Health and Fitness

A beginners guide to running

Man running past school children

At the beginning of this year I went through an early-30s crisis and took up running. There’s plenty of articles out there that tell you about the benefits of running so you don’t need me to plagiarise with a copy-and-paste job. So instead, I’m going to tell you the God honest truth of what happens when you get into your stride.

Sweat patches

Do you remember seeing Batman for the first time? The 1989 version with Michael Keaton, not the camp that was Adam West, and don’t get me started on Batman and Robin from 1997. That movie ruined my entire childhood… I mean “nipples” on a Batman suit? Who on Earth thinks that’s a good idea? And a whining Robin? I found myself rooting for Arnie’s Dr Freeze, until he opened his mouth with those cheesy quips…

I digress.

The main take away is that all I wanted throughout my childhood was the Batman symbol on my chest. Turns out it’s a regular occurrence now I run. The first thing I see when I look at my reflection after a run is a fat Batman shaped sweat patch on my top, stuck between my moobs and my belly. It’s not quite as cool as I envisaged as a kid.

And that’s just the front. I have Australia on my back and a Japan-shaped patch up the crack.


There’s plenty of articles discussing running against wind, or letting the wind give you a helping hand down hills. That’s not the wind I’m talking about… I’m strictly talking about what happens if you don’t empty your bowels before a run.

I particularly recall the first instance of this happening to me. I was on track for a personal best with only 1k to go, in front of me was a hill but it didn’t faze me… until it hit me. All of a sudden my bowels were on high alert. I’ll spare you the details but long story short, the only thing I could think of was a certain Frozen song. So I did what was in my head and I “let it go”.

A few points about the route and timing of my run – it’s a posh residential area, I’m talking £million+ houses, at the crack of dawn where there is complete silence. In order to run, I need music, so I have earphones in my ear at a volume that can’t be heard by anyone else. So what was a silent “break” for me was a roar in the real world. Imagine the embarrassment then, when you let rip, and the house over the road switches their lights on with a figure looking through the blinds. Needless to say, I’ve never run down said road again.

School runs

As much as I enjoy running at the crack of dawn, there have been times where I just need that extra hour or two of sleep. Unfortunately this results in more traffic during my run. Cars? No problem. Dogs? Come at me – you’ve got nothing on me. Secondary school kids? Fuck right off!

It didn’t occur to me that in these desperate times of need, the control of paths have been handed to these morons. They congregate together taking the full width of the path, and as you approach them they do absolutely nothing to make space for you to overtake or pass them by. And yet if I push them out the way it’ll be me that will be locked up for physical violence against kids.

Base layers

There’ll come a time when you feel you are a real runner and no longer should be running in what looks like your pyjamas and a pair of trainers. You head to your local Sports Direct and buy what you think is a decent looking t-shirt made with the perfect material to glide on your runs.

Only, when it comes to the morning of the run and you try the top on, you’ll realise base layers are not the most flattering of tops to wear – unless you’re one of those pricks with a 6 pack. They bring out fatty bulges in areas you didn’t think existed. Being married to my wife ensures I can take no liberties in not wearing clothes I buy. So, I have to run appearing like a pregnant woman with the added lumps.

And there you have it. My words of wisdom that you won’t find in many other articles about running. To summarise:

  • Wear lots of antiperspirant – the amount to make you pass out
  • Take a dump before you run
  • Push irritating kids out the way
  • Go for 90s-style baggy t-shirts

You can thank me later.

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