MAKE ME RUN: Part 1 – My First Day Training… and I was tricked!

My First Training Run – it wasn’t what I expected!

The plan was to run 5km, taking it “easy”, walking for 2 minutes and running for 1 minute for most of it – or just the first part.

First things first, I needed FOOD, to fuel my body.

Eating Before A Run

Rob (UltraRunnerBean) made me a coffee and half a toasted bagel with peanut butter and smashed avocado on top (sounds like a weird combo but try it, it is delicious!). I then drank a litre of water with an electrolyte tablet in (the tablet helps the water absorb quicker into where your body water needs it the most).

(^^ Available from Holland & Barrett, Waitroses and other supermarkets)

After eating this we waited an hour before leaving and once we left I felt like I had a good amount of energy (I was only scared that I would need to pee half way through the run due to drinking that amount of water beforehand).

The Run

The run started off well, we started walking for 2 minutes and then we decided to starting running as it was quite cold and very windy. I was wearing my new Asics running top with a high neck so that was good to keep my neck warm.

We kept running into we got to 2km – well, I thought it is was 2km but really it was 3km.

The 3 key things Rob (UltraRunnerBean) kept reminding me on the way round was:

  1. Small Steps – smaller steps are better for running longer distances, it reduces the energy you put into your steps so you can run for longer.
  2. Keep Your Arms Low – running with your arms at right angles and bent can be good, especially running short distances and gaining momentum, but for long distances Rob told me to keep my arms lower down. He said “you don’t walk with your arms swinging up high so why should you when you run” (Good point ey?)
  3. Breath In and Out of Your Mouth (because I needed to be told this haha) – Rather than breathing in with your nose, breathe in and out of your mouth. Trust me, it works.

Having always struggled with my breathing during sports like swimming (that bugger front crawl was a mare with breathing!) and even sometimes after my high intensity workouts there are times when my breathing starts to panic because I am thinking about it too much (vicious cycle isn’t it!). But as soon as I changed my breathing and didn’t try to breath in and out like I would in a yoga, I began to think less about my breathing and more about my running.

And with running with my arms lower down I felt my shoulders relax more and my whole upper back feel less tense and freer.

After the 4/5km (I don’t know because Rob didn’t tell me – he LIED – haha) I found it a lot harder. I felt like I did well running without stopping for 2km (well the 3km actually). I thought for my first run that would be good because I didn’t believe I could run longer than 2/3 minutes outside. That half way through point I thought, let’s not push it for my first run, take it easy, give into my mind telling me “I’m not a runner”. I began to point out areas where I wanted to stop and walk again, already giving in that my body will only make it to a certain point. The second time we stopped and walked it felt good, I did have that worry in my mind that I didn’t want to over do it or injure myself (excuses, excuses eh!) But after seeing a runner pass us I felt slightly competitive haha. We then decided that about a minute or two or walking we would then run to catch up with her (as she had stopped running and started walking further on). That was a good target. Not for my competitive mind (well kinda ha) but a focus point.

After that we continued running but that worry in my mind that I won’t be able to make it too much further kicked in. This time, instead of Rob agreeing to stop at the bench or gate I would point and with not much breath just say “Stop… there” and point, he then said no. HOW DARE HE! Ha! He was being so nice before and now said we couldn’t stop. But I accepted and he pointed out the end of the path and said there’s no point stopping until we get to the end of the path.

It made sense and I pushed my body on.

Rob kept on saying to me the pain is just in my head, the “I’ve had enough and can’t do it” starts with that little niggle in your brain deciding for you what you can achieve, rather than you finding it out for yourself.

This helped a lot, hearing this on the way round. Yes, at times I thought, “Yeah yeah, all in my head… well why do my legs ache this much” but it’s true, I wasn’t in “actual pain”.

So, as the run ended and he allowed me to walk! We were just about to walk into the flat and I asked how far we ran and in what time.

He said with a smirk on his face, “You did amazing… we just ran 7.5km“.


He was very clever in doing that because now I feel so surprised and kind of impressed with myself I have a new found confidence in running.

7.5km KatieWoo & UltraRunnerBean
This was after running 3km – thinking it was 2km at the time – look how happy I am they, just imagine how happy I was to hear I completed 7.5km in 58 minutes! Ha!

I still have that little niggle of worry and negativity saying “I’m not a runner”… BUT after running 7.5km on my FIRST training run (and not even realising it – god I’m bad at judging distance!) I am starting to admit to myself that I can be a runner!

Thank you to UltraRunnerBean for motivating and pushing me when I needed it. I would definitely recommend to anyone who needs to train for a race or wants a running buddy, he’s your guy! Check out his blog – he will be posting about my training too – so you can hear both sides of it.


And to document all aspects of my running training I decided to do a BEFORE and AFTER photo thing. How here’s my before… (hands in face – don’t look at me, I look like a sweaty meh)… but wanted to share the unedited, non-Instagram photo of my ‘physique’ at the start of my training.


So, this is a new style of blog post for me. KATIE WOO UPDATE: I’ve now signed up (been signed up for) the Relish Running Two Tunnels 10km Race in July!

I wouldn’t consider myself a runner AT ALL. I love exercise and enjoy pushing myself, but when it comes to running I fail. I either get bored/ get stitch after 2/3 mins of running/ feel wheezy when running in chilly weather and usually only make it a mile and then stop. So I wouldn’t say I’ve had a positive relationship with “going for a run”.

I’ve always considered myself a short burst runner kinda gal. I enjoy high intensity workouts, for example British Miltary Fitness. This may be an hour long class but the exercises are varied and change quickly. I love this as it keeps you on your toes. This is why I also really enjoy JUICEHIIT in the Park too (can’t wait for the outdoor sessions to start up again).

— Recommend both of these! Check out British Military Fitness & JUICEHIIT by ToniqLife (both located in Royal Victoria Park)

Now, back to running — the exercise I am really concerned about. Since I’ve signed up to run the race I’m already feeling the nerves that I won’t enjoy it at all.

Will I ever get a runners high?!

The reason I’m inspired and actually said yes for once:

This lovely chap is UltraRunnerBean. Since seeing his running campaign 2017for2017 where he ran a ridiculous amount of miles in one year – completing multiple ULTRA marathons, and just a casual half marathon, plus even MORE – made me see how incredible it is to achieve such big physical and mental running challenges. The reason he ran so much was for so much more than just a personal goal/achievement, it was to raise money and awareness towards mental health charities like MIND and CALM. His running achievements also helped him with his own mental health journey too, breaking through the barriers both physically and mentally in everyday training and throughout these challenging races. He’s seen the effects of running has had on his mental and physical health and is really keen to shout about how much running is great for everyones mental wellbeing.

I can in no way follow in his footsteps – not at all – but it has inspired me to run. Not only to raise money for charities close to my heart, but also discover how running can be a life changer. I’m excited to see how running can help my mental health journey too!

UltraRunnerBean (Rob) will help me with training for this 10km race (because obviously this race will be a doddle for him!). I hope he doesn’t think he’s going to make my into a Ultra Runner after this… (talking to you Rob!).

The 2 things I know are key in my first steps of becoming a better runner are:

  1. To Eat Better

A healthier lifestyle will help me so much – I’ve already witnessed the evidence being around UltraRunnerBean. After his most recent ULTRA MARATHON! 33 miles! (I KNOW!) The next day I thought I would be waiting on him hand and foot, bringing him food (and I was going to say rubbing his feet – but nah, not RUNNERS FEET!! Ew!). But I thought I would be looking after him for days! But nope – INSTEAD, he was out walking my dog with me and kept moving the whole day. He links this to his plant-based diet – helping his muscles recover a lot quicker and his diet giving him so much more energy.

So… not that I’m becoming fully plant-based – not going to happen – but I aiming to eat more of a plant-based diet to see the results for myself (ah damn it, Easter is coming up — definitely going to need to run with the amount of Easter Eggs I’m planning to consume).

2. Wear Better Trainers

The most important thing to prevent injury and to properly support my feet is to check whether my trainers are up to it too. You don’t want trainers that are too tight, too loose, or have lost their cushioning inside (such as mine). As much as this is an extra cost to buy new trainers I think it’s worth it – especially for my FIRST big race.

So, I am doing this!

I AM DOING THIS – keep telling myself. I have to now – I’ve signed up AND written a blog post about it… AH! SHIT.

I will be giving your little running updates about how my training is going. Plus, check out the boyfs blog – UltraRunnerBean – for more training updates, from someone who knows what they are talking about.

From a non-runner to a “slightly better, who won’t get stitch” runner. Let’s see how I do – and whether my body is up for this.

Any advice appreciated so feel free to message me or comment on my social media.

Much love (and hello again, from the blogging sphere… it’s good to be back!)