It has been seven months since I blogged about how I took up 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 a couch to 5k programme? If so, you can read about how I began back in January 2017 here.
Apart from a few weeks over the summer when a bad back forced a break from running, I’ve managed to keep it up, because the benefits are really worth it. From only being able to manage a few minutes at a time in the beginning, I can now handle 5km without stopping, which currently takes somewhere 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, in an effort to lose two stones. (Poor quality pic, sorry but the only full length one I could find just prior to my weightloss! Taken in Sept 2016.)
I reached my target weight and even though I’m not following the Slimming World plan now I’m maintaining good habits and being more active than before.
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 – my calf muscles have more definition, making my ankles look slimmer. I never loved my legs and so it’s great to feel happier about how they look especially in jeans. Cellulite hasn’t miraculously vanished; I’ve accepted that I’m never going to be totally free of that because – guess what – I’m a woman. I’m minus a bit of volume in the boobs, too – a natural consequence of losing body fat (and unfortunately you can’t dictate or predict where the fat comes off). But also, more muscle tone = more perky. Just saying!
I’ve only been ill once this year
Previously, I had a tendency to catch every cough and cold going. This year, I’ve had just the one bad chest and don’t suffer from a perpetually run down, lacking in energy, feeling. Not wanting to speak to soon, but hopefully there will be less chance of succumbing to ALL the bugs – let’s see how the winter goes and if I stay healthy, then maybe my immune system has had a little boost.
I do (kind of) enjoy it
Yes, I grumble when the going gets tough, but mostly I enjoy going for a run. It’s an opportunity to have a chat with my running pals and get some fresh air.
After a run my legs used to ache the next day, but they don’t tend to as much any more. 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 me feel strong and capable. Sometimes when I’m just walking around town, I’ll feel like I want to break into a run – something pretty unimaginable before!
Do let me know in the comments if you have got into running lately and whether you are enjoying it? Feel free to share any tips, advice – or great leggings that don’t ride down!