If you are one of the many who have made a new year’s resolution around fitness you may find the following useful.
Nikki Murphy took up running in August last year and is now running almost 3 miles without stopping. She learnt three valuable lessons which she felt could benefit others who are trying to improve their fitness.
‘At first I was a bit too enthusiastic. Within a couple of weeks I was walking/running 3 times a week. It felt good to be out but then my shins got painful and I could have ended up with shin splints if I hadn’t backed off. Now I know to build up slowly and not put too much pressure on myself to get faster or go further too quickly.
Like so many women I wanted to lose weight not just get fitter. I avoided the scales for a few weeks but when I finally weighed myself I was upset to see that I hadn’t lost any weight. What I have found though is that my clothes fit better, I feel great, people who haven’t seen me for a while think I have lost weight and ask what I have been doing so I’m focusing on how good I feel. I track all of my runs on my phone and what I have noticed is that as I have got fitter and am running more I am burning twice as many calories as I used to on a run so I’m sure more weight loss will follow.
Since the weight wasn’t just dropping off I needed to keep motivated. I found by timing myself over a distance during the regular assessments in my SE Fitness running group I could see a definite improvement. I haven’t been to the gym for months as I’ve been enjoying running so much, both alone and with my running group but upon going again last month I was lifting much heavier weights with the same effort. The running has clearly made my legs much stronger. Now that I am doing more running than walking and can go so much further I’m beginning to feel like a ‘real’ runner and that’s the most important thing.’