I’m NOT a runner. I HATE running. Or so I thought……. By Dawn Funnell

I’m NOT a runner. I HATE running. Or so I thought…….
I’ve always been quite active (I play tennis and practise yoga) but about 6 months ago I toyed with the idea of taking up running as a way of toning up and losing weight that I could do at times to suit me. My problem was that I didn’t know how to start (surely you just put one foot in front of the other!) and didn’t fancy plodding around the streets where I live on my own.

Then I saw an advertisement on Streetlife about the C25K (Couch to 5k) course that Runnymede Runners were running (pun intended) starting in July in Windsor Great Park.

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The course was three sessions a week for 8 weeks with a structured plan to get participants from the couch up to a 5k run. I still wasn’t sure that running was for me but I finally registered and went along with great trepidation to the first session. I’d downloaded the C25K app onto my phone and could see that we started by running for 60 seconds then walking for 90 seconds repeated several times. RUNNING FOR A WHOLE MINUTE? Surely I would pass out with the effort? I couldn’t believe that I actually completed the session but boy, did it feel good. There were about 40 of us there, everyone was very friendly and the coaches were so encouraging that I kept coming back and when I couldn’t make a session I used the app to do it myself. As the sessions progressed we were all running more and walking less until about half way through the course we ran for 20 minutes non-stop. 20 MINUTES!! I was dead chuffed with myself.

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Who would believe that after 8 weeks our group of Couchies graduated by completing the Bedfont Lakes 5k Park Run? Well, we did! But we couldn’t have done it without our coaches who were there with us and got us through (and of course, the thought of cake at the finish spurred us on!)
So I would say to anyone thinking of running – give it a go. You’ve got nothing to lose and you’ll get fitter and make new friends. I won’t kid you that it’s easy but the feeling of achievement is second to none (I guess it’s the endorphins!)
Thank you Runnymede Runners – I couldn’t have done it without you all.
I’m a runner. I like running now…..

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