My name is Laura, and I recently completed the This Mum Runs Couch to 5K Absolute Beginners course on Clifton Down.
I’m a stay-at-home mum to my daughter aged 3.5 and my son aged 1.5. My running experience before TMR consisted of training for and then running a half marathon when my daughter was 13 months old. The day of the race was the last day I ran until this March, almost 2.5 years later! Let’s just say that I endured rather than enjoyed that time of my running career! When I started the C25K course this March, I could probably run no more than 5 minutes without stopping.
I first heard about TMR when I put a post on Facebook asking for local mums’ favourite fitness activities. I got a ton of replies, but there weren’t many classes or groups which would fit around my home life and so TMR won! I had realised, about a year after the birth of my second child, that a combination of lack of exercise and poor diet (think lots and lots of cake) had left me really, really unfit. I wanted to do something about it, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to motivate myself to go out and exercise by myself, and so I joined the C25K course and a local yoga class.
Before I started the course I was a little nervous. Who would I meet? Would I be able to keep up with the run schedule? Would everyone be much fitter than me? Would everyone laugh at my weird running style?
I soon realised there was no need to be worried. The first session was easier than I thought, as the course starts off gradually with a combination of walking and very short bursts of running. I felt encouraged that everyone (including me!) managed it and we all enjoyed chatting to each other, even though it was freezing up on the Downs in March!
Since finishing the C25K course, I have continued to run with three lovely ladies from the course and we all ran the Bristol 10K together in May. I feel stronger and more energetic, and more positive in general. Going from couch to 10K in less than three months has reminded me that when we put our minds to something, and put in the effort, we can achieve so much.
My motivation to keep running is to improve my fitness, health, and strength, and to work hard at being the best physical version of myself that I can be. I want to set myself goals and work towards them. I know I’m not fast, but that doesn’t bother me at all – I just want to enjoy it, have fun and get better at it. I am hoping to run the Bristol Half Marathon in September and to beat my previous time! I run with friends and I have started to go along to the TMR group runs when I can. My previous training was almost all solitary and the difference compared to now is amazing. I used to dread my training runs, now I look forward to them.
The advice I would give to mums who aren’t part of the This Mum Runs community is to try it! You have nothing to lose. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to go again. Though I predict that, like me, you will become a running enthusiast, and start telling all your friends (and some random strangers) about TMR. I am so glad I joined this group. I never knew before that running can be fun.
Our new term of courses started today – good luck to everyone running with us!
Week 1 of #MoreMumsRunning