A beginner to exercise, where to start!?

You may be reading this and be thinking that you might like to start exercise but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’re reading this just wondering how I am getting on in my efforts to learn to run and complete a half marathon all within less than 20 weeks!

Have I changed my diet or meals due to adding exercise into my life?

I am still following Slimming World and on the whole I have not changed what I am eating. Slimming World isn’t a diet just a way of eating healthily so there is no reason I couldn’t follow it whilst exercising. However if I am running in the morning I make sure I have a breakfast that includes berries and bananas as they are good for slow release energy I believe, but otherwise I don’t know anything more other than changing a little to increase carbohydrates in the build up to a long run. I have also tried to drink more as I have always been someone who never drinks much but due to exercising now I am trying to drink plenty so I don’t get dehydrated!
Pre run breakfast with a banana

Have I followed any particular plans for building up exercise?

I have had a look at the couch to 5k programme and used that to give me an idea of where to start. I decided that for me I felt I didn’t want to follow a set plan and I have just taken it at my own speed for the last fortnight with running and walking alternately as much as I am able. Already in the few weeks since I started I have improved a little and now can run/jog a little further in each burst than I could when I first started though I still have a long way to go.

How do I monitor my progress?

So far I have been using the Runkeeper to track my route, distance and speed however on a few of my recent runs it has not recorded it correctly so I am going to try other apps and see what I find that works. I know there are expensive watches you can get that do this but as a new runner I wouldn’t know where to start in buying one and which are better so at the moment I am just going to stick with my phone until I know a bit more about these things to know what I am looking for. I have also been monitoring my progress on the less technical way of “how out of breath I am” so I am definitely feeling a bit fitter in the 8 runs I have done so far so that is progress to me!

Have I bought any special running kit and do I intend to?

I started running in just clothes I already had, some comfy jogging bottom type trousers and a loose top with a hoody or jumper. I have running trainers that were bought from Asda in their sale a few months ago for £4. I do not intend on spending much money on running things and will only buy things when I know that I need them and am sure it is what is right for me.

So far I have purchased a Govivo running bum-bag which is pretty handy though a little too big for me which is irritating as it keeps moving around and trying to slip down when I am running. I have bought some running clothes from Asda in the sale, I bought 3 tops and some 3/4 capri pants for £14 altogether and have been thoroughly impressed with the quality and it just goes to show I think that you don’t need to spend much however maybe I will be saying different in a few months as I become a more experienced runner! I have bought an attack alarm that fits around my wrist because I go out on my own for safety. It was only around £6 so I think is an essential. The apps I have used to track my progress are all free and I use some cheap basic earphones! My Asda trousers are size small, 8-10 and too big for me so I have bought some new trousers as I found running in jogging bottoms a bit too warm and not that comfortable. The new ones I have bought are from Gap and actually girls ones as they fit me perfectly, age 10-11! I have not run in them yet but they fit well so I will update when I have done some runs in them! Lets hope they don’t try to fall down like the Asda ones that were too big because I am pretty sure the world doesn’t need to see that!

I know I will need to look into running shoes soon but as a new runner this is a complete minefield to me so I will let you know how I get on! I have read a lot of different recommendations but I suppose everyone is different, if only I could try them all for a few runs and then decide! As a new runner and someone who has never exercised before all these things are quite a challenge knowing what is good and what isn’t but time will tell what I find that works for me!

Pre run selfie! I look like a runner and
I run a little does this make me a runner?

Why do I run on my own?

My confidence is very low still though it is improving and as such I am still preferring to run on my own however as mu confidence improves I intend to go on some runs with Stuart and then work up towards his sister and some friends. I know it probably sounds silly to some people but to me I do not want to be put off running and want to be sure I feel comfortable in myself before braving running with others! Obviously by August and the Mansfield 10k and ultimately the Great North Run I need to feel happy with being seen running by people! The area I have been running so far I have spoke to a few people waking dogs whilst running and felt less embarrassed than I did when I first started so I feel I have improved! I am only human and do find this a struggle but I am determined to overcome it.

How has my health and weight been affected by running?

So far I do not believe it has made any difference to my weigh and my results on the scales at Slimming World each week seem to be what I would expect given my food that week. My asthma has been affected by my running although it is likely the pollen has influenced this also. Upon speaking to my doctor I have been started on a different inhaler to try and prevent any further asthma attacks brought on by exercise and I am very optimistic that these will decrease as my medication helps. I have currently got a knee injury that I somehow gained whilst running yesterday however with a few days rest I am pretty sure this will heal and there is no way that either that or my asthma will stop me!

Do I still feel confident in doing the Great North Run in September?

Yes, Yes, Yes, even if I am not able to run the whole 13.1 miles I am thoroughly confident I will complete the half marathon and I am determined to do it as well as I possibly can. I have started thinking of fundraising ideas as well as asking for sponsorship to raise money for the Samaritans so watch my Social media for prize draws and such like if you wish to take part.

During my fundraising for the Samaritans I am hoping to do raffles, prize draws and other similar things so if by any chance you work for a company that is able to donate a prize or you have any celebrity friends who may offer their support please contact me using the email justaveragejen@gmail.com

If you enjoy reading my blog please do feel free to click through the different tabs to find weight loss tips, reviews, light reading, giveaways, recipes and lots more! if you would like to sign up to receive my weekly newsletter containing all that weeks posts direct to your inbox so you never miss a giveaway or post that might interest you just pop your email address in the box below and don’t forget to also click to the confirmation email you will receive.
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  1. Jayne Holt
    May 18, 2016 / 2:53 am

    Hi Jen found reading your blog really interesting and inspirational can I ask how you manage to stay on track at slimming world?

  2. May 21, 2016 / 4:11 pm

    Just wanted to let you know how much I like your recepies , tonight I am cooking a big pan of veg cooked in passata , I put some herbs and garlic in the sauce . I will me eating it for the next couple of days lol .

  3. May 21, 2016 / 4:11 pm

    Just wanted to let you know how much I like your recepies , tonight I am cooking a big pan of veg cooked in passata , I put some herbs and garlic in the sauce . I will me eating it for the next couple of days lol .

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