I signed up to a challenge with a friend this month, mainly to help her get back in the zone of running, but I have to say it has massively helped me and my attitude to fitness and general activity. I’ve been a runner for about 10 years or so, and have completed numerous half marathons, a few off-road mud events, and the London Marathon once (and would love to do it again). My friend started running in January, and set herself a challenge of running 5 km in 12 weeks – which I have to say she completely smashed. She has managed to keep up with the running and nine months later was still getting out a couple of times a week but not doing the distances she would have liked.
So I found this challenge online with Ronhill called ‘Run every day in October’ which is what it says in the title – you have to do something every day. We decided that our shortest distance would be 1 km and we are aiming to get to completing a 10 km by 31st October.
We’re now 25 days in and the end is almost in sight, and it has been a real eye-opener for me. I’m not the fastest runner, and 1 km takes me approx 5 mins 45 secs – 6 mins 30 secs, but on some days I have really had to give myself a real pep talk to get out and do it! I’ve had to be organised and make sure there is someone to sit with the children if needed, or I’ve had to do the double-child buggy run.
The one thing I have really noticed though, is even on the days when I have had to run at the very end of the day, in the dark and cold, and I really haven’t wanted to, I have felt so good for getting out! And I know I feel like that about a lot of other activities – going out at 8 pm to play netball on a winter’s night, getting up for a gym session on a cold wet morning at 5 am, and even sometimes the thought of having to take the dog for his walk over the field. But every time I force myself, I feel great.
The dread of doing something is ALWAYS worse than the actual activity itself. And basically if you can turn those negative dread thoughts into the positive feeling you get after the event, you’ll feel a whole lot better to start with! Exercise, however little (even my 6 mins), makes you feel better. If only we could bottle that ‘high’ after exercise (even a 1 km run) ……..