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  • Writer's pictureSuzanna Kempner

Sooz Running Part II : The Runninging

Last year I did the NHS’s Couch to 5k (C25K) program. It takes a total non-runner (me) through 9 weeks of special podcasts that gradually build you up from running for 60 seconds at a time up to running for 30 minutes non-stop. A personal trainer on the podcast called Laura encourages you as you run and tells you when to start and stop and you’re accompanied by ABSOLUTELY FUCKING DREADFUL MUSIC. Once you’ve completed the C25K program there are programs building you up to 10k. Or if you’re Sooz Kempner you just….never run again. I went to the Edinburgh fringe, completed the program, stopped running. I went for a few half-arsed runs in the 10 months that followed but never ran regularly after August 2015.


Yes, for the past 10 days I have been running again. I figured it would be the same as when I first started C25K last June and I would be back to running 60 seconds at a time but it turns out my body knows how to run now. I can run for 15 minutes and then take a 2 minute breather (breather = lumbering shiny-faced grimace-walk) and then run another 10 minutes. I’m getting back up to 5k again.

Here are my top tips for running:

  1. Don’t wear fleece-lined Adidas trousers. I learnt my lesson after last year’s running odyssey. In hot weather running is 10 times harder. Wear light trousers. I have a pair of Nike leggings and a pair of 3/4 length Nike running trousers, both about £3 from charity shops. “Ewwwww, somebody else has sweated in those”. Perhaps you’ve heard of my good friend: the washing machine?

  2. Don’t run in the afternoon. Last year I seemed to mostly run between 1pm and 5pm like some sort of insane masochist. That’s when it’s hot! Run before 9am or after 8pm, don’t be a prick.

  3. Eat before you run. But not 10 minutes before you run. Just don’t run hungry, ya twat.

  4. Vary your route. I live in Horley so every route sucks because Horley is a hell mouth full of jeering teens and Leave voters but change up where you run to keep things as interesting as possible.

  5. LISTEN TO HAMILTON!!! I swear, listening to My Shot as I run in 2016 has turned me in to a true athlete. Alexander Hamilton is all “are we a nation of states? WHAT’S THE STATE OF OUR NATION!” and I’m like “I’m past patiently waiting I’m passionately smashing every expectation every action’s an act of creation!”.

Run, guys. Run.

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