Fitness

Saturday 26 July 2014

The end is in sight and I'm ready: Bring on the 5k

Editor's letter

Yvonne Hogan

Published 14/07/2014|02:30

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Yvonne Hogan

BY the time that you read this column, the race will be over. It is Friday as I write and I must say I am almost looking forward to the big event on Sunday.

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I am quietly confident that I will be able to complete the 5k, even if I have to mix it up a bit between walking, jogging and running.

In the last week, I have trained three times in the gym and gone out for one last session with my old pal the Couch to 5k App.

The run went well – I ran for 20 minutes! I did it very, very slowly, but I didn't collapse at the end of it so I figure that if I keep that same pace – and have some good music sorted for my Walkman – I should be okay.

Also, Frank Greally assured me that I would gain extra stamina and energy from my fellow runners so I am also counting on that.

I don't think running will ever replace strength training for me, but I am absolutely thrilled with my decision to give it a go.

It brought me back to fitness, and having the seven-week countdown really pushed me to stop making excuses and make time for myself, my health, my sanity.

I set my alarm and I got up at 6am. I prepared everything I needed for the following day the night before. I started looking at what I ate. Within a couple of weeks, I was back in the gym and feeling like my old self again.

My body is really thanking me for all this activity. I haven't lost much weight, but I feel taller and straighter. I have fewer aches and pains. My stress has reduced drastically.

I also eat better and sleep better – except, of course, when my daughter is sick and the only thing that settles her is to sleep with her feet in my face.

I have also learned a lot about myself while running. I learned that I am a bit lazy when it comes to endurance, for example, and I have started working on that.

I learned too all about the joy of being outside in the fresh air at the crack of dawn, before there is anyone else on the streets. I will definitely take that lesson with me and do my cardio outdoors from now on.

Those of you who are interested can see the results of the Fit Race inserted in Sport in today's paper.

Next week, I will tell you how I got on and tell you more about the next upcoming FIT challenge.

This one is a much more holistic challenge, and I am hoping that lots of you – be you runners, cyclists, swimmers or rowers – will join me as I take it on.

As Gerry Duffy outlines in his column below, it always is good to mix it up!

Twitter: @yvonnehogan

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