Things I have learnt during my 5k training

I am a terrible runner. Seriously. I am so slow people doing a fast walk could over take if the wanted. I blame this on my little legs. They cannot keep up with the giraffes next to me on the treadmill who aren’t even breaking a sweat at a pace that I would consider as sprinting for dear life.

Another issue is that I am incredibly unfit. I get stiches within minutes and although I do my damn best to get through them , sometimes I have to stop, and it’ll only have been 5 minutes! The shame! I have tried the suggestions on running sites; not eating for a few hours before a run, drinking as little water as possible, breathing in on the foot that’s on the opposite side to the stich (which is actually really hard!), pressing into the stich itself with your hand. Nothing works and I feel it’s a clear sign that I’m just not meant to be a runner.

Add to this the fact that I find the idea of running for 30 odd minutes perhaps the most boring thing you can do, when the going gets tough, my mind thinks of plenty of reasons to just call it quits.

Amazingly though, I am yet to not complete a 5k. 99% of the time I can do it without stopping and if I do, it’s a quick 30 seconds for one of those bloody stiches to die down and then I am back at it.

I’ve realised that it is all about mind over matter. I no longer look at it as 30 minutes, or 5 whole kilometres. Instead, I break it down into 5 minute segments and half kilometres – far more manageable.

When I think I can no longer do it, I crank up the volume on a fast paced song (currently Sigma, Nobody to Love), and tell myself to get through the current 5 minute segment I am on and just see how I feel. Then of course it’s “just get through this next five minutes, then you can stop” etc., till I am at the end. I also like to act as my own personal cheerleader by using some classic phrases to motivating myself: “looking good, feeling good”, “Looking FIERCE”, and a classic Gillian Michaels, “What do we do when we get to the end? We keep going!” The shame I would feel in giving up when I know I can do it is enough to keep me going.

Whilst I am slowly getting better at running on a treadmill positioned under the air con in the gym, the Race for Life is outside. With the temperatures rising and still no offers on someone following me round with a fan, I have no idea how I am going to manage.


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