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How has running changed your life?

(49 Posts)
whyhastherumgone Wed 10-Jan-18 08:04:19

Just started running again after a good year - a rough year - as I find it really good for my mental health.
I'm hoping it's going to get me fitter again and help me lose a bit of weight too. A few of my friends have been bit down on it telling me I'll get that "haggard runner look" and it won't change my figure at all - they don't exercise at all I hasten to add.

So i'm looking for positive stories to keep me motivated on days when I don't feel like getting my runners on...

OP’s posts: |
RunningAddict Wed 10-Jan-18 08:10:00

My name might give me away a little grin

Running is one of the best things I started! I lost 4 stone, got so much fitter, i look and feel so much healthier and happier in myself. It’s such an amazing boost for your mental health and I think that shows in your physical appearance too.

I don’t think I look haggard shock and my body shape has definitely changed, I’m much more toned and defined without any extra weight training.

If you enjoy it, go for it! Ignore the people who say it’ll ruin your knees, make you look haggard, or do you no good. You’re doing much better for yourself than doing nothing at all!

octonaught Wed 10-Jan-18 08:14:26

Running addict. How long did it take you to lose 4 stone? I used to run years ago, pre children. But I was in a club so that helped. I could do between 5 & 8 miles. Now I think I would struggle with one!

ShowerGel9 Wed 10-Jan-18 08:22:01

Starting running today at 12.30!!

I'm excited!!! I have heard of the haggard look tho

TheOrigRightsofwomen Wed 10-Jan-18 08:26:08

Get new friends!
I am a very keen and competitive runner. I don't look haggard and am very toned.
It will absolutely help you get fit, lose weight and do wonders for your mental health.

Running hasn't really changed my life because it's always been a part of it. Joining a running club changed it though, and I have a set of wonderful, funny, supportive, kindred (ie we can just bore each other with our wonderful running tales!) friends.

Even though I love running, there are days when it would be very easy to skip it. I just tell myself that I will ALWAYS feel better afterwards. It might just be a feeling of pride rather than a tidal wave of endorphins, but I'll take it.
Entering races keeps me focused.

What are your goals. Maybe I can make some suggestions.

Actually, if you want to have some support AND do a good thing you could join the virtual challenge I am doing for the Brain Tumour Charity
nb I am nothing to do with this charity, it's just one I support.

Nettletheelf Wed 10-Jan-18 08:34:59

The ‘haggard’ thing is bollocks. If you run 100 miles a week and flog yourself hard constantly, maybe, but for normal people who run it just isn’t a thing.

Look at Jessica Ennis-Hill. Nobody could call her haggard, could they? She’s a picture of health.

tirednotsoyummuy Wed 10-Jan-18 09:02:08

I'm a very casual runner, run about 5-10k three times a week (I've got a tiny little baby at the moment so haven't got back into it yet), but I honestly think it's amazing. It clears your mind, gives you proper time for yourself, gives you goals to work towards, and great finding yourself getting stronger and fitter as time goes on. Plus it's free and gets you outside. Obviously some days it's hard to get yourself out but it's great when you do. Go for it - good luck!

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Wed 10-Jan-18 09:06:16

I am intending to take up running when I move house in a fortnight (will live opposite a park), and I long for the haggard look! My face is far too fat just now! My mum recently did Couch to 5k and slimmed down a lot - and her face looks thinner. She’s definitely not haggard, though.

emummy Wed 10-Jan-18 09:10:28

Another one not looking haggard here! Running has made me fitter and healthier. It gives me peace. And it has brought me great experiences, like running in Glen Coe and the London marathon. I'm 46, been running for 4 years, it's my first ever hobby!

GingerAndTheBiscuits Wed 10-Jan-18 09:16:05

Same as you OP - I ran a half marathon midway through last year, was euphoric and promptly stopped running. The second half of the year wasn’t great for me and I think it was in part because I wasn’t running. Started back with the Girls Run The World Runuary challenge and so glad I did. My skin is brighter, I’m encouraged to eat better so the running effort isn’t wasted, I practically skip around my mile or three miles or whatever I’m doing as I’m so happy to be back out there. I just need to remember all that when I hit a slump

creepingbuttercupdrivesmemad Wed 10-Jan-18 09:16:28

long time runner here and I don't think I look haggard at all!

Running, paradoxically, is meant to be quite GOOD for your joints, so I've read recently It strengthens them, and so long as you are sensible, warm up, cool down and wear appropriate footwear there shouldn't be any issue.

Running makes me feel great, physically and mentally.

RunningAddict Wed 10-Jan-18 09:16:49


It took me around a year to lose 4 stone, and I’ve kept it off for the last year and a half. Tried the whole dieting thing and it didn’t work well for me, I needed the lifestyle change and I’m so happy I’ve stuck with it.

Running is the best hobby I’ve ever started smile

Frazzled2207 Wed 10-Jan-18 09:18:28

The haggard thing is rubbish. I absolutely look and feel better for running regularly (not loads atm, about 7k twice a week).

I used to be size 14-16 and dieting constantly. Running to me is addictive and the only thing that keeps the weight off. I'm now a size 10 and never diet. Running puts me in a healthy frame of mind so I'm much less likely to eat unhealthily

OneMoreOne Wed 10-Jan-18 09:19:27

What a lovely positive thread! I could do with some motivation to start some exercise to better my mental health, it sounds like running could be a good one.

Thanks everyone and OP!

Frazzled2207 Wed 10-Jan-18 09:20:01

Ps time to ditch the jealous friends and find ones that like running

Hesburger Wed 10-Jan-18 09:20:55

I can honestly say it changed me for the better. Ran for about a year timed up and slimmed down considerably! I signed up for a 5k with work colleagues and that gave me the motivation to start as I didn't want to be puffing behind them all!

I then got into parkrun and even ran a very hilly half marathon.

There are always targets for improvement - I was desperate to run a certain time and asked my sister's dp for advice. He told me to lose more weight. Blunt but it got me thinking!

I then found the more healthily I ate the faster I went and felt so much better. Looking back at the photos I look so much better!

Currently 38 weeks pregnant and looking at when I can get out again... aware this may take some time.

I do credit the running for my pregnancy too - took us 3yrs plus help to conceive dc1 and we were expecting more challenges this time which was why I tried to get more active. This one was a bit of surprise- Had to cancel a race the day after I found out!

Wtfdoicare Wed 10-Jan-18 09:25:44

I am addicted to running too. I go for 4 miles approx every other day during the week with a longer 8-10 miles at the weekend. I've been doing this for approx 3 years now and am very slim and fit (42, size 6). Possibly a little on the skinny side, but am reluctant to put weight on as it'll make running a bit harder.

I run mainly for the mental health benefits, sometimes it is my only 'me time' and time to think and clear my mind. This year I am doing a coastal half marathon which I am very excited about.

I don't think I look haggard. Go for it OP.

Nettletheelf Wed 10-Jan-18 09:40:13

Your mates are worried that you will show them up with your fit fabulousness. Perhaps you can persuade them to give it a go, too?

cleomummy Wed 10-Jan-18 09:52:47

I ve got into running in the past 6 months after a 7 year break. Last time I did it purely to loose weight for my wedding and lost over two stone. However I didn't feel like I toned much. It was at the gym, maybe running outside is different?

This time I also want to loose weight but I also want to tone and make it part of my lifestyle. After two kids I am really into it as it's the first time I ve done something for myself and had free time for myself in over two years.

I am going two/three times a week but struggling to get up to 5k on the running machine. I can do just over 4K in 30 minutes but struggling to improve each time. If I can't go for a bit my fitness goes straight away and I struggle to go back up. Some days I am tired and can't seem to do the normal amount. I am finding it very up and down which is frustrating and makes me want to give up and I loose my motivation. I think I need to loose more weight to go faster (lost half stone in six months) but finding it hard to resist the treats.

But I do feel so much better to fit, fitter, healthier, happier and thinner.

Question- if I am struggling to do the 5k should I go slower to be able to run further or should I try and go faster for a shorter period? Which tones, looses more weight and means I ll be able to run further in the future and get fitter?

TheOrigRightsofwomen Wed 10-Jan-18 09:58:58

cleo I'd recommend do both sorts of running in a single week.
Slow down and run further to build endurance.
Speed up to build strength. Or intervals within a single session e.g. alternate steady and effort 1/2 miles.

I don't run to lose weight so am not sure what to recommend there - I think there is an optimal fat burning pace.

Mainly though, just enjoy it. I know I'd get better times if I trained in such a such way, but my run time is precious and if I just lose myself (not literally!) in a run and feel great then I'm happy.

letsdolunch321 Wed 10-Jan-18 10:04:10

If you enjoy it .... DO IT

CMOTDibbler Wed 10-Jan-18 10:18:33

It changed my life, because for 40 years I'd believed I couldn't run, that it wasn't for people like me, that I was rubbish for not being able to run.
Then I did C25K and realised I'd just never learnt to run. From not being able to run at the start of 2013, I did a half marathon that September, and a full marathon in 2016 with all sorts of distances in between in that time.
Learning to run gave me the confidence that I could learn to do sporty things, and I did a triathlon in 2014 for the first time and since have done open water swimming events, long distance cycling events and now organise a cycling festival. I'm still not a fast runner (or cyclist, swimmer), but I realised I could do anything I put my mind to!

HappyGowerGirl Wed 10-Jan-18 10:22:05

Ignore your friends! Running is amazing! It's had the most incredible effect on my confidence and mental health (I was a total couch potato a few years ago and now I can run half marathons!), plus I look really hot as a result😀 Definitely not haggard!!! Go for it OP, keep running and don't look back!

whyhastherumgone Wed 10-Jan-18 10:29:10

Wow thanks for all these lovely, encouraging replies smile It's great to hear so many positive stories.
Just got back from a 7km run :D and feel amazing! At the moment my goals are just to keep it up, and try and improve either on distance or speed gradually.
I'm not dieting particularly although I am trying to eat healthier so I'm hoping that will make a difference to my progress, as some of you have mentioned it did for you.

I'm quite self conscious about running as I'm a pear shape and bottom heavy, and at the moment that's where I'm carrying most of my extra weight. But I got some running gear that makes me feel suitably covered and comfortable and have just got on with it - who knows, maybe I won't be so bottom heavy in a few months!

Keep all your positive stories coming, I shall keep popping back to this thread to keep me motivated on the days I don't want to go out.

PS: Glad to hear none of you feel 'haggard' grin I'd never heard of 'the runner's haggard look' before!!

OP’s posts: |
Luckingfovely Wed 10-Jan-18 10:31:51

WTAF is the haggard runner look? What an absolute loads of bollocks. Your friends are lazy and jealous.

Running will change your life for the better, mentally, physically and emotionally. It has saved my life on occasion, I think.

Just start slow to avoid injury and build up gradually. And enjoy it! smile

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