30 Jun You Can Only Run At One Speed – A Beginner’s Journey
Running. Seven little letters that can strike the fear into anyone whose fitness level is not where they want it to be. You may doubt your ability to be able to run – that you aren’t fast enough, or strong enough, or have enough time to fit running into your already busy week.
Push all of that doubt out of your mind. Let me tell you, as long as you are putting one foot in front of the other, you are doing it. You are improving your fitness, you are achieving, and most of all, you can feel absolutely amazing about yourself.
I am going to share my story with you. The beginning part might sound really familiar, so just wait to hear what happens in the end.
I was struggling to lose my baby weight. With a two year old to look after and exercise-induced asthma, the thought of running had never crossed my mind. That was something that fit people did right?
But when I started the YummyMummy Big Shape Up, I didn’t have an option. Part of the programme was running three times a week. Three times! I probably hadn’t run since I was in Primary School, and now I was expected to pound the pavement three times a week. I’ll be honest, the thought terrified me.
I vividly remember the first day that I was due to run. We have a sports fields complex near our place and it has a big concrete path that runs around the outside of several fields and some rugby clubrooms. Lots of people run there because it is flat and safe.
Knowing that lots of people run there only added to my terror. What would I look like next to these ‘proper’ runners?
But I was sick of not fitting my pants any more, so I had to do it.
The idea of the running programme is to keep moving, so you walk for a bit and then run in short bursts to build up your fitness and confidence. You download an app that tells you when your time to run is coming, and when you can slow back to a walk.
When that beep went off in my ear, I ran. Goodness knows what I looked like. Within 2 seconds I was gasping and wasn’t sure I could make the full 10 seconds without keeling over. I could feel my butt jiggling every time my foot hit the pavement, my heart was pounding in my chest.
But do you know what, I did it. I ran for 10 seconds. Then 2 minutes later, I ran for another 10 seconds. And I didn’t die. I put one foot in front of the other, I was slow, I was uncoordinated – but I did it.
I stuck to the Big Shape Up running schedule, and my fitness grew. My butt jiggled less, and it became easier. I didn’t have to take a puff of my asthma inhaler every run.
And do you know what? At the end of the Big Shape Up I ran a 5km Fun Run. Yes, I ran it. And the first kilometre was all uphill (talk about a baptism of fire). I certainly wasn’t the fastest, but I completed it.
Here are the things that I learnt in my running journey, hopefully they will help you in yours.
Just Do It: There will always be a reason why you can’t start. Ignore them. Get out there and do it.
It Doesn’t Matter How Fast: Who are you racing? No one. It doesn’t matter if you run at a walking pace, you are lapping everyone still sitting on the couch.
No One Else Matters: It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Who cares if your butt jiggles in your running pants? You are doing great things for you.
Believe in Yourself: You can do it. Even if you have never run in your life. Even if you have illness or something holding you back. You can do it if you believe in yourself.
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I am Gemma Knight, just a regular Mum from Auckland, and I am now part of the YummyMummy Fitness Alumni. I promise that you will not regret taking the YummyMummy journey.