It has been seven months since I blogged about how I’d started running at the start of the New Year, so this is just an update for those interested. Maybe you are a newbie runner, or contemplating doing it for the first time? If so, you can read about how I began back in January here.
Apart from a few weeks over the summer when I had a bad back and took a break from running, I’ve managed to keep it up, because the benefits are really worth it. From only being able to handle a few minutes at a time in the beginning, I can now manage to do 5K without stopping, which takes a little over half an hour to complete.
It’s a challenge, but feels like a massive achievement and has given me a boost in confidence and well-being. These are some of the advantages I’m enjoying that will hopefully keep me wanting to run:
I’m maintaining my target weight
As well as taking up running in January, I also started attending Slimming World, as I was a couple of stones overweight. I reached my target weight and now, even without following the Slimming World plan anymore, I’ve maintained it – which I put down to the fact I’m burning off a few hundred calories each week.
I’ve toned up
The difference in tone shows in my legs, bum, tum and even upper arms. The biggest change has been to my legs which I’m pleased about! They feel taut and my calves have much more definition, making my ankles look slimmer. I never loved my legs before, but they are now more shapely and I feel happy with the way they look in jeans. Also the dreaded cellulite has reduced; BUT so too has my bra size, which is the only slight negative I can think of in all of this. It’s a natural consequence of losing body fat and something I can live with, considering all the positives (and if you’re fortunate to be someone with boobage to spare it may not even be an issue for you!)
I’ve only been ill once this year
Previously, I had a tendency to catch every cough and cold going. This year, I think I’ve had just the one bad chest and I don’t suffer from a perpetually run down, lacking in energy, feeling. I don’t wish to speak too soon, but hope I’m less prone to succumbing to ALL the bugs – let’s see how the winter goes and if I stay healthy, then I’ll know for sure my immune system has been boosted!
I enjoy it
Yes, I can grumble if the going gets tough, but overall I enjoy going for a run and actually look forward to it as it’s an opportunity to have a natter with the friends who join me, which keeps me nicely distracted from the exertion.
After a run my legs used to ache the next day, back when I first started, but they don’t any more and no longer do I feel stiff when I get out of bed, like I used to when I didn’t exercise at all.
You notice the little things that make you feel good, like not getting breathless jogging up a big flight of stairs.
Running is really quite liberating and makes you feel strong and capable. Sometimes when I’m just walking around town, I’ll feel like I want to break into a run – something quite unimaginable before!
Do let me know in the comments if you have got into running lately and if you are enjoying it? Feel free to share any tips and advice (for example it would be great to know where I can find leggings that don’t ride down, ha!)