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I’ll Run If You Run: Katy’s story

Published On: 3rd August 2016

I’m a completely self-taught runner and I'm absolutely no expert. I've just found what suits me by trial and error – I’d encourage everyone training for the Bury 10k to do the same!

Katy treated

I’m a mum of two teenage girls and I only took up running properly 10 years ago, as a way of chilling out when the kids were little.

When I started out, I decided to do a bit of training to see if I could finish a 5K without walking. I wanted to get fit and chose running because it could fit around looking after the children.

It's so convenient because you can run for a short period of time, you can run anywhere and you can run any distance, so it was just an easy form of exercise for me to do.

From 5k to finishing marathons

Bit by bit and without really realising it, I started to run that little bit further and started to set myself new, small goals – I just got the running bug! I liked being out in the fresh air and having a bit of time on my own, and it just grew from there.

I’ve since gone on to complete three marathons and if I’m completely honest, I don’t quite know how I got to this stage.

I progressed to a few 5k runs, then took on 10k runs, and before I knew it, I was running a couple of half marathons.

I gave myself three years to train up for a marathon and then went on to complete my third last year. When I thought about it in the past, I thought there was no way I could run that distance, but I’m telling you... if I can, you can!

Running is good for the mind

Obviously I enjoy being a fitter version of myself but, for me, the main reason I love running is how it benefits my mental wellbeing.

Running helps me to process what I've done in the day and plan for the next. It helps me relax, sleep better and there’s nothing better than being outside in the fresh air.

I recommend treating yourself when you’re training too – it’s a great morale booster and it’s a little reward on its own!

I lost a few toenails when doing marathon training so I was delighted when I realised I could have them replaced with acrylic ones until they grew back. Don’t worry, I’ve never lost any toenails training for a 10k!

Katy stretch

Katy’s top tips

Like I say, I’m absolutely no expert but I am testament to what’s possible when you put your mind to it!

A few things to think about, and that have helped me along the way, are:

  • Work out how you prefer to run and what fits into your routine, for example running on your own or in a group, running in the morning or the evening. There are lots of options including some really good organised runs like Great Local Run at Burrs Country Park on Sunday mornings or the Heaton Park Run on Saturday mornings. Then there’s always local running clubs like Bury Athletics Club that meet at the track on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
  • When building up your distances in training, just add a little extra loop to your standard route, near to the beginning rather than leaving it to the end. That way, when you are getting tired at the end you know you can keep going as you’ve done it many times before.
  • The hardest step is to get out of the house. There is always a reason not to run – time constraints, other commitments, the weather! But if you can just get out and take the first few steps then you've done the most difficult bit.
  • Running is a really friendly sport. I’ve always found the people at the running clubs or at the organised runs are so welcoming and encouraging. Even if you run on your own, you often see the same people out running and when you pass them they always nod, smile or say hello.

The main advice I’d give to anyone training for the Bury 10k is to gradually build up your distance in training and then on the day, just go for it!

Think positive, remember all the training you’ve done and then just try to enjoy it. However bad you might feel during the race, it will be far outweighed by how great you’ll feel when you cross the finish line.

Favourite song to run to:

Queen – Don't Stop Me Now. It blasted out of the speakers at my first Great Manchester Run when I was struggling about at about 7k – it really kept me going and when I hear it now, it reminds me of that day and how far I’ve come with my running.

Favourite post-run treat

I just have to jump in a hot shower with a cup of tea if it’s a winter run!

After each marathon, I’ve celebrated at our local Italian restaurant (in flip flops because my feet were too sore for proper shoes!)

Favourite place to run:

I’ve run in many nice places (I even take my running kit on holiday) but I've not found anywhere I prefer running more than Heaton Park. I run there quite early on a weekend morning and at that time of day, it's quiet and absolutely beautiful.

One thing you won’t go running without:

A decent pair of trainers. I'm happy to run in any old running kit but always buy the same make of trainer and when they wear out, I just buy another pair exactly the same.

Favourite motivational quote:

I've not really got one of those, just keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Any last words before the Bury 10k?

Just get started, stick at it and gradually build up your distance. You will feel a great sense of achievement when it's done. If I can do it, anyone can!