04 March 2015

Running that first step

I’m no elite runner, I’m definitely not the fastest runner and with my short, stocky build, I don’t look like a typical runner. That’s the beauty in running – anybody can do it.

It was about ten years ago, I remember my dad handing down his old size nines. The running shoes were a few sizes too big for me and they looked battered as hell, but I’d always looked up to him, so if my dad said run, then I will. And I did.

To start, running was hard. I was fortunate to posses a decent level of fitness through playing regular football, but I only managed a single mile on my first run. Even that was a struggle. The next run was twice the distance and already it felt a little easier, but still I didn’t find it by any means enjoyable. I think I had a couple more runs before I entered into my first half marathon. I’m not sure of my reasons for skipping 5k, 10k etc, I just wanted to try something new and set my goals high.

Those first half marathons, Wolverhampton and Nottingham went as well as they could have gone. I’d only managed five or six runs in training, maxing seven miles. I finished them both in around 2 hours 10 minutes which I was really happy with at the time. The greater of my vaguest memories are of the next day when I hobbled into work, getting up to go to the toilet – oh the pain.

Running went on like that for a while, it was sporadic, irregular and not much fun, but something changed. I found a routine through runnersworld and I associate the change to that. I stuck to it religiously and running became enjoyable. I was able to run better and with confidence, I could run further, for longer and I started seeing the real benefits. The routine gave me the kick start, but deep down I think I was ready to run.

Now? Now I love to run, the further I run the less traffic I meet; the quieter it becomes. Burrowing deeper into countryside, becoming closer to nature with my headphones on. Simply beautiful (and sometimes breathtaking!). Running has other rewards that help towards a healthier, fitter lifestyle.

But, I’ve got news for you. The hardest part is that first step – the step out of the front door. That’s where most people will fail, it’s the first hurdle.

Honestly, it does take a little motivation and determination at the beginning, but it’s all so worth it. I’ve found ways to motivate myself and I want to share my experiences with you in later articles. But if you are considering that small leap, don’t leave it until tomorrow; we know that never comes. Take that step, get outside and give it a go. You’ll surprise yourself, I guarantee.

Just do it.