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Run, Charlotte, Run.

Running can be a daunting idea and being discouraged by others makes it even worse but I promise if I can do it, you can too.

Last year around March time, I decided it would be a great idea to take part in the Great North Run for Cystic Fibrosis. I soon figured out after doing a 1.2 mile run that it was going to be far from fun. I could barely run for a single run without having to stop and would struggle so much I would be going home with frustrated tears. I was so angry at myself for thinking I could do this and having such a big expectation of myself. I then got a new job as a waitress and somehow managed to find a job that was filled with experienced long distance runners.

After a week of working there I was told exactly where I was going wrong, as if it was totally obvious, and if you're struggling to find your rhythm Maybe can save you.

1. You're running with headphones in.

Before each run I would get up my 'run' playlist, and blast the likes of Beyonce and Rihanna. I chose fast songs with a heavy beat to keep me motivated. But by doing this my footfall was following the beat of the songs so meant I wasn't keeping a steady pace and going far too quick for what I could do as a beginner, so meant I was burning all my energy in the first 6 minutes. So it meant goodbye headphones and goodbye Beyonce.

2. Run, 1, 2, 1, 2.

Count your steps. My mum taught me to count a steady beat so I would build up a rhythm by just counting my left foot fall. This is the best trick I've learnt so far, and still use to this day. I promise you'll get your stamina back instantly.

3. Plan your route.

On Strava you can 'route plan' and choose a route that you will enjoy and have far you want to run. So I normally plan a route that I know well and is mostly flat, to encourage me to do longer. This also means that you know how much further you had to go when you reach certain points.

4. Try not to talk to others about times or distances you have been running with others.

Some people are just magically born with the ability to run 5 miles in half an hour but I was not one of those people. Speaking to others and finding out they can run twice as fast as you and have been training half the time can break your heart bit, but its good to remember that you aren't competing, you are doing what's best for you and your body. I never tried to beat my time from my previous run it was all about finishing the run and feeling amazing after it.

5. Bananas and water.

The ultimate running friends, the only ones you will need! Drink at least two glasses of water and a banana at least half an hour before your run! Try and stretch before and after and keep it fun!

Happy running! And yes, I completed my first ever GNR and hope to again this year (F off Miss Rona)

Char x

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