One of my clearest memories of the Great North Run 14 years ago was standing in the start pen waiting for the mass start and 2 girls behind me were laughing and pointing at me because I’d got 2 “normal” bras on under my non-tech cotten vest. I remember thinking why are they laughing at me, these 2 bras do the job of keeping my boobs in place and what’s wrong with my cotten vest, again it does the job. The phrase “you only know what you know” springs to mind because back then I did not have a clue. I just used to head out of the front door and run, no gps, no jels, no strava, no music, no sports massage, just me and my mate (she used to drive around a route to clock the distance the day before) and most importantly no coach. I used to listen to advice from my dad who ran, so we must have had some idea on how to increase the mileage slowly and comfortably because I never got injured.
This year I was stood in the toilet que at the Great North Run listening to a group of girls who were giddy with excitment, a bag of jelly babies between them, laughing that some people actually run this without a charity place and just for fun, they actually said “who does that?”. Of course we started talking (northerners do that) and they told me that they hadn’t trained properly they didn’t have gps, or gels or music or strava and they were all wearing fashion trainers but they were running for charity and couldn’t wait to give it a go. We were all runners and I didn’t laugh at them.
What have I learnt in those 14 years since my first half marathon? Here’s just a few things;
Anyone can run, you just need a good coach or group to guide and support you.
Ask lots of questions about other people’s experiences, this could be how they got on with a running app or running group, are there toilets at the start of the group, what is a parkrun like?
You don’t need fancy equipment or gadgets to start running (although I do now reccomend a sports bra and a good pair of trainers).
Find a supportive group or friend to run with, when someone is counting on you as much as you are counting on them, it’s easier to head out of the front door.
Start off slow, talking pace is enough to begin with, you may think you could walk quicker but that’s ok, we all have to start somewhere.
Find a time to run that fits in with your life and make yourself the priority; don’t feel guilty about it.
Get a coach to teach you to run so you can improve safely, getting faster is not just about running faster.
Keep it simple, don’t over complicate it as you never know where running may take you. Nine RunVerity members ran the Great North Run in September and we have 80 RunVerity members who are runnin the Great South Run in a couple of weeks. All of these runners found a good club and a coach; so if there is a little bit of you that wishes they could be a runner and you don’t know where to start, RunVerity can help you find the answers.