Hi, I’m Jo and I hate running...


Today's post is from one of our Trustee's Jo, sharing her three biggest takeaways from the recent Intentional Health webinars... Hi, I’m Jo and I hate running.

At school, I would get out of PE whenever I could and walk the cross country course each year (most probably) causing my house to lose the sports cup yet again!

Fortunately, my daughter didn’t inherit my genes. She loves all sport and is very competitive. For the past few years, she has been pleading with me to run a Race for Life with her like her friend and her mum. I have been very good at making my excuses.

Last year my husband ran the Great North Run and we all went to support him. As part of the weekend, they also hold a Mini Great North Run for children the day before. Last year we watched it and this year my daughter is signed up to take part. As she is only 8 she needs an adult with her. To try and earn some Mummy points I agreed to run it with her. It's only one mile! What could possibly go wrong?

For this week’s blog, I want to tell you my 3 takeaways of how the recent Intentional Health webinars have helped me.

1. Set a Goal So I have my goal. On the 9th of September, I will be running one mile with my daughter. Now if you remember I hate running. I don’t run. I do anything I can to get out of running.

In May this year, I had a realisation that the Mini Great North Run will be full of loving (sporty) parents running one mile with their children as a little warm-up for their big 13.1 miles the following day. They probably won’t even break out into a sweat. Now I had two choices – hand over the mantle to my husband or start some training. I’d made a promise to my daughter so I got training.

For those of you like me who don’t run I’d really recommend a great little podcast. NHS Couch to 5k. The first week all I had to do was run for one minute then walk for one minute and this repeated 8 times. I struggled and I mean really struggled. My legs hurt, I couldn’t breathe but I did it!

The first week all I had to do was run for one minute then walk for one minute and this repeated 8 times. I struggled and I mean really struggled. My legs hurt, I couldn’t breathe but I did it!

2. Scaffolding Now after that first week I was ready to give up. I was struggling to run for one minute, how was I ever going to reach a mile? My husband knew I was running but I also told some other close friends of my plans. It would be very easy to give up if just my husband knew but letting my friends down would be a different story.

Each week I would message my friends to tell them when I was intending to go for a run. I would then have great delight in sending them a sweaty picture of myself having completed it. I stated this right at the beginning of my training when I was only running for one minute at a time, so no major distances but each time I was accountable to them as well as myself. Some mornings I really didn’t want to go and could have very easily made an excuse not to, however, I had to run otherwise I would also be having to make excuses to my friends as to why I hadn’t gone. In return, my friends would also tell me of their intentional plans to exercise and send equally sweaty and embarrassing photos back!

3. What happens when things go wrong? Couch to 5k works by increasing your running time by a short amount each week. The first few weeks went really well. Then one week I really struggled with the increased running time. I spoke to someone who is a personal trainer and she reassured me that a lot of factors can influence your running and if I was really struggling to just repeat a week. As it happened I then came down with a nasty virus that knocked me out for 10 days.

I’d now had two weeks out from running and before the virus was only up to running for about 5 minutes, I was still very far off my goal of one mile. I now had two choices. Give up and hand the mantle over to my husband or carry on. Remember in place I have:

My goal – To run one mile with my daughter

My Scaffolding – My friends who know my goal and have been cheering me on and asking how my running is going.

So I put on my trainers again and repeated the week that I had previously struggled with.

I’m really pleased to be able to tell you that with less than a month to go I am now able to run continuously for one mile.

My goal in September is fast approaching. So what else have I done? I have promised some local friends that I will run a muddy 5k with them in 2018 – my next goal.

Do I now like running? No.

Do I look forward to running? No.

Have I noticed benefits to my running? Yes.

I feel generally fitter, I don’t struggle walking up hills as much as I did before and a lovely pair of trousers I bought two years ago finally fit!


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