3. Ooooh thanks for this post! I'm doing the 5K race for life, it's the first time I've ever done a run and to be honest I'm not the best person with long distance running but I wanted to earn a bit of money for charity!
    I do need to start training for it soon as at the moment I do no forms of exercise other than walking about to places.

  4. Thanks so much for this post Helen, I actually feel so inspired to run for the first time in my life!

    Well actually, I did try it once last summer. I went to a field near my house and though to myself 'Right, I'll start with two laps round the field.'. I started running at about 90mph instantly and after no more than 30 seconds, I felt like I was having a heart attack and had to collapse on a bench. Then I just went home! What a failure!

    Thanks for giving an utter newbie like me some advice and inspiration :)

  5. this is a really fantastic post. ive been wanting to get into running for so long now but have been totally lazy. i am actually going to start tomorrow and do this c25k plan. i only work 4 days a week and the plan is to run 3 days a week which is perfect!!!! i'll probably pester you on twitter to help keep me motivated haha

    Bow Dream Nation xx

  6. I love this post! I have signed up for a 10k that is just eight weeks from now, and my training plan starts in earnest this week! To add to your list of suggestions, I have to recommend getting fitted for running shoes - your feet will thank you! Good luck with your race. x

  7. Great tips - I've just got into running and am using a couch to 5k app on my phone which is so useful. x