5 Lessons from my First Run

I survived a 4km run with the ELLE Running Club!

In an office full of fast and furious runners, lacing up your trainers and hitting the pavement is, well, a bit daunting. I've watched as the team arrived back on a Monday last May, euphoric after a We Own the Night 10km on Saturday. I have been jealous as Editor-in-Chief Lorraine heads off come rain or shine (mostly rain) for her 5km jog home. I have been baffled as the serious trainer-heads signed up for half marathons, then marathons, then ultra marathons. And while it has occasionally crossed my mind to join them, I have been too terrified that I’ll embarrass myself by collapsing in an unfit heap after 30 seconds. But Lorraine was having none of this and so, last Wednesday, she chased me out of the office, as one of three newbie runners in the ELLE Running Club. Trainer Tim Weeks and the Nike team came along too. Here is what I learned.

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  1. Time doesn’t matter. Having not run ever – or at least since aged 13, where it took me 20 mins to do one mile around the school field which, as the PE teacher said, ‘I would have been faster walking. Backwards.’ – it worried me that I would be the slowest. Tim says this isn’t remotely important. Just put your trainers on, get outside and enjoy it.

  2. It is enjoyable. I was honestly expecting to hate every second. But getting out in the sun in the middle of the day gave me a hit of endorphins that lasted all afternoon.

  3. Kill the music. One of the benefits of running with friends or colleagues is that you can chat – this in itself is a revelation, as I thought I would need all my puff for just breathing. Replacing Girls Aloud with gossip actually took my mind off the stitch in my side.

  4. You can just stop. ELLE Picture Assistant Lucy and I stopped running and started walking halfway through. Having caught our breath, we had enough energy to keep going back to the office.

  5. You will want to do it again. This was perhaps the biggest surprise. After a shower and a sandwich, I felt like I could do it all again. And so I will, this Wednesday. Catch up on my progress then. Perhaps I might even make it round Victoria Park for We Own the Night, on May 10.

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