Get Running, Week 2 – The voices of sweet experience
Here’s how some of the people who took our courses last year feel about running now. Read on and be inspired
Eoin, Feilim and Ailbhe Brown from Kinvara, Co Galway, at a run in Central Park in New York; it was their reward for completing the original programme.
Julie Drew: ‘The most unexpected benefit of running has been mental; I can’t believe how much better I feel since I started.’
Welcome to Week 2 of Get Running, our online running course that will bring you from your couch to being able to run 5k in 30 minutes. If you find the thought of that daunting, or even impossible, read on to see how some of the many thousands of people who took our courses last year feel about running, and to see how it has made such an impact on many people’s lives.
You can sign up to the programme at any time, at irishtimes.com/getrunning. When you sign up, you’ll receive an introductory email, and then an email every week with links to our videos, articles and training plans.
As you move into Week 2, you’ll be out three times a week, and running a little bit more than you did last week. If you find that difficult, you can always restart at Week 1.
Remember, you aren’t competing with anyone. This is about you.
Eoin Brown wrote to us after completing the 5k beginners’ programme, and again after the summer:
“I just wanted to say a big thank you for your terrific Get Running course with The Irish Times. I’m sure everyone who completed the course has their own story but this is ours.
“My wife, Ailbhe, and I decided to try it out with our 18-year-old son, Feilim, who has autism. We were looking for a project to do with him after Christmas to get him out and fit. We both used to run, more than 25 years ago. We followed the programme faithfully each week through rain, hail and storms. We started a week late and eventually did our last 30 minutes.
“We did our first race on St Patrick’s Day, and finished together with a time of 31:34. Feilim is still on a high after succeeding at something he had no idea about eight weeks ago. We were really chuffed to have finished and now have the bug, including Feilim who has really taken to it well.
“Apart from the videos and gradual training plan, I think one of the secrets of the success for us has been not knowing what the following week’s programme will be and just concentrating on that week’s tasks.
“Having completed the 10k course, we are still running about three times a week and at our most recent parkrun, at Poppintree in Dublin, we each recorded new personal bests. I sometimes go back over the 5-10k programme when looking for some variation in our weekly runs.
“Our running gear goes everywhere with us now and we have more runs lined up for this year, including lots more parkruns.
“In fact, a couple of weeks ago, my brother and his wife were home from Texas and nine members of my family, including Ailbhe and Feilim, ran the Poppintree parkrun again.
“If this had been last year we would have been cheering from the side, not taking part. It’s all your fault – but we really enjoy it, all three of us.”
Julie Drew started the Get Running programme a year ago today:
“I started on January 20th, 2014, and ran my first race, a 5k, on March 17th. It felt like a miracle. I signed up for the eight-week course after Christmas last year as I wanted to get more active and lose some of the festive pounds. I had run in the past but always ended up overdoing it, hurting myself and giving up.
“I liked Mary’s structured approach of running three days a week, building up to being able to run for 30 minutes after eight weeks. I followed the programme strictly, which meant I built up the miles slowly, allowing my body to adapt and therefore avoiding injury, which is every runner’s nightmare.
“Every week, Mary’s training videos give tips about different aspects of running, such as good form, keeping a training log and the importance of stretching after a run. These have given me good running habits.
“I followed on with the 10k programme, which got me up to 10k with no injuries. I have now completed two 10k races, several 5k, and am regularly running at least 5k in my everyday runs.
“It’s hard to believe I could have achieved this in less than a year.
“The most unexpected benefit of running has been mental; I can’t believe how much better I feel since I started.
“Some days it is a slog, and others you do feel the euphoric “runner’s high”, but either way the benefits last way longer than the run.
“It really has lifted my mood and made me feel more enthusiastic about life. The physical effects are also nice – burning calories and toning up – but the feel-good factor is what I do it for.
“ I highly recommend Get Running; it could change your life if you let it.”