This weeks guest post was written by Hannah from Bow Dream Nation.
I love running is not a phrase I would have associated with myself a few months ago but here I am today embracing the statement with arms wide open. Ok, well maybe with half open arms... I LIKE running is probably more accurate.
In school I hated running! During the summer we would play athletics and I’d go to any means to miss those lessons, I just wasn’t very good and let’s face it, lazy! However, in March of this year things started to change. I noticed a lot of bloggers were into running and when Helen wrote a guest post on this blog about the Couch to 5K plan I thought I would give it ago. Attempting to be on a constant diet was proving boring and hard for my weight loss and I knew I needed to introduce some exercise into my routine if I wanted to see results. However, I never had much luck with the gym so I decided to take up running because a. It was free and b. All I had to do was run out my front door.
That very first run I did was hard, harder than I thought to be honest but by my third run at the end of the week I could all ready feel results. I couldn’t believe how much my cardio vascular ability had improved after a short space of time! After a month or so I even started to enjoy and look forward to my runs. I followed the Couch to 5K plan all the way to the end, sometimes I was unable to run 3 times a week but I just kept going until I had completed it. Being able to run 30minutes without stopping after a couple of months was a huge achievement and once the plan was completed I downloaded the follow up app, Bridge to 10K.
To keep me motivated I signed up to a number of races including a 5K and a 10K Race for Life. If I had not entered these races I know it would have been hard to keep up with the training especially when I had to do after work runs (they’re the worse) but knowing people were sponsoring me made me work hard. I’m now in training for a half marathon at the end of September and my running plan is extreme. Just last weekend I had to run 8miles which is the longest I’ve ever gone for! I surprised myself by being able to do it without killing myself and it’s moments like this that have made me realise how much I enjoy this sport. Running has gone beyond being a weight loss tool and has become an exercise in pushing my body to its limits. After a run (no matter how shoddy it may have been) you get an enormous high which makes the blisters, sweat and tears worth it! Yes, I’ve lost weight and toned up as a result and feel phenomenally more fitter but it’s also a great tool for distressing, clearing your mind and increasing your self confidence.
For any of you thinking about getting into running I have a few tips. Buy the Couch to 5k app, it is seriously the best £1.50 I've ever spent. Invest in a decent pair of trainers and sports bra, they really do make a difference, trust me! Sign up to some races to keep you motivated, it helped loads with me. And finally, don’t attempt too much at once because if after your first run you can’t walk for days and feel like death it’s going to be really hard to make yourself go again.
I’ve even started a running blog called Feet on Fire to document my progress and tips I’ve learnt. So please feel free to ask me any questions whether they're about kit, training programmes or general advice because as a result of liking running (ok, so maybe I do love it after all) I also love to talk about it!