I ran five kilometres this morning. Four months ago I couldn't run for a minute.
I used to visit the gym two or three times a week, repeat twenty or thirty minutes of cardio. Sure, I'd be sweaty and puffed out, but I couldn't ever run. In the end, I'd blame my knees or my ankles and stick with exercise that had no impact.
Then, this winter I decided that I wanted to do some walking - I headed down to a local stretch of river and would walk three or four kilometres listening to a podcast or audiobook. Every time I would be overtaken by healthy-looking joggers and cyclists.
After completing some walking laps of Dorney Lake, I decided that I really wanted to run around it - but knowing how much I hated running, I needed a programme to get there.
Enter the NHS Couch to 5km programme - I started on June 8th, and graduated on 22nd August. I was short of the 5km, but it was within reach.
Now, I've ran around Dorney Lake on a 5km track a total of four times - slowly, but surely I plod my way round.
To me, it's proof that miracles can happen...
I did a few things to help me get there:
- Held myself accountable - a video diary, telling people I was on a journey made me accountable for my work.
- Enrolled a cheer squad - one or two positive messages of support after each run was enough to lift my spirits.
- Found the right tools - good shoes, good socks and some proper running tops made me feel like an athlete, even as I was learning.
- Geeked out - Strava and some decent Bluetooth headphones kept me amused and entertained.
- Enjoyed it - one of the best pieces of advice was to look up and out and the world as I ran.
As I've said on more than one of my videos, if I can do it, you can too. Take a few steps, run for a minute and before you know it, you'll be running a five kilometre stretch.