Conquer your running fears

Tips from Running Like a Girl author Alex Heminsley

My first run was a disaster: I could not get to the end of my road without having to stop, wheezing, dizzy and bright red.

This month I run my fifth marathon, and it’s only because I decided to keep going and deal with every runners five worst fears

1) Looking like an idiot

Have you seen running kit lately? There are some incredible looks you can rock in the park these days, from bright, patterned running tights to rain and wind cheaters you that wouldn't look out of place in a club.


Add to that semi permanent lashes and some bright nails and you own the track.

As for the sweat – wear it with pride.

2) Pain and injury

Remember, pain is a response – your body’s working hard and feeling a little burn is a sign that it’s making the right response.

Better feel it now than when your body’s packing in ten years earlier than your fitter friends.

3) Not being good enough at it

Your only competition is you, and you’re the one out there putting in the hours.


Distance running has taught me that all ages and all body shapes can have incredible reserves of power and we can all do astonishing things.

Find support in the crowd, not just competition.

4) Needing the loo

Knowledge is power – run where you know your nearest toilets are.

If it’s race day just make sure you’re the girl with the tissues. Festival rules apply.


Yeah, you might miss the odd night out if you’re training hard. But as rave runs, night runs and events like We Own the Night increase in popularity you might start to realise that running is the party.

Wear the neon, hear the beat, feel the endorphins.

Running Like a Girl (Hutchinson) by Alex Heminsley out now

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