One of the first promises I made when I started the Janie’s School fundraising idea was that I WOULD NEVER RUN A MARATHON. Now this might still be true but having spent years proclaiming loudly that: I. Am. Not. A. Runner. I have started running. Yup. True story.
Let me give you a bit of background into what has prompted this recent change of heart. For the past few months I’ve been trying to lose weight. I ballooned to 14st 7lb without really noticing over the past year. I wear a lot of stretchy clothes and have stuck around a size 16 so truly hadn’t picked up on it.
I had a horrified reaction to standing on the scales and started to change my behaviour to be more healthy. I don’t drink so I couldn’t cut that out but I do like cake and carbs so it was time to cut down on those (notice I said down, not out… I’m not a sadist!). After a few weeks of doing this and actually putting on weight I noticed other changes in my body and behaviour. Crying for no reason seems to be a thing I do now. It’s different to those times I would cry from depression, I’m completely conscious that there’s no reason to cry and don’t feel depressed or even sad. Weird.
I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovaries) which gets worse if you put on weight and paradoxically makes it very difficult to control your weight because your body has a resistance to insulin. My problem is I was diagnosed so long ago and I’m missing a number of the symptoms so I’m not 100% confident that this is the problem or even that I really have it. So, blood tests ordered for thyroid, done and awaiting results. Appointment to discuss PCOS and other options in the diary (after much back and forth with my GP).
In the meantime, the frustration I feel at watching my diet (by that I mean what I eat and not “diet” as in “on a diet”) and standing on the scales is driving me crazy and I want to be able to focus on other things. So, not wanting to spend anything on gyms etc (the joys of keeping costs down while you run a business), I decided to start running.
I’ve tried it before and it’s always been a disaster. Shin splints, can’t get my rhythm right, can’t stick to it, don’t enjoy it etc etc. So this time I decided to do my research.
- Do I need special shoes?
- Do I need to eat beforehand?
- How often should I go running to start?
- Is technique important?
- What time of day is best?
So many questions. This time I want to be able to say I can actually run properly. I want to get to the point where I could go for a run and it not be a struggle.
Turns out there are many, many options when it comes to running shoes. I personally hate wearing super supportive shoes of any kind. Any exercise I have done and enjoyed has been bare foot or in dance shoes which are very light weight (even pointe shoes). I have a pair of proper running shoes I bought a couple years back from a proper running shop but I stopped wearing them because I didn’t like how they felt.
I’ve found a couple of articles talking about “pronation” which is what supportive running shoes are supposed to help with. There doesn’t seem to be overwhelming evidence that trainers actually help with this. The other thing I found was some really helpful advice for first time runners. Things like:
- Don’t listen to music because it will push you to over stretch yourself too soon
- Use the silence to listen to your body and be aware of where the twinges are
- Focus on your technique and actively relaxing the parts of your body you notice are tense – tense causes injury
- Start slowly and only go running every second day
I’m sure there are loads of contrary opinions to these but these sound good to me.
Research done, I decided the following:
- Don’t run yet, walk… quickly. Building in short bursts on the 3K mark.
- Do it in silence so you can pick up on the twinges (and log them on a spreadsheet obvs!)
- Do a minimum 5K walk every second day for at least two weeks before starting to run more than 1K at a time.
I’m using May My Run app to track my walk/runs and I’m finding this really helpful and also decided to make it a Team TwoBees thing where I’m inviting people to join me using #PeriscopeMyProgress
You can read more about that over on the Team TwoBees blog where it will be more about the technology, the tracking and social sharing.
Watch this space…