Some of you, I hope, will recognise me from my role as
part of the Park Royal Leisure Club Marketing Team and, for those
who do not then, Hello, I am Jayne (Dickens).
Firstly, a warning … but no apology. This is my first
attempt at writing a 'blog' and my aim is to share with you my
journey from being a 'non-runner' to, hopefully, being someone who
runs my first 10k in May 2018. At 54 this is certainly going to be
a challenge, especially as my exercise regime over the past few
months has been a few lengths of swimming and the occasional long
walk. The main reason I have undertaken this challenge is with the
aim of raising funds for the NSPCC, but also to take myself out of
my comfort zone and to try a form of exercise that lots of people
seem to rave about.
In the past I have tried to get into running, mainly on my
own, always finding it something of a chore, even when listening to
music. Most of the time I have quickly been out of breath and,
after a few half-hearted attempts, usually given up within a couple
of weeks.I do not think that I have ever gotten the kick out of
running that many runners claim they do.
And so, in order to start the New Year with some optimism
and the resolution to 'give it another go', on the morning of
Sunday 7 January I went with a friend to Victoria Park, Warrington,
to join in the Park Run for beginners. I should quickly add that I
nearly cried off when I saw the temperature outside was below zero
and it is true to say that I also felt a little
However, guilt got the better of me and at 8.45am me and
my friend (who is a regular runner of 10k or more), who had very
kindly agreed to support me on my first occasion, joined a group of
about 20 people walking out of Victoria Park, all commencing on a
nine-week training programme for novice runners, with the general
aim of being able to run 5k at the end of the programme.
The training session involved us firstly running for 60
seconds, then walking at a fast past for 90 seconds and,
thereafter, repeating this until we had finished the 'run'.
Everyone was friendly and encouraging, and I really enjoyed meeting
a real mix of people; some were experienced runners but others,
like me, were totally new to the event. Chatting (or attempting to
chat whilst running) certainly helped me to keep
This morning, Sunday the 14 of January, had me joining the
group of beginners at Victoria Park once again. Was it any easier
this morning I ask myself? To be honest it did not feel like it and
I still cannot imagine being able to run 5k without walking or
stopping in between runs. However, the coaches who lead the run and
others regular runners have all assured me that if I stick to the
weekly programme I will accomplish the 5k at the end of the
programme on the 10th of March.
In between the two Sunday morning sessions I have followed
the suggested programme and also ran twice during the week on my
own; which is not quite the same or as enjoyable as running with a
group. I found wearing headphones and listening to suitable music
for solo runs really helpful; this was certainly the case when I
struggled and wanted to give up and just walk home.
As a general note, running in the dark is something new to
me and I advise carrying a torch so that you can see where you are
going and to avoid obstacles, such as uneven footpaths, etc. A
fluorescent jacket is also vital so that you can be easily seen,
particularly when crossing roads. Oh, and water … you need some to
I know that my morale will more than likely be up and down
over the coming weeks and I look forward to hearing from those of
you who do run and those of you who do not, with tips on how to
best progress or even if just for general support, that would be
I have yet to get that feeling of euphoria when completing
a run, but who knows maybe the running bug will get me yet! Over
the coming weeks I will be keeping you updated on my running
progress and my plans for generally getting more fit.
My next blog will document my time with The Park Royal's
personal trainer Anthony, who will look at my nutrition and carry
out a personal MOT to help understand my fitness levels.
Bye for now, Jayne - Newbie Runner.
Quote from Jeff Galloway, US
Olympian, Runner and Coach
'The more you frame the
marathon as a stressful experience, the more negative messages
'But it is just as easy to
frame it as a positively challenging journey.'
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