In 2012, I made something of a personal pact with myself to start the year by taking on a new challenge. It was an Olympic year- and, more than that, it was the year that London- a sprawling city right on my doorstep- would host the games. A once in a lifetime opportunity to experience something pretty special and get involved in some small way. So, it made sense to shape the aforementioned new year challenge as something sporty- and with a distinct lack of bike/swimming pool/personal gym/equine companion, I happened upon running. Yep, four years ago (almost to the day), I dug out a pair of trainers last seen forming a staple part of my school P.E kit, threw on some baggy Topshop leggings and a t-shirt which had definitely seen better days, and hit the ground running. Well, running for a little while, then walking, then feeling like I was going to be violently sick, then a bit more running...you get the idea!
There are no shortcuts
Things will hurt
There's no getting away from this one, I'm afraid! After about six months of regular (3-4 times a week) running, I bid a fond farewell to one of my toenails and was starting to suffer from shin splints. For this reason, it's essential to make sure you're properly kitted out from the get go, and I can't emphasise the importance of rest if you're feeling beaten up. Complimentary exercise like Yoga is brilliant for building muscle strength and flexibility, ultimately helping you to perform better in the long run, and for me, stretches to reduce tension in the hamstrings, IT band and piriformis have been complete lifesavers- and serious pain relievers too!
Have you made any fitness resolutions for 2016?
(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)