Is Is Running Blog

how i got off the sofa and became fit

Running from Couch to Marathons

How I managed to go from the sofa to the treadmill to running a full on marathon. This is the story of weight loss, motivitaion and determination.

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Mikes Running Blog

I have decided to get off my sofa and start motivating myself to run.

Getting your times down!


When I ran for the first time I was quick to wonder what a good time was.  I mean running a 5km race and finishing with 30minutes on the clock seemed a great start.  When I started to my mates it my bubble quickly burst and it became clear that I should be taking 5 to ten minutes off this.

So what is a good time and how do I go about reducing it?

First thing I need to look at is what runs through my head when I am running.  Someone once told me to have  a mantra running through my head.  Maybe my choice of supercalifragilisticexpialidociousAntidisestablishmentarianism and Defenestration was not snappy enough. Shorter words should lead to a faster stride!  So next time out I will try run, train, win!

Alternatively: I hate treadmills!



This is because the next part of my gain speed plan is to train harder and get that time down.

Previously my plan was to trundle out for a five 5km on a Saturday morning, and do some impressive workout skips during the week, possibly mixed up with a run to the pub or a cheeky pizza.

Its clear that my workout needs a little modification.  So the first step is to make sure that I do at least 4 workouts a week.  I will keep my 5km on a Saturday, and add in a longer 10km on a sunday and two treadmill sessions during the week. Both of between 7-8Km

Problem is treadmills are so dull!

What can be don to spice up my treadmill workout?  First is a decent playlist.  At the moment I am addicted to my Spotify Premium account.  They have millions of tracks and I can always find something that suits my mood and actiivy.




Now I am up and running on my machine of hell, its good I can feel myself getting faster.  The music is good, and I am watching the world go by.

Its time to dig deep. Keep my new mantra ticking over, force the legs, keep the arms working send a quick reminder to the heart that team Mike is going to need plenty of oxygen filled blood moving to my extremes!


While I am raring along on my treadmill my mind starts to wonder, I can imagine myself on the track picturing the new personal best times.  This is the motivation I need, the feeling of improving, getting faster and more efficient.

One thing that helped early on was a good choice of treadmill.  This was harder than I thought.  These things are not cheap!  I turned to the internet for advice and inspiration.  Most of the sites are quite helpful, one site was excellent Optimum Fitness had a huge guide and all the reviews that I needed to make a decision.

With my new treadmill, mantra in place and workout program established I am really making progress against my PB.  Bring on the next race!  I’m looking forward to smashing my next target.



Are dogs the real enemy to running training?

Credit Brian Cribb
Credit Brian Cribb

Credit Brian Cribb

Is it me, the dogs or the owners I wonder that make Dogs such an issue when running?

Running is great, having just gotten into it I am finding my self in the park far more often for a morning or afternoon run.

I also love dogs, I have two myself.  I beautiful black Labrador and a King Charles Spaniel.

When I go running at my local park, it can be beautiful.  As we get into spring the trees are coming to life with green buds and blossom.  The park I run through has a perfect 1km loop, which is great for interval training sprints and generally keeping track on how far I have gone.

It does have one small issue, the paths of the 1km loop can become very narrow. Not a problem as I run away on my own, however if I am running in the early afternoon it can quickly become congested with dogs and dog walkers.

Now I don’t really have an issue with the dogs, they are doing what they are told its generally the owners that are to blame for any bad behaviour of the dogs.

My first running race!These are the worst types of dog owners.

  1. Max is just being friendly!– Max (why are they always call max) has spotted you running from the other side of the park, now he is fully intent to see if he can out pace you.  Fine, but you don’t need to announce your speed by jumping up at me with your sharp muddy claws
  2. Professional Dog Walkers – great now the pack animals have somehow managed to entwine their leads forming an impenetrable swathe of dogs and leads 4 meters across.  Do I hurdle the group?  What gives these women (I have never encountered a mail professional dog walker) the right to block the entire path with others out running?
  3. Don’t Worry he won’t bite!  Ha very funny, as I am trying desperately to complete my run, I don;t need reminding that the dog hurtling towards me is equipped with a set of very strong teeth!
  4. What your lead doubles as a well concealed  trip wire?  Running along and suddenly the dog seemingly under control is allowed to run free at the press of a button.   Yes the dog can shoot across your path and leave a web of leash that will trip the unwary.

So these are a few of my pet grievances when running.  So what is the answer.

Well for starters I can stay at home, and run on my treadmill.  Treadmills are an excellent workout and I know my house pets are safely away from my feet.

But dog owners, please keep your pooches under controls

Be considerate of other park users, and don’t block the whole path.

Finally, if your dog does make a mess please pick it up, even if its not on the path.  Lots of runners will use the sides of the path to ease pressure on their legs while running, and can find themselves running through the mess.

Photo credits: Brian Cribb

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