Monday Must Have

It's Monday again folks.  But the good news is that we get Friday off (and then next Monday. BOOM) and the sun was shining. 

Which leads me neatly onto probably the most random Monday Must Have ever, but a blog post that I have been asked to do by so many people and so I thought today was actually a pretty perfect day to write it. 


This is my Monday Must Have and genuinely something I thought I would never ever write about. 

I am a runner.  I was up this morning at 6.45am (which was actually 5.45am according to the kitchen clock which will make me lose my mind for the next week until I can be arsed to take it off the wall and spend 45 mins emitting a lot of swear words trying to get it back onto the wall) and I went running. 

Am I Zola Budd?  Am I heck as like.  But I can run for 32 minutes non stop.  I don't ache, I don't wheeze and I don't stop.

Genuinely if you'd told me back in January that I would be able to do this, I wouldn't have believed you.  As I am a completely NEW runner.  Having started only at the beginning of this year.

Now, the reason I have been reticent in writing this - one - because I had no idea if I would actually keep it up and two, because I went on a local running course which isn't open to everyone (well it is if you're local but if you're not, it's about as much use to you as a chocolate teapot).

BUT this morning (post run - all v timely and that), I was watching BBC News (clearly no small boys were up therefore I wasn't subjected to Danger Mouse.  It's the path of least resistance with an 11 yr old with Asperger's in the house) and a brand new Couch to 5K app has just been released today. 

It's in conjunction with the BBC and all the info you need is here (I'm not sure I can link to the app but all the info you need is hopefully on THIS LINK).

Now I do need to hold my hands up and say I have NOT done this app, I have absolutely no affiliation at all with the BBC, but I have had lots of people messaging me and saying that this worked for them (it's not a new concept. there's just a new app!).

I would say, it would probably be worth checking if you have a local beginner's running group, as for me - running with other people and having the support of our coach (teacher? most inspirational woman ever, not to mention the most patient!) meant that I carried on. 

I have tried the Couch to 5k programme previously (twice..) but have given up.  

Why?  For many reasons - most of which are because I did not do ANY of the below.

These are my top tips that worked for ME in how to start running and continue running (she says having finished her course the sum total of ten days ago - therefore slightly pathetic, but the point for me is, I DID finish the course).

  • Start running slowly.  The reason I gave up on Couch to 5k previously was, I now know, because I was running too fast. 
  • If you can - run with a friend.  And one that doesn't suggest a coffee instead of a run (as I would have said YES immediately).  I promise the coffee tastes so much better after the run (no I don't even know myself typing that).
  • If you do run on your own, I would suggest running with music (see below).
  • Always dress for 10 degrees warmer than it actually is.  You will get warmer than you think running and running when hot sucks and makes it a lot more difficult.  Even in snow, I have never been cold and have only ever run with one layer on.  Admittedly in a blizzard, my face did hurt but.. well.. it was a wind chill factor of -15.  I will be doing running gear in a post separately.
  • After a couple of weeks, DO go and get proper running trainers fitted by someone who knows what they're doing.  You can run in your pants and bra but proper running shoes make all the difference.
  • If you do get a niggle somewhere, don't ignore it.  I had a recurring pain in my hip that was due to my running gait that my teacher sorted for me.  So if you're doing couch to 5k.... hmmm ANY SUGGESTIONS??  Of who to ask?  Maybe there are pointers on the app itself? (this is where me being a total novice, has no ideas of who to ask....).
  • Due to the above point - if you CAN find a local running group, do.  Mine was really so reasonable (£50 for a whole course) and the support, help and advice, I personally found invaluable.
  • The best advice I took away from the course was "you never regret going for a run, you only regret not going".  Which I have to repeat A LOT at 6.45am... but it's so so true.  
  • It gets easier.  That, I think is the key to remember.  At one point of the ten week course...hmm week 5 or 6, it was HARD.  Seriously I was struggling.  But, I now run further and it has never been as hard as it was then, so if you do start to find it tricky, just keep going.  Slow down (it may be because you're going too fast - that was mostly my problem - that and my hip) and keep going.
  • And finally - message me on Instagram, or email me on if you feel like giving up and I will tell you to get your butt out there and get running.  

I do need to point out I am NOT an expert in this AT ALL. This is just my experience - from a total and utter novice to someone who actually went out on her own last week three times, running.  Before 7am.   And once to do 7.5km with the running group.

Two last pieces of info I want to pass on... one - the group I went to.  It's Shona's Runners and I simply cannot recommend it highly enough.  Shona is honestly one of the most inspiring, supporting and lovely ladies I have ever met.

Secondly, music.  Now, this is a very personal thing.  However if anyone is at a loose end and wants something that is errr, I would say eclectic, the husband would say crap (PAH!), then feel free to have a listen to my playlist on Spotify which is "Does my Bum Look 40 Running?"  I would just like to point out that, like running, when it comes to Spotify, I am a total amateur so the chances of you being able to listen to it too, aren't high.  BUT I hopefully have done something whizzy so you can.  I did ask the 13yr old if she could try it out but that would be akin apparently, to asking for the moon on a stick, so that would be a no.  I tried to show her Kevin and Perry the other day.  She wasn't amused.  I'm not amused that I thought toddlers were hard work.

Here I am looking smug as smug can be after my run (can I point out, this is not immediately after my run - anyone who does watch my Insta stories over on instagram will appreciate I do look dug up after 30 minutes of essentially jogging on the spot.  But it's 30 minutes more than I ever thought I would be able to do).

Skirt - La DoubleJ at Matches (sale aw17)
Trainers - Golden Goose from FarFetch (sale aw17)
Bag - Loewe at Matches (current)
Blazer - Zara (6yrs ago)
Sweatshirt - FWP by Rae (current)
Earrings - Zara (current)
Sunglasses - Tom Ford from Very Exclusive (aw17)

I would LOVE to hear your running stories.  I have turned into a complete running bore.  And also - give me your best running tunes.  I should have said above - mine is a total work in progress still.  Some are too slow, so they will be going but I do like some slower ones as it does slow me down for a bit in the run. 

Yours, Forrest Gump x

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16 comentarios:

  1. I’ve just finished the 9 week couch to 5k, and like you, if you had told me 9 weeks ago that I’d be able to run 5k, I would have laughed (wheezed!) out loud. Like you I’ve been surprised at how much I have love, love, loved it, and I’ve been amazed at the change in how I feel, how it helps me deal with stress and what a total running bore I’ve become.

    Would love an article on running gear! The 5k mark is my excuse for some snazzy trainers - where did you go for yours?

  2. I'm not a runner (I'm still convinced it helped my slipped disc get totally out of control - so as far as im concerned it's 'never again'), but that's okay. My husband is though, when I met him he ran 5km, his knee would start hurting, so he'd stop for a few weeks, start up again at the same distance/ pace as before, then the knee would start hurting again. Now he runs 22k once a week, and shorter distances about twice a week, and no knee problems! He says that joining a running club was the best thing, he increased the distance slowly, upped the pace slowly and if he got the odd twinge he didn't stop training completely, just slowed it down. He did his first marathon in under four hours, and achieved his goal time of under three a few years later.
    As far as running gear goes, he has numerous pairs of shoes he rotates, and he has gone from being 'any old tee and football shorts' to full on running gear, even down to underpants. His favourites are Gore and Fusion. But basically as few seams as possible, and the ones that are there have to be flat, oh and a zipped pocket for the door key. He also says dress for about 15°C warmer than it is, but he's never had a problem with cold weather.

    1. And with all that rambling I forgot to say "Well done Kat!"

  3. Well done Kat! I used to run...only a bit like you but I loved it..great deal stresser too!
    However,I now have a Morton's Neuroma ( inflammation of nerve in left foot...not due to running I might add!) and running seems to aggravate it. Would LOVE to run again as I really miss it.
    I also.think running g with a club or group..a relaxed club so you dont have to enter for runs motivates and encourages you.

  4. Love this! I’ve been threatening to start running since new year, even went out and bought some trainers but as yet haven’t even had them on my feet. Feeling inspired now though and have just downloaded the app. My main concern though is I get shin splints even if I run to catch a bus so I think I need to find some pre run stretches, any advice? Xx p.s well done

  5. Love this! I enjoy running, but 30-45 minutes is enough for me. I haven’t been able to run - or exercise - after having surgery a couple of months ago. To sort out my pelvic floor issues...which made running a heck of a lot harder (running and weeing at the same time is not the kind of multitasking I want to be expert at). I know, TMI, but now it’s fixed and I can’t wait to exercise without a tena lady for company. And I know I’m not the only one to experience if it’s stopping anyone from exercising, know that there are solutions and you don’t have to put up with it.

  6. I started running this year. I turned 50 and I always said running isn’t for me but here I am. I’m still doing 90 second intervals running and 2 minutes walking for 30 minutes but it’s a start. And I re to start as slow as you can until I can run Defoe the full 30 minutes so that really helps.

  7. Good job Kat! You never regret a run, if I'm feeling a bit blech I'll tell myself to just go out and you can turn around and come home if it all feels crap. It never does. Socks can be important, just need to know if you like thick or thin (thin for me, hate my feet getting hot). I don't generally listen to music, with the exception of marathons around 30km when I might need it - eye of the tiger, 80s , Justin timberlake, all the classics! Lol. Running keeps me sane (ish, as possible with 2 young kids) and keeps me in shape. Pay attention to niggles, rotate your shoes, sunscreen in summer, keep the boobs strapped down. Most of all, enjoy!

  8. Just started my zero to 5k journey week 3..i love it. But have self doubt as to whether i'll fine 5k in one go. Time will tell. I love your posts and running kit one would be great xxx

  9. Yes well done! I did do the C25K it took me 9 months not 9 weeks as I found some weeks so hard I had to keep repeating them! My tip don’t give up. I then did a beginners course with Running Sisters, they have branches all over it cost £15 for 8 weeks and that coded a years membership to the group. That was 5 years ago and I still run with them every week. My tips, don’t get carried away with feeling like you have to go further and faster. 30 to 40 mins 5 to 8K is my limit and always will be. Enjoy it don’t make it a chore!

  10. You have to add Love is a Battlefield to that list of yours!!

  11. Meant to also add, if there is a parkrun near you then they are awesome to do! Saturday morning though so some family negotiation does sometimes need to take place!

  12. Way to go Kat! You are right that you never regret going for a run. I started running at age 55. I'm 63 now and try to run 5k 2 or 3 times a week. I'm not too strict, if I only get 2 runs in thats ok. I'm just very grateful to be able to run.

  13. Well done! I have been running for 14 years and I think the important thing to remember is that running should be for life. Don't try to go too far or fast. You will be able to carry on running into your old age with fewer injuries if you are sensible, run slower, enjoy your runs and the environment around you rather than checking your time on your running watch. Don't be afraid to run/walk either. This is still a great form of exercise and, again, will ensure that you have fewer injuries and can continue for years. Some running clubs have too competitive a mentality. People who run great distances or are too fast or competitive often get injured and have to give up.

  14. Well done! I did the couch to 5k thing about 3 years ago, like everyone else here I thought I would NEVER be able to run for 30 minutes straight and was very pleased with myself when I finished it. I was then quite happy carrying on doing 2-3 5k runs a week until a work friend talked me into the British Vitality 10k a couple of years ago. Again, I thought I’d never run 10k in one go but on the day I somehow managed to do it - the thought of a medal and people cheering you on turned out to be a huge motivator! This month I managed my first (and last if my knees have anything to do with it!) half marathon. This running a little bit further just sneaks up on you! Sign up to run a Race For Life or Runthrough 5k, they are great fun but also really at keeping you motivated to get out of the front door.

  15. Have begun the Coach to 5k on your recommendation and am loving running along to your playlist - thank you ! ����‍♀️ ��