So why did I keep running

As I mentioned in my last post I’ve started running twice before in my life. Both times I followed the Couch to 5k program from start to finish, and then continued running for a little bit but eventually tailed off at some point and simply stopped.

So what changed this time…

Strava

This time I used strava from run one. I’ve never recorded my runs before and have just ran for a set amount of time, so it was really interesting to learn about my pace and see my monthly distance increase as I went along. When I got my Garmin watch and was able to quickly glance at my pace throughout the run it really helped to make sure I wasn’t pushing myself too hard and keep those easy runs easy.

Zebby

When I started running last year Zebby was 8 months so was able to do 30 minutes of slow running and walking as long as he wasn’t pulling me along. As a young cocker spaniel he was full of beans so really needed a morning walk before I went to work, therefore running in the morning fitted our schedule nicely as I could give him as much exercise by running with him as I could by giving him a walk.

Parkrun

It was only a few weeks in to my running when I went along to my first parkrun, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that quite a few people were doing intervals of running and walking as well. Getting a time for a 5k course each week gave me the motivation to keep going along, especially as my times were improving quite quickly at first. I also discovered the joy of going along to different courses and learnt about the different parkrun challenges, plus the t-shirts you get for reaching certain milestones.

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Friends

A few of my friends also got the parkrun bug and together we enjoy going to different courses as and when we had time. Plus not forgetting the 2 people who got me in to parkrun in the first place. Running with friends really spurs me on and it has become a fantastic chance to spend some quality time together just chatting.

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Races

Once I realised I could get round a 5k in a not-so-bad time I started signing up to the occasional race which really gave me a boost to keep training and helped me to feel proud of my achievements so far. Bling collecting can become quite addictive, although not great for the bank balance.

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Training plan

Having a training plan really helps me. Although I continued running once I finished the C25k program I ended up just muddling along for a little while with no purpose to my running. I’m a goal driven person and needed a distance or race to aim for and therefore a training plan in order to get there. There’s plenty of free training programs online and I’ve learnt how to tailor my own plan for my needs and routine.

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Along with all of this perhaps I’ve just been more determined this time for some reason or another. On those days where I just feel like doing nothing the thing that still drags me out of bed is knowing that if I miss one run I’ll then miss the next one and before I know it I’ll be back to sitting on the couch, eating chocolate, feeling like a slob.

Knowing I’ll lose my fitness if I stop helps me to keep going, as I feel better now than I ever have before and I don’t want to lose that.

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