Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Why I started running?

So why and where did it all start for me?  I would have to say I decided to start running at our holiday in the Peak District at the end of July 2010. This is how I looked then (click to enlarge and ignore the closed eyes!):

Ever since I gave up regular swimming (it got boring and expensive) about 15 years ago, I would say my weight had been a pretty consistent 16.5 - 17 stone despite some feeble efforts over the years to cut down what I eat (what can I say...I have a sweet tooth!).

Up until our holiday in the Peaks, my wife who began swimming a few years previous had also started running early that year which accelerated her weight loss.

This got me thinking and after a few days of walking on some excellent running friendly trails in the Peaks, I thought that when I get back, I would have a crack at running too, specifically the Couch to 5K (C25K) training programme that my wife used to successfully ease her into regular running to see whether it would work for me as according to my BMI, I was overweight so some weight loss wouldn't go unnoticed.  

I also hoped that running would help me to boost my aerobic fitness, to further help me cope with my asthma which is something in addition to my dodgy knees and back that I thought would stop me from running.  In a way asthma helped me from the start as it over the years it has taught me to keep my breathing under control! 

Problem starting running though was that I'm not much of a 'sports' person and I was never exactly first choice back in school for sports, more like last and I always struggled to finish even the smaller field events so what hope at running would an overweight, unfit and asthmatic person with an aversion to physical exercise have?

The initial training programme (C25K) and the podcasts that I downloaded to help follow the programme were excellent and frankly I don't think I could of started or finished without them....13 months down the line, I am now on my 3rd training programme (half marathon), i'm still enjoying running regularly, I'm now in the ideal BMI range (according to Wii Fit) after losing 3 stone, my clothes size has gone down from XL to L/M and my 38" waist jeans now feel loose after I had started to stretch the bounds of 40" trousers prior to starting running.  

In addition to the exercise, I haven't really cut down on food massively but running almost makes you look more responsibly about what you eat as you don't want to flush all the hard work down the drain.  If anything, I do look more closely at and try to avoid is food/drinks with a high sugar content apart from jelly sweets, chocolate and Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream which is excluded from this scutiny!.  

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, this is how I look now (well 1 week ago when the picture was taken - click to enlarge!):

Please check back in a couple of days for my next published blog.

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