If you know me at all, you’ll know that I am not a runner/jogger, EVEN at my fittest it has never been ‘my bag’. Don’t get me wrong if anyone was in trouble or there was some bubbles, smoked salmon and raw spinach at the finish line, I would sprint that 30 metres tops (see pic) faster than Usain Bolt pre 2017 (let’s not mention his final race). And btw Patsy knows who she is,  she even named her cats after us, although her candles are amazing (The Pure Candle Company). I’ve always been the unfortunate Edina. !!!!

Now, that’s not to say that jogging/running (I can never decide what is the best terminology, jogging seems so 1980’s, so let’s go with running) is not an enjoyable pastime. Millions of people around the world love running for health, fitness, window shopping, charitable endeavors and even relaxation, bonkers but each to their own – technically known as INDIVIDUALITY. The person genetically closest to me, is a 5km, 10km, 1/2 marathon lover (and is amazing with it) and I’m the Health Coach, Personal Trainer sister- go figure (give me a bike, as long as it’s outside or some roller blades any day).

Once, many moons ago, I was asked to lead the warm up for a charity 10km in Dorset. Out of pure fear at the thought of so many people (500) watching me on a stage doing hamstring curls, I made a friend come and do it with me. I should have thought that through as he was into triathlons at that time. I wish now that there had been a photo of my face when we finished the warm up, waved off all the runners and he said ” right, let’s go”. I thought he meant home, OH NO he meant run the 10km. He didn’t take well to my reply of “I don’t do that!!!!!!!!!”. Long long time and very sore knees later, I managed to complete it with the only thing getting me round that sodding 10km was the thought of other people taking part seeing the ‘Warm Up’ girl being carted off by the medics. And to make matters worse, the local newspaper photographer decided that my onstage partner in crime was clearly more photogenic that I, and took 100’s of great pics of him and I got one pic of, can you guess ? Oh yes my ARSE !!! My dear husband took a great deal of effort, bless him, to obtain that photo, get it printed and framed. I really did try hard to be grateful.

Anyway, back to what I was supposed to being talking about- to run or not to run for the non runner (or out of shape runner).

This morning, I pretty much knew that I had an hour and a half to kill before I would have to pick up a poorly girl from school. The school is 30 mins away from where we live so there was no point in heading home to turn around again. So last night, I decided the body needed a bit of a cardio kick. Luckily the weather this morning was beautiful although the boy and I got soaked this afternoon after 15mins on a tennis court, UK weather changeable, really!  I decided that I would head to the beach. I didn’t actually know where the nearest one was but I’m known for having a good sense of direction and happily found one after 15 mins driving & chatting to Patsy. If only I had turned right instead of left after leaving school, I would have discovered it was at the end of the street – you have to laugh really.

It really was beautiful, I know I got lucky with the weather but it got me thinking (HENCE THIS DIRE TRIBE). For people like me, that aren’t the biggest fans of running, but want to get outside and move, what can make it easier? I decided to impart my wisdom onto you once more with my 10 helpful tips for the jogger/non jogger, runner/non runner, walker/non walker.

1 – DECIDE the night before that you are doing this (unless its pee’ing down and then stay in bed with a cuppa doing hip raises).

2 – As soon as you wake up, toilet, teeth then straight into your ACTIVE WEAR (fav video, watch here). NO make up required, although I can’t leave the house without mascara, I’ll be honest.

3 – Go somewhere YOU think is BEAUTIFUL. For me, it’s somewhere with water (sea, loch, river) but for others it may be countryside, a park, forest, a street so you can peak at other peoples interior decoration. If you go somewhere boring, are you really going to do it again ? CONSISTENCY is key with exercise.

4 – WARM UP – ie, ‘take a turn around the room’ / pathway, thank you Miss Jane Austen. Just walk, do not head off with the prowess of supremely fit and talented Laura Muir  (google her if you don’t know who she is, fabulous Scottish woman and she warms up too, it’s cool to be warm). If you don’t, you’re more than likely to give up far sooner and ache like hell as you’re muscles will not be happy with you having had no chance to wake up.

5 – TAKE YOUR TIME – If you haven’t run before or not for a while at least, careering off full tilt (after your warm up) is going to knacker you in no time and then the ‘I’m crap, let’s not bother’ will kick in.

6 – If walking, TALK to someone on the phone, you won’t realise how far you’ve gone.

7 – Get the ‘BANGING TUNES’ on (god I sound old) and if you feel like it, SING OUT LOUD. Keeps people away from you which can be a bonus lol. Create an ‘I can do this’ playlist, shall not share mine but BonJovi is always on there somewhere mixed with some old Sh’bam tunes, this morning I very nearly burst into a GLEE song, not cool!

8 – MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE. Count the lamp posts or fence pillars. After you’ve warmed up, head off with a gentle jog for say 5 lamp posts, slow down and walk for 2 lamp posts and repeat that a few times. How does that feel? Maybe you could do more, maybe you need to do less for now. Maybe you’d prefer to go by time and do 3 minutes jog, 1 min walk. I never have a watch so end up getting tangled in my ear phones trying to look at my phone (music) strapped to my arm, funny how my old fav film was Calamity Jane (Calamity Elaine, more like). Anyway, again the word INDIVIDUALITY comes into play. How long or short you are comfortable going for has no bearing on any other bugger and DO NOT let anyone tell you otherwise (including you). The lovely thing about counting lamp posts, apart from it being so easy and wire free, is that it’s easy to INCREASE it gently after a few sessions (a good thing to do). Next time you could try to run 6 and walk 2 etc etc. Get the picture ???

9 – SMILE at the other walkers/runners/sit on the benchers etc. It not only will make someones day and cheer them and you up but it can also be hilarious when some of them look in horror  ‘how very dare you smile at me’. SUCH FUN !!!!!

10 – Finally, SIT DOWN at the end (post stretch) and take in your beautiful surroundings. BE MINDFUL, let the brain chill, the breathing come back to normal and feel very very proud of yourself.

SO take what you will or won’t from my (I am actually) educated personal observations, musings and training and thank you for reading my twaddle again. If any of the above has been of use to you, do let me know and if anyone would like to run properly, I’ll put you in touch with my darling sister in the North.

Have an amazing weekend.