Getting your mojo back on track

More than 11,500 people have signed up to ‘The Irish Times’ Get Running programme


Learning to run is hard. There’s just no way around that. Regardless of what level of fitness we are at or what mileage we are managing to log every week, none of us got to this stage without struggles along the way.

There are the weekend mornings when the alarm goes off and you roll back to sleep. There are even days when you’ve got your running gear on and you manage to find something else to do rather than get out the door.

With the Get Running beginners course, Mary Jennings has designed a programme that progresses at a pace that allows your body adapt slowly. But the mind can be a tricky customer, telling us we can’t do this, when our bodies are actually able.

One thing to help you stay on track is being part of a group, and with Get Running there is a large virtual community around the programme – in fact, more than 11,500 people have signed up.

Not only is it a large group, it’s spreading all over the world – we’ve got runners in locations as diverse as Melbourne, San Diego, Abu Dhabi and Sweden.

We’re delighted with the great feedback we’ve been getting from participants in Get Running and are sharing them here as they might inspire you to get out and get active or give you that resolve you need to stick with the programme.

Enjoying the programme
Through our Facebook page ( Jennifer McDonnell sent us this message: “Really enjoying the running progamme – I thought I would find it far more difficult but it seems to be pitched just right for us couch potatoes. Looking forward to week three and starting to believe that I might just be able to run for 30 minutes in six weeks’ time.”

Also commenting on Facebook was Anne Donegan, who was delighted to have completed week two. “Can’t believe four- minute runs done and feel great! Now makes week one runs of one and two mins so easy.”

By email ( we heard from Maeve, who thanked us for giving her back her mojo – not something Irish Times journalists are often accused of.

“I’m really enjoying my new regime,” wrote Maeve. “If you had said to me a few weeks ago that I would be jogging like this and for the amount of time that I am, I would probably not quite believe you. It was something I always wanted to do but thought that it’d be too much to start something like this in my late 40s. Thanks for giving me back my ‘get up n’ go’ mojo! Maeve.”

Fiona Tuohy has also been surprised at the transformation since she started following the training plan.

“I’m finding that having ‘homework’ is really helping and my trusty ipod stopwatch is my new best friend. I feel I have to complete the three sessions or I am letting myself down.

“Concentrating on breathing out has really helped this week as that can be my biggest problem and I just used to give up when I was out of breath. Even though I run alone, you feel you are part of something bigger and that definitely encourages me.”

Smiles in the office
But when it comes to generating smiles in the office, Lorraine Flynn definitely wins an award.

“My husband was working away all week so I was home alone with three small kids but I wasn’t going to let that stop me! As I couldn’t leave the house I decided to do my walk/run inside the house.

“Our house is a small house but I went from the front door to the back door over and over again. My children [ran] after me for some of it and sometimes even ran after me with their buggies thinking it was great fun chasing their mammy with their dollies.

“When they got tired they would sit on the bottom of the stairs until they were ready to start running again. Roll on week two.”

Many readers are finding that having a plan and regular reminders to run is proving more successful than previous efforts.

“It’s been great to get the advice and encouragement to go out running. It makes it easier to push yourself to brave the cold weather and it really is well worth the effort,” wrote Patricia Roe by email.

Although braving the cold weather is not something that Maurice Sadlier, who tweeted us last week, @IrishTimesRun, has to worry about. “Perfect accompaniment to #getrunning in DaresSalaam #JoeDuffy podcasts! So annoyed with callers you forget you are running.”

Keep your feedback coming. We want to hear your stories so that we can share them with the other participants.

We’re printing Get Running T-shirts and if we choose to publish your story or share it on Facebook, we’ll send you one of these highly prized limited edition items.

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