As a freelance editor, I sit at my computer most of the time getting up now and again to walk around. To get more exercise, I’ve been walking for about 40 minutes most days since about 2007 when I started listening to podcasts. I had heard that brisk walking was beneficial to a healthy lifestyle. However, I was always a little doubtful that my heart was getting enough exercise from this, so about 10 months ago, I decided to try regular light jogging to get my heart pumping and exercise my cardiovascular system.
I started in a small way at first, partly because I didn’t want to overdo it. I did consider myself reasonably fit for my age but this was breaking new ground for me. I hadn’t really run since I left school years ago. So I started jogging for short spells on my walk each day. Initially I tried a 200 metre short jog to loosen up followed about 5 minutes later by a longer jog for as long as I felt able. At the start, all I could manage was about 300 to 400 metres before my legs felt like jelly and I just couldn’t go on. Next day, my legs usually ached. To make matters worse, I must admit that my regular jogging route was essentially flat. I bought a pair of running shoes last Christmas to give me a little more incentive to carry on.
It was a few months before I got through this barrier and was able to jog 800 to 1000 metres. Again, in the early days when I got this far, I just had to stop. But a couple of months ago, I was finding that I could finally jog this distance and not feel dreadful at the end of it. In fact I felt quite good when I stopped each time and I realised I could go further. My legs didn’t feel like jelly any more and I wasn’t gasping for breath at the end of it. So, a couple of weeks ago, I dug out an old running top and tried to run a mile which I’d measured earlier with my car odometer. I managed it in just under 11 minutes. Not great I know, but I can feel my heart pumping as I go, and I know it’s doing me good. I know I can go further and that feels great.
So I’m now going to finally get some proper running gear and going to try to work up to 5 km, and when I reach that, I’ll enter a 5K somewhere local, and see how I get on. Not to win, just to take part and run with others. If you haven’t tried jogging, give it a go. Don’t overdo it, don’t give up when you feel terrible, you will get through it as your fitness builds up. If you are finding it hard at the start, try slowing your pace down a little to see if that helps.
How’s your fitness? Have you tried jogging or entering a 5K?