The Reluctant Runner

By Carys Brain

This may sound strange coming from someone writing for a running app, but I am not a runner. I don’t even like running. Of course, I understand how beneficial it can be and I’ve always been jealous of people who love to run. You know the type, who moan if they’re forced to take a couple of days out of their training regime or religiously analyse the data from their fitness tracker. My own mother is one; she regularly sends me pictures of her trail running on a Sunday morning and sets herself the target of covering over 1000km a year. It is equal parts impressive and insane. 

Clearly that runner’s gene hasn’t been passed on to me and despite various attempts to catch the running bug, so far, I seem to be immune. You’ll find my name appear sporadically on Parkrun rankings – including an ill-fated Christmas morning race in Australia where 30-degree heat resulted in festive heatstroke. I’ve even completed a half-marathon because once I sign up for something I refuse to lose face. But each time I’ve run out of steam or dropped my routine once an event is over and ended up hanging up my trainers. 

Like many, the pandemic has left me feeling sedentary and out of shape. The last time I went for a jog was in the novel days of the first lockdown when our Instagram friends told us to ‘Run 5, Donate 5’ for the NHS – you forgot about that trend, didn’t you? And so, I’ve decided it’s time to give running another chance. 

Because I’ve come to learn that the pressing weight of expectation is the only thing that forces me to follow through, I’ll be documenting my running journey here at Buddy Up. Over the coming months, as I lace up my trainers, I’ll be trying out different tips and techniques to build a sustainable regime, from figuring out playlists that will get me moving to local events to keep me motivated. My hope is that it will become a sort of ‘how to’ guide from someone who needs plenty of guidance themselves. 

Along the way, I’ll chat to legitimate runners to find out what works for them and get some much-needed advice. In the truest sense of ‘all the gear, no idea’, I’ll try out different kit and gadgets. And if you have any questions or suggestions about how to improve your training, I’ll be here to put them to the test. 

Who knows maybe I’ll even fall in love with running – stranger things have happened. So, follow and find out!

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