I’m a runner: Melanie C

I was sporty from an early age. I did gymnastics, netball, football, hockey and hurdling between the ages of eight and 16.

Of all the sports I’ve tried, some have come and gone but running has always been there for me. It’s the simplest of things to do: shove your trainers on and just go.

I don’t understand people who say they don’t like exercise. It’s a chemical thing – the endorphins. You feel amazing afterwards.

Training became obsessive for me during the Spice Girls time. I got myself in such a pickle that I was diagnosed with depression and exhaustion, among other things; I had to learn to be kind to myself and train in a sustainable way.

Running gave me an advantage when I was in the band. We travelled so much but saw so little: airports, hotels, TV stations and gig venues. I always made a point of getting out for a run early to get a better feel for parts of Tokyo, or Milan, or wherever.

Running is meditation for me now. I used to run to music all the time but last year I tried it without and it was amazing. The only time I listen to music now is when I’m working my way back after an injury.

Once you hit 40 bits just start falling off. When I was younger I’d just beast myself for the whole session. Now I do a warm-up and a cool-down, and stretching and strengthening exercises. It’s vital if you want to stay injury-free.

I like the idea of joining a triathlon or running club. I love going to the pub with my mates but I feel rubbish the next day. With a club, you get the interaction and you feel great.

I love the routine of training for a race. I get my training schedule put together and my nutrition plan and I stick to it like glue. I’m always looking for new products and things to help me.

I’m competitive when I’m racing. I don’t mind if someone overtakes me on a normal run, but in a race if I look up and see someone a bit older or a bit fatter I think, ‘Right, you’re not gonna bloody beat me.’

I turned up to the pub in my kit once and realised immediately it was a mistake. I was stood there in my running stuff, with a race medal around my neck, and people were just looking at me as if to say, ‘There’s Sporty Spice trying really hard to get noticed.’

I’m looking forward to running with my daughter as she gets older. She’s seven and showing a real interest in being active, which is great, as so many kids just stare at a screen all day. So far we just do simple drills such as skipping and sprints, but I can’t wait for us to go for a run together.