FOLLOW Worksop Guardian reporter Hayley Gallimore as she embarks on an eight-week beginners running course...
IT’S getting really serious now, this running business.
I’m in week five of my eight week training programme and I can see the finish line over the crest of the hill – but it’s a very big hill.
On Wednesday I had another session with running coach Roger and the Gateford Girls.
Our worried faces must have been a picture at the start, as we all came to terms with the fact we’d be upping our runs from two minutes to five minutes.
But we needn’t have fretted. We started the session with three two minute runs, interspersed with one minute walks.
Then came the first five minute slog. Only it really wasn’t that much of a slog. Roger told us to all slow down and find a comfortable pace. We chatted along the way and five minutes was over in a flash.
We walked for a minute to catch our breath, then came another five minute run.
I was really surprised at how much my fitness had improved in just five weeks. I wasn’t panting or gasping or collapsing in a heap on the floor.
I remember Roger telling us in week one – when we were running for 30 seconds and walking for two minutes – that by the end of the course we wouldn’t feel any worse.
He reckoned running for 30 minutes would fee comfortable. And how we laughed.
Well we’re not laughing now… Gradually we can each feel our fitness improving. So much so that we’re even looking forward to the next run.
I think I speak for all of us on the Worksop beginners’ course when I say we are living and breathing running.
If we’re not posting on the Run For It Facebook page for advice, tips and encouragement, we’re flicking through running magazines, browsing the Internet for new jogging gear and getting fitted for new trainers.
And most importantly we’re turning up for our group session every Wednesday without fail.
I must admit I was having a bit of leg pain during Wednesday’s session. Sore and achey calf muscles due to only doing my ‘homework’ run the day before.
Roger advises you should always have a rest day in between runs. But I had been pushed for time and eager to fit my homework in before Wednesday that I just went for it. It’s a mistake I won’t be making again.
Neither will I be running on a treadmill again any time soon. Somehow I thought it might make my homework runs easier, but quite the opposite.
I must have selected the wrong pace because it hurt my legs and I couldn’t catch my breath. Horrible experience.
I much prefer running outside. Just like I’ve done this weekend. It was another crisp Autumn morning and I had planned my route using an online mapping service.
Stopwatch in hand and tissues in my pocket (essential kit for a runner, I’ve learned), I popped some of my favourite tunes on my iPod and set off.
I found my pace after the first few minutes and started to enjoy myself. Then it was over in a flash.
I can’t wait until my next run – just to test myself and see if I can manage it again.
The more I achieve the more I believe I can succeed. And with just three weeks to go before the big 30 minute run, it’s really important to stay positive.
For the moment anyway I feel like a runner.
- Run For It is a running club which promises to build your fitness in eight weeks so you can run for 30 minutes. Find out more at www.runningcourses.co.uk
Classes take place in Worksop, Harworth, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham. They are open to men and women of all ages and abilities.