Time To Run

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Before I start writing this piece about my love of physical activity, I have a confession – I hate sports.

It’s true. At school, I faked notes, twisted ankles and ‘women’s problems’ to get out of P.E. I played Goal Keeper in all team games so I could lean against the net and text my boyfriend. I jumped in front of the dodgeball so I’d be out within 2 minutes. Since leaving school almost 10 years ago, I’ve flailed around half-heartedly at the back of a few aerobics classes, and I’ve giggled my way through an hour or two of street dance, but most of my adult life has been exercise-free. And I liked it.

Last year I noticed the fast metabolism I’d always relied on to keep me in skinny jeans was slowing down. Size 12s were replaced with size 14s. Climbing stairs was tiring. I drove 80 miles a day, ate frozen pizzas and slumped in front of the TV, night after night. It left me feeling sluggish, unhappy and desperate for change. So I got a new job, bought some trainers that weren’t Converse Hi Tops and joined a gym.



I’ve been going to the gym for six months now and I’m still not its biggest fan. I love how I feel after a run, but getting to the end is HARD. I’m still scared of all the weight machines and I sing along to my iPod out loud. But at least I’m doing it. After taking these pictures I went to the gym and ran 5k – not a great distance by any means but man, it felt good.


Running leggings via TK Maxx

Shock Absorber sports bra via lingerieplease.co.uk


Nike hoodie via charity shop

Nike trainers via TK Maxx

Bangs inspired me to start running, and the posts she writes about her experiences and challenges are a great source of information for anyone getting into exercise. Her guide to sports bras made me really think about what I wear to run. The two areas that need the most support are your boobs and your feet – a well-fitting sports bra is essential, and your feet take most of the strain so they need looking after. I’m on the look out for some new trainers after experiencing pain in my feet – anyone who runs will tell you this is one thing you don’t want to scrimp on.

I run twice a week and have finally reached the stage where I don’t want to collapse in a sweaty heap after 10 minutes. It’s far from glamorous and after a long day at work/heavy Saturday night it’s often the last thing I want to do, but I do it. And I feel so much better for it.

Are you a runner, or do you prefer other forms of exercise? What are your tips for keeping fit?



I have a gym membership, but I really should go more often. The most I can do is about 15 minutes at a gentle jog, and even after that I’m a dizzy mess! I play netball twice a week though, and still have P.E in school so I like to think I do my fair share.. xx


I tried running but I hated it so much I found reasons not to go. Instead I swim. Once a week I got for a 45 min non stop swim. I love my shaky arms and sore stomach when I finish. I sleep so well on Sunday evening because I went for a swim. I wish I could go more and I plan to once the weather picks up and I have more daylight.

Fashion Junkie

I hated PE at school, but got into sports as I started uni, then discovered a massive hip problem. Now I’m training like a MAD person because I’m hoping to join the forces next year. One thing I can honestly say is that there’s nothing like the threat of not being to do something to make you want to do it! Running has never felt so good!


After being overweight most of my life I finally got myself together lost over 8 stones and now go to the gym for an hour and a half 5 times a week 40 minutes cardio and then weights to tone up and I can honestly say I love it. It’s great for me both physically and mentally and I feel so much better

E is for Eleanor

Oh Jen, I am incredibly envious of how good you are. I long to be good at running, and I know you say you’re no marathon runner but it’s still a great achievement, I’ve had a gym membership for about 5 months and I am currently going once a week which is POOR. I need to step it up, but I always seem to have an excuse.

This post now, has inspired to stop making excuses and to quote the Nike marketing team, just do it! x


i hated PE..i was so rubbish at it aswell. .i was that girl who was last to picked for teams aswell..sooo embarrassing.. i think the problem was i never wore my glasses at school so just couldnt see the ball or whatever i was suppose to be doing!!
even now i never run!!.. i never even run for the bus even if i see it coming i’ll just do a quicker walk!!
i do try and walk a bit ..but since its been freezing cold i havnt even done that apart from the school run or a walk into town.. not very good really..
im hoping that as spring arrives my motivation to get fit will as all i want to do now is snuggle up on the sofa with a large glass of rose and a packet of jaffa cakes!!

well done for getting out there and doing it though.. and least you look stylish !!


I also belong to a gym/ run on the treadmill a bunch, but I felt like my body sort of stopped changing after a while. I’m also afraid of the weight machines haha.

Last week I picked up a Jillian Michael’s dvd called the 30 day shred and it is definitely something I recommend trying if you’ve never done circuit training. Jillian is slightly annoying, but she pushes you in each workout. The dvd has 3 levels that are all very engaging and work allll of your muscles. Def. something to try! 🙂

Miss Lucy

Love those running leggings, might make a trip to TK Maxx looks like they have a lot of sportswear! You look fab and should be so proud of yourself for getting out there and running. It’s not easy, wishing I hadn’t stopped as the thought of getting that fit again scares me. Pain! Keep at it hun xx


I’ve joined ‘the gym’ which will open in April In Leeds, so hopefully I can stick to going! I’m actually excited about getting back to the gym, which I never thought I’d say! xx


I too despised P.E. at school- I hated the way all the girls on the hockey team were favoured by the teacher. I spent the whole time fantasising about eating the pink cakes that they sold in the canteen.

Fastforward 6 years and I am really sporty- I run, dance and go to the gym. And guess what? All those jolly hockey sticks girls are chubby and leading sedentary lifestyles! Not that this is what it’s all about…
But still.

You are right, exercise makes you feel goood.

Think you should do more posts on work out gear. I was thinking today on the treadmill as my joggers rode up my arse, how much of a difference good work out clothes make.

Em x

Ohh Jen you are disciplined.
My excercise at the moment consists of taking Seb for long walks in the park in his pram or strapped to me in the sling, the extra weight of him has to help burn extra calories surely?! Also we are starting swimming next week, I can’t wait! x


I loathed sport at school, it went hand in hand with being almost 15 stone and drastically unfit! I did do Judo, but that wasn’t really *that* physical.

I did, around the age of 17 fall in love with more extreme sports…I belonged to a kayak club, rock climbed, tunnelled and hiked regularly…went white water rafting on a body board which was quite the experience!

And then I found running. Stress relief at it’s finest.
I’ve JUST been given the okay to start again, but I’m lacking in confidence! I need to get out on that first run, really!


I love the endorphins that you get from doing exercise! Such a buzz… plus I figure if I go to the gym 3/4 times a week, who cares if I put away a few too many glasses of wine or help myself to a croissant rather than toast for breakie!

I really recommend trying the classes at the gym…. I love spinning and a really good introduction to weights is body bump! That seriously works every god damn muscle in your body!


I’m only 20 but I’ve always been the same way about sports. I recently joined the gym at uni and have to say… I love it. I desperatley need a trip to TK Maxx to get properly kitted out.


I am a runner & next weekend I’m running the annual Brighton Half Marathon for the second year in a row 🙂 I must admit, I’ve been running for over 2 years now, & it’s all been a long road but I’m finally at a point now where I can call myself a “runner” rather than just feeling like a “person what runs”. It definitely justifies the price of gym membership & cost of all those issues of Zest & Runner’s World!

My running wardrobe is deathly cheap; I have a Sports Direct just a minute’s walk from my house which is handy & any other stuff I pick up is from Decathlon which is so so so good & uncostly.

You should definitely get your footfall/gait analysed! It’s about £10, & you can do it in most professional sports shops but it’s so so worth it & you don’t have to buy anything there & then – just make sure you get down the details of the perfect trainer for you & google it online for cheaper deals!


I really do need to start exercising more, walking the dog isn’t cutting it.
Love the look of those trousers, think you may have inspired me. :0



Love your workout outfit.
That Nike hoodie is gorgeous.
I can’t live without exercise, it helps my soul much more than my body!

Diary of a Tinyholder

I love going to the gym. i go about 4-5 times a week training for Kilimanjaro – I go in my lunch break so i take out all my frustrations. I’ve just started running again this week and only managed 3.5k (only have 25 mins) but looking foward to running on the road at the weekend! x


I hated sport at school too! Last year I decided that I was getting a bit chubby so I joined the gym and went for around four months, until I got a bike and started cycling everywhere instead.

I hate running, and can’t jog for more than two minutes, but I can bike for hours and enjoy it (if the weather’s nice). My key to making sure that I exercise is building it into my life: I don’t have to go anywhere special or wear special clothes, I just get on my bike and go to work. I go shopping, meet people, go to my boyfriend’s, all on my bike, so I’m usually cycling for 30-60 minutes a day. Not bad for someone who was a couch potato just over a year ago!


Another PE hater here. Exercise is a challenging one for me, as an old back injury makes anything high impact a no-no. At the moment, my excerise comes from walking everywhere, doing a trillion laps of Wetherspoons and dragging around trays of pint glasses!


Hated sports at school except badminton because that’s the only one I was good at! I was always Wing Attack in netball and 2nd base in rounders because they required the least effort. I got my exercise back then via horse riding and working at the stables.

Roll on a good number of years and I still hate exercise. I swim because it’s the least awful of the various options but I can’t say that I enjoy it all the time.


I am impressed that you even manage to get your sportswear from a charity shop. The Nike hoodie is fabulous, as are the Tkmaxx pieces. I think getting kitted out in the right sportswear is a must and your determination is inspiring. I loathed P.E my I so did, but there really is no exuse now I am an adult, and I get to choose the desired workout/sport of choice x


Haha, I loved PE. I was at an all girls school and about 10% of us actually took part. But I have become very lazy since I left school.
I love your gym outfit. It’s a perfect mix of stylish and practical. And I’m definitely inspired to become more active after reading this.


I like team games but hate jogging. I still do in fact but for the last 2 months I’ve been doing an exercise bootcamp, I’d highly recommend them because you’re doing with a group of people who are as unfit/lazy/bored of gym as you are, and you’re actually being pushed by a professional to do your best, to the point where you feel amazing afterwards but not to the point you want to cry (unless you signed up to military bootcamp in which case you deserve everything you get!!)


Ah I’m such a terrible runner! Wish I was more motivated, I’m sure I would love it it I just stuck to it! I’ve started swimming recently and love it, such great workout! also like to dabble in Yoga when I can 🙂

Thanks for sharing your experiences- feeling inspired to go run around now!



i’m a gym person, pay as you go though(just incase i’m being lazy). i try to go twice per week, it does make me feel a lot better and it helps me keep my weight up if i combine it with good foods.

you got nike waffles! i’m sure that’s what they’re called. used to have a pair what i was a teenager


wow this was really encouraging! Running has never been my thing but i should make more effort to get fit as I’m a real lazybones at the moment. You look so healthy, it’s very inspiring!


Go girl! I’m doing a mixture of jogging outdoors, and 2 Jillian Michaels workout dvds and I try to do something every day. Plus I try to get my 5 a day in, every day, and I’ve never felt better! xx


weirdly enough, i like being active as far as sports because it doesn’t feel like work but i absolutely hate working out because it DOES feel like work and i have no idea where to start. i quit smoking 6 months ago and my metabolism went crazy and i’ve gained 30 pounds since i quit. i’m trying to get the weight off by eating better but i know that i’m gonna have to start working out and it depresses me to no end.


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