I’m a runner: Liz Earle

We spoke to Liz Earle, the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Liz Earle Wellbeing and a household name thanks to her background in natural health wellbeing and beauty, about her route into running later in life. 

How did you first get into running – what inspired you to take it up later in life?

I’ve always enjoyed exercise, especially outside, but I always assumed you needed to be a bit more of a fitness fan to go running. A few years or two ago when a friend suggested I give it a go and now I’m hooked! I still love Nordic walking and Pilates, but running is a new addition to my exercise routine and I’m so pleased to have found it.

What do you love most about running – has it changed your life, if so, how?

I’m fitter than I’ve ever been since I started running. When I began I could barely run for five minutes, but within three or four runs I had upped my running time to ten minutes or more. I now run about two miles (3km), or around 20 minutes each time, twice a week, for some fresh-air fitness. If I’m feeling a bit stressed or there’s something on my mind, I’ll run for longer until my mood improves!

What would your advice be to other beginners, looking to run their first mile?

It sounds obvious, but remember to breathe! Taking deep breaths in for four steps and out for four steps will help you run far longer than short, shallow breaths. A great pair of really supportive trainers with plenty of bounce in the soles is also helpful.

Related: A six week beginners 5K training plan 

What’s been your biggest running challenge?

Getting out of the door on day one!

What’s been your biggest running achievement?

Recently running a personal best around my usual circuit in the park by the Liz Earle Wellbeing studios! I find the most satisfying thing is to compete against myself, not others.

Will we be seeing you at any races soon?

I’m competitive with myself but I’m not a race runner – and have no plans to be anytime soon!

You’ve obviously a household name thanks to your background in beauty, natural health and wellbeing – how should city runners be looking after their skin?

A mineral sun-filter face block is top of my list here, as the sunscreens in everyday moisturisers simply aren’t sufficient to protect skin in strong sunshine. The synthetic sun filters commonly added to daily skincare tends to give low protection, most of which will have worn off by lunchtime, when we actually need it - especially if we’re planning a lunchtime run! My preference is to use a mineral reflectant filter that bounces the sun’s rays away from the skin, as these are not only more effective at broad-spectrum screening (both UVA and UVB rays), they’re also less irritating. Apply to face, neck, upper chest and backs of hands to prevent sun damage and age-spots.

I also wear a high-neck vest when running to protect my upper chest – or wear my T-shirt back to front!