I want to run

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21/08/2002 at 08:31
I want to run, but I need to walk first.

I'm someone who has no motivation for exercise. I've tried joining a gym on several occassions but have never enjoyed it. Swimming I enjoy, but I get cold easily and hate getting dried off afterwards.

For some reason, I have decided to give running a chance. I just havent a clue where to start. I've been to the running world site, so I've got the 10 week programme printed to start run/walking. Its more a question of WHERE to run. If I try my local streets I live on the top of a hill. So if I run away from home its downhill, but returning will be uphill and I feel I will soon lose motivation to repeat the process. How did anyone else get started? Help please??

21/08/2002 at 08:45

I'm probably a bit far away from being a complete beginner but I can sympathise with your hill dilema. The danger is that if you start having to travel to run then its easy not to go - the beauty with running is that you just step out the door and away you go.

So I would recommend, for starters, why not walk back up the hill when you get back from your run - this will be an excellent way to cool down. Alternatively try a slightly different version of the run/walk methodology e.g. jog up the hill for 30 seconds, walk for 2 minutes.

Then you could have as a long term goal to run all the way up the hill - think of the satisfaction on the day that you achieve that!
21/08/2002 at 09:41
Time for a bit of Devil's advocacy...

DO you REALLY want to run, Sue? Or are you just looking for someone to rubber-stamp your excuse for not even walking, never mind starting a training programme that will lead to you becoming a runner? If so, don't play that game.

You're not exactly painting a picture of motivation. You can't stick at a gym programme, you don't fancy swimming because it makes you cold and wet, and you don't want to walk because it's going to mean going up a hill...

We all have to start somewhere. Yes, the gym can be boring, especially if you're not quite sure what you want to get out of going there. Bicycle saddles are a pain in the posterior and cycle helmets look uncool. We all - ALL - get wet when we swim and I've yet to meet anyone who rates drying off high up on their list of fun activities. And discussions on how to tackle hills are a perennial topic on the forums.

BUT - these are minor niggles compared with the joys of participating in exercise. The realisation that you can do a bit more today than you did this time last week, the way muscle definition starts to appear, the endorphin rush that makes runners pleasantly crazy, the sheer pleasure of using your body to do what it was designed to do - move - more than compensate for a bit of inconvenience.

Grit your teeth and get on with it. You're not going to be defeated by a HILL, are you? Because if you can't get over that psychological barrier on your doorstep then, to be completely brutal about it, you aren't going to run.

And I really, really hope you will. Please keep us posted - you may feel as if I've given you an uncalled-for kick up the butt, but everyone else here is nice and friendly and supportive!

Cheers, V-rap.
21/08/2002 at 11:13
How did I get started? I was depressed, disillusioned, had three little monsters, I mean children, round the house, and the GP said, well, I can give you anti-depressants, or you can buy a pair of shoes and meet me in the park.

Lessons learnt.
1.Company helps for starters. Is there a running club in your area that admits absolute beginners? Yeah, sure you feel stupid starting, but it feels really good later.
2. How desperate do you have to be before you kick sloth in the back end and do something that your better self knows is a start to getting a grip on your self and your future.

I stopped for about ten years because my knees were dying - didn't know about biomechanics then.

Then some slowly evolving paralysis got me, and running was out of the question. Then grace god, and I don't understand why, I got the better of it, and I can run again. Like Charlie Chaplin trying to catch a bus, but I can run again.

And I love every aching step of it.

What will it take to make you realize?

Run for your life. While you can.

All the best, Marj
21/08/2002 at 12:16
Hi Sue,

Just do it! I live on top of a huge hill, in the pennines - no-where flat near me. It is a bit galling, but then at least you get a good workout. I still can't quite get all the way up some of the hills, but it is a brilliant sense of achievement when you actually do beat one.

Just start walk / run, that's what I did back in April. I can run for 30 minutes now, hills are still a push, but I can't really do anything about them except try a little harder each time.

I did find a circular route that went around the main hill, so it isn't quite as daunting - maybe there is such a route near you?

Go for it!

21/08/2002 at 14:35
Thanks everyone for your replies.

Must admit I was a bit irked by v-rap. I dont see the point of running on the spot, or cycling on the spot indoors, when there is so much fresh air and beauty outside. Whilst in the pool I go blue with the cold, no matter how long or hard I swim.

Maybe I should have added that a few years ago I was diagnosed as being asthmatic. At the time I couldnt walk my dog for more than 10 mins slowly without getting breathless. Now I can walk easily, but sadly have no dog to encourage me out.

Maybe though I am just looking for excuses... but I've been dieting for a year now and feel its time I added exercise to my life. Im also going to be starting a stressful and exhausting job in 2 weeks and feel the need to improve my metabolism through exercise will enable me to perform better.

As with my dieting, I tried for many years with no success. Last year the time was right for me to start and succeed. I believe that success in a venture is down to timing of life and attitude. The time was right for me to get my head around a diet. I believe that NOW is the time to add exerise to my life.

For years I've looked at people running and thought "loonies!!!". Now Im wishing it was me out there.

Im not confident enough to join a club, until I know I can at least hold my own for 30 mins. So for now I'll try the 10 week programme and when my body is ready, I'll join a club.

Im telling people Im going to start running, because I DO intend to. Tonight my son wants to go for a bike ride to cover a walk he missed as part of his History coursework. So I'll be jumping on my uncomfortable cycle seat and pedalling for a while. Tomorrow I'll go and find that circular route that Go-Slow suggested.

I'll keep you posted tho as I know Im going to need plenty of encouragement.

21/08/2002 at 14:50
Whoah V'rap is a sharp today as his name suggests. However he's not wrong.
Where I live is at the top of a hill, but that's not so bad. Just walk back up, there's nothing wrong with walking! and as you get fitter, then run half way (or a quarter of the way).

You need some sort of target, but today make it a mile, not the moon.
As V'rap says we're all a friendly bunch here, some a madder than others but that's life.
Good luck and go for it>>
21/08/2002 at 14:56
Hi Sue,

I've only been running for a few weeks now and so I know how daunting getting
started can be.

My advice for what it's worth would be don't be too logical about it or plan too much. Just do it . I had been planning to run with
a mate for a while but it always never quite happened so a few Sundays ago I'd got changed to go to the gym when I had the mother of all hayfever attacks and didn't want to be sneezing all over the weights etc. so on the spur of the moment decided to go for a run instead.

i know it's early days but I now run every
day if I can and am totally addicted to it and the sense of freedom and well being it brings.

I think that once you've taken the plunge;
all the reasons for not running will melt away. Best of luck.


21/08/2002 at 15:07

Good for you! Just a couple of additional comments.

1. Presumably you have some medication for your asthma? If not then running will be tough - I always take an inhaler PRIOR to running.
2. If you're starting a stressful job then exercise is going to make you feel very tired. Make sure you get more sleep to compensate (if possible!). However, I would say running is also the great stress cure.
3. If you've been dieting recently - make sure you revisit it once you start running you'll need more energy.

Finally, don't plan to do it tomorrow - do it now, today, remember it's a small step for man but a giant leap..........hasn't that been said before?
21/08/2002 at 15:07
V-Rap is right Sue. You have to stop making excuses and get out there. Put one foot in front of the other and get your butt moving.
21/08/2002 at 15:17
Sue, V-rap may sound harsh but she knows what she's talking about and is just getting to the point... It is so easy to find excuses for not doing things, and exercise and losing weight are two of the top culprits. To be honest, sometimes a 'pull-no-punches' approach like V-rap's can be better than a load of reassuring platitudes that never get you actually taking action. Make a realisable commitment to yourself, like 'I will go out 3 times a week for 20mins' and you'll be surprised how quickly you'll end up running more of that 20mins than walking. Good luck and don't be irked, V-rap is a star!
21/08/2002 at 15:30
KK has v-rap changed sex I thought she was female after comments on sports bras, and disappearing boobs. And Sue I am sure you will come to appreciate v-rap for her no nonsense approach and sense of humour as much as the rest of the Forumites.
21/08/2002 at 15:41
What do I know I'm only a man!!
21/08/2002 at 16:14
I don't mind, KK, I've survived much worse insults in my time than being mistaken for a man!

Sue, go for it. If I've irked you, that's precisely what I hoped to do. If you wanted to be love-bombed with messages of "never mind that you can't face that hill up to your house, you're still as good a person as anyone here", you'd have headed for the American forums. I've assumed that you're starting from a position of KNOWING your worth as a human being and wanting, specifically, to become a runner.

Now grit your teeth and get out there and train, and before many months have passed you can take your revenge by beating the pants off me in a race (except by then neither of us will remember why it matters). No excuses. Plenty of high-profile athletes, and plenty of Forumites, have asthma or a few extra kilograms. I'll take you on any day in a "who's got the most stressful and time-consuming job" contest. And exercise, whether it's doing the hamster stuff in the gym or striding out in the glorious outdoors, is a basic building-block of good health.

Come on, you can do it!

Cheers, V-rap.
21/08/2002 at 16:19

We were all beginners, I think I may have moved slightly on, but don't quite know to what, In under six months I have went from 200 yards and sure I was having a heart attack to tackling my first half and full marathon next month. The adrenlin of achieving your first, 10 min run etc, keeps you going, as you achieve more and more. As for running being uncool 'say's who'? do you know them ? do you care ?
21/08/2002 at 16:26
V-rap is right, there are loads of runners with a few extra pounds to lose (me included) or have asthma. I need to lose at least a stone but I race most weekends and have never been laughed at (not even when I wore, for the first and only time, my skimpy flappy running shorts) or come in last. I just broke 90 mins for 10 miles but I'm still too porky for crop top and skimpies! So take heart!
21/08/2002 at 16:29
I just tell myself: FAT LAMBS GET TURNED INTO CHOPS!!!
21/08/2002 at 17:40
LOL, Lamb. Serious ROFL, in fact.

Fat raptors get respec' coz they're obviously successful predators.
21/08/2002 at 19:26
If I'm ever suffering with lack of motivation, I hope v-rap is about to kick me back into shape!

Sue if you don't get out there and discover the pain and the pleasure of running after that motivation speak, you never will. GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY RUNNING!
21/08/2002 at 19:29
well I dont know how far I cycled.. but my cruel son had me on my bike for 2 hours, plus a half hour break whilst we made whatever notes it was he needed to make for his history coursework. Initially the going was fine. Flat ground along the canal towpath, but bumpy. We decided to take the road route home and of course encountered the hills.

Any sense of achievement I feel will come tomorrow morning if I manage to make it out of bed :-(

No, seriously. Apart from being totally shattered, I do feel better that I was dragged out, but next time.. maybe not for so long!

I've found my youngest son, aged 12, is my biggest encourager for my dieting. It looks like my eldest son, aged 15, could be my biggest encourager for exercise. He doesnt want to run, but loves cycling, so maybe I'll ask him to cycle as I run and then he can time me.

One more very important thing...

Thanks to you all for your words of encouragement and nagging. :-) I'll try a small run on Friday and keep you posted.

Tomorrow I have a dreadful 120 mile drive to meet my daughter as she wants her mum to hold her hand whilst she opens her GCSE results. I only hope I have the energy to drive. :-0

Thanks once again folks.

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