Today I’ll be talking to a wonderful friend of mine called Jordan. She has been running for just over a year and has recently run 10k, and is now training for a half marathon.
When I first mentioned the possibility of doing parkrun with me one day, I got a firm no. And a laugh! But lockdown saw Jordan discover a love of running… so read on to hear how she got started!
What inspired you or prompted you to give running a go?
Running got me out the house!
Lockdown was tough in many ways and although I was keeping my fitness up through home workouts and a set of dumbbells (or re-doing the famous Insanity programme led by the great Shaun T), I soon realised it would be days before I’d left the house for a breath of fresh air.
My sleep was quickly affected and I struggled to settle at night so I needed to do something, so I purchased a skipping rope. Yep! I thought to myself a cheeky 10-20 minute skip a day gets me out the house for the fresh air I greatly needed, was a different form of workout I’d enjoy and I could do this right by the house. Needless to say this did not last as long as I hoped. I definitely enjoyed it now and then, but it was hard to stay consistent as I got bored very fast!
The moment I finished I swore to myself I would “Never run again!”
Roll on the 13th April where I was nominated to run 5km for the NHS. It was a social media trend surfacing at the time that involved running 5km, donating £5 and then nominating 5 others to undergo the challenge as a way of supporting the NHS and all those on the frontline working through the unprecedented pandemic we were facing. I had been watching it all unfold on social media for a few days and then bam, my turn! Uh-oh!
Despite the panic that came about inside me I am always up for a challenge so I jumped straight on to Google maps and worked out a route I could run that would achieve the distance – and mentally prepared myself for the run the following day!
April 14th – my first 5km! The weather was beautiful, blue skies and bright sunshine but my route was filled with hills and lots of roads to cross, and with little experience on how to run right and well, I found the entire run uncomfortable and very difficult.
Nonetheless I reached the set distance with a few stop /starts and hated every minute of it. The moment I finished I swore to myself I would “Never run again!” Despite the grinning selfie I uploaded you would never believe how much I did not enjoy it! Anyway it was over and I was glad that I would never have to do that again! She said…
A week had passed and I’m not sure what came over but I took myself out for a 20min run. I don’t enjoy walking alone but a run would allow me to get the fresh air and time out of the house I desperately needed. As the weeks and months of lockdown continued I kept finding myself grabbing my trainers and using my lunch breaks to run for 20 minutes, with the odd week going for 30 minutes.
There was no consistency to when I would run it would be one day here and there. Sometimes it would be weeks to a month before I’d run again, but in all this time with my sporadic runs I was finding myself growing a real love for it. I’ve always heard runners talk of this runners high and I truly understand it now.
As my runs weren’t consistent I wanted to follow a plan that would get me into the habit of running at least x3 times a week. I started C25K on September 28th 2020 and I’ve not looked back since. On my third run of week 7 I ran my first 10km, with two weeks of C25k to complete. There is no feeling quite like it after you’ve finished a run.
Do you think the consistency was key to your success? If so, how do you motivate yourself to be consistent?
Absolutely! When I was running here and there between the months of April and September I really struggled with my runs. Although I was going out still, I found it very difficult to progress my distance or pace and more importantly enjoy my runs. Running consistently has been the key to being the runner I am today. I wouldn’t be where I am without having followed C25k.
My motivation comes from that feeling I get when I finish my runs. There’s no feeling quite like a runners high! No matter the weather or thinking it wasn’t the best of runs I always feel amazing and have a real sense of accomplishment after every run. Programmes and training plans also motivate me greatly.
I’ve always been a huge fan of following a structure and C25k was great as a starter in getting me into running consistently. It’s also amazing seeing your own progress and knowing you did that solely by yourself and by never giving up. Hitting a new PB or running further than you ever thought you could do will always be a strong motivator for me. There is so much you get from running – and who doesn’t love competing with themselves?!
What did you do after C25K? Any apps or plans you’d recommend?
I finished C25K December 6th and already signed up to Run Up to Christmas to keep me running throughout the month of December. This was great as it gave me a real purpose to keep getting out and stay consistent. After this I downloaded the Nike Running Club app after it was mentioned by my nephew. Completely free and if you miss having a coach in your ear this is the app for you! I love that I can use the app to log a run (similar to Strava) or go on a guided run which is led by a running coach or athlete.
There’s so many runs on there to try as well as challenges (similar to Strava) & achievements to earn such as 40km run in one month. With the guided runs they have awesome playlists and the runs range from short, long, tempo, speed, fartlek, stories with pro athletes, mind space – the list is endless! It’s a great step on from C25k whether you like the coach in your ear or not as there’s so much to try out! Highly recommend!
Other than being consistent my biggest tip will be to listen to your body! It’s easy to get hooked on the runners high and want to get out there every day but recovery is key!
And finally, Any other recommendations or tips you have for anyone who is new to running?
Be sure to fuel yourself right and recover correctly as without that it’ll be hard to progress well! I would also say to not fear weather or new routes, just get out there! I used to think summer runs were the one until I ran in cooler seasons! Hills are not devil they just add to the wild adventure that we get from running great routes! Whether you’re out for 5mins or 50mins just get out there and enjoy the run or run/walk adventure, you’ll always be glad you did 🏃🏽♀️
Big thanks to Jordan for sharing her C25k and beyond experience! You can follow Jordan on Instragram at @ jordanrlbarrows