red-january
[RED January – photo by Runiversity of life]

New Year, New Running Journey – Red January

After having over three months out from running last year, I had to start over. I completed a 0-5k plan by Christmas. Now, I feel like just throwing myself into my running again and pushing hard and booking some races again.

Instead, I have decided to take more of a relaxed approach. There’s plenty of time for races and shooting for a personal best. My main intention for 2019 is to finish off what I started. To complete the Great North Run (GNR) in memory of my late Grandfather raising money for Parkinsons UK. If anyone would like to make a donation, it would be much appreciated. Please see the just giving link on my fundraising page. 

Aside from completing the GNR, the most important thing for me at this stage is to build a solid training base. Also to keep going to the gym to cross train and strength train. Previously I found it hard to find the time to fit it into my regime. At the same time, I have decided to make a conscious effort to eat more healthily, drink less or no alcohol with a bid to lose weight.

After a little research, I have decided to take a low carb high fat (LCHF) or keto way of eating (WOE) approach. The idea to try and become more fat adapted. Apparently, the process trains the body to use fat as fuel as opposed to carbohydrates. That’s not to say I won’t abstain from carbs for all of the time. I have experimented with this in the past and know I have to be patient. I will have lower energy levels while exercising or running. While following this WOE, I will mainly focus my running on easy miles at a conversational effort (talk test pace) to build a solid aerobic base. Before introducing speed work, first of all, I will slowly gradually increase my total mileage per week.

To kick-start my fitness and running goals for 2019 I have decided to sign up for RED January. In 2017 Hannah Beecham was inspired to start the initiative after helping her mum through a really tough period of time. The concept is to support mental health by raising awareness through daily exercise and is associated with the charity MIND.

Many people think RED January means running every day, however, it doesn’t have to be. Daily exercise in any form is good for mental as well as physical health. It’s every day, your way! Run, swim, take the bike for a spin or walk to work a different way etc. You don’t have to feel pressured to run every day as you don’t have to. However, if you want to, you can. The concept is to make January red and to beat the “January blues” that many people suffer from. In particular, when the daylight hours are short, skies are cold and grey, and bank balances have a hole in them after Christmas.

So far I am two and a half weeks in and have already lost 7kg, which is just over one stone.

Check out the latest posts from my running journey, Runiversity life™

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Red January – Supporting Mental Health
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