GRIT clinic

Dear Ruth,

I started your book 4 months ago, I was run/walking before it but with the use of the grit doctor I managed to push myself to run solidly for 40 mins, which I’m still doing! I am 30 years old 5ft 3 and weigh 20st 7lbs.  I’ve lost 5.5 st so far just with running as exercise and eating more healthily. I still have a long way to go, another 8.5 st but needed some advice. I’m currently doing about 2.3 miles in 40 mins, not record time but I’m not racing (quite yet, well leave that for next yr!). The end of the 2.3 miles seems to be quite hard, grit my teeth and carry on moments! The advice I wanted was, I want desperately to get to 5km (3.2 miles) but the as the end of my run is so hard should I just grit my teeth and do it, or gradually as I decrease in weight it’ll become easier and I will naturally go further?! I’m not expecting to go and run 3.2 miles tomorrow but I’m getting annoyed with myself for finding it hard! Any advice would be great Sue xx

A: Firstly Sue, one cannot fail to be INCREDIBLY IMPRESSED by what you have achieved in the last 4 months in losing over 5 stone from running regularly and eating healthily.  We are all awestruck by your courage and determination. *HIP HIP HOORAY*

I love how 2.3 miles is just not satisfying your grit-lust.  I am imagining a woman who next year will be running marathons for breakfast…

In the meantime however, if the weight is still falling off and you are finding the last part of your 2.3 mile run to be a real struggle: STICK WITH IT AS IT IS.  It is working in all departments other than the grit-lust one, and at your current weight you don’t want to put unneccessary strain on your body above and beyond what is necessary to shift some more stones.  Heaven forbid you did yourself an injury for example and found yourself on the sofa again with the weight creeping back on.  Your body is telling you that what you are doing at the moment is enough.  And what I love about your letter is you know this already.  Through running regularly you have become so much more in tune with your body: you are listening to it and trying to balance its need for a greater challenge against its current limitations.

That extra mile is going to be a real pleasure for you to run once your weight is at a more manageable level. You could always add in an extra 2.3 mile run to your weekly quota in the meantime (I’m not sure how many you are currently doing, but if its 3 then upping it to 4 will probably accelerate the weight loss and increase your fitness at the same time.  If its 5 then don’t add in an extra one).

Your body will tell you when it is ready to go for longer and when it is, don’t try to nail the entire mile first time.  Just go for a bit longer, 5 mins max and once that becomes ‘comfortable’, you can increase it by another 5 mins.  And then another. I reckon even 5k is not going to satisfy your lust for grit for long…

The Grit Doctor says:

Thank you Sue for a Grit masterclass.


7 Responses to “GRIT clinic”

  1. sue July 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    wow thank you, i feel better about the end feeling so hard now, i will be looking at my route and do a little increase by 5 mins at different stages.
    thanks for the lovely comment and help x

    • Sarah Clarke July 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      sue, you are an INSPIRATION, thank you

    • Lisa July 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      I just wanted to send a message to say I am in almost the exact same boat apart from I am currently at 30 minutes and probably about 2 stone heavier. I went for my run today and it was a really tough one, you know one of those runs where you feel like you are getting nowhere and when I came back your messege to the grit doctor was exactly what was on my mind! It couldn’t have come at a better time so thank you! 🙂

  2. samantha Barry July 2, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Wow, what an amazing lady, that is a lot of weight to lose and she still wants to push herself more. She really is an inspiration.

  3. Bonnie July 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Fantastic achievement well done. I can advise from my own personal experience and echo what Ruth has said. Don’t try to add more just yet. This was my failing in the past trying to get back into running after a three year lay of due yo injury. I kept pushing too hard. Hurting myself and giving up. This time I found run fat bitch run and made it. I have lost over three stone and am now upping my mileage but still steadily. You will get there. You are winning and you are amazing Sue. X

  4. Sue July 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Ah Lisa your welcome, keep going you’ll get there! I’ve only gradually increased to 40 mins in the last 2/3 stone sp don’t worry you’ll do it x

  5. Sue July 3, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    Also thank you to everyone for the comments!

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