My Running Experience

John Hinchliffe

I have been interested in running for many years; it seemed like an ideal form of exercise – one which did not need expensive subscriptions or expensive equipment, and something which could be done any time and anywhere. Unfortunately, despite many attempts to start running regularly, I always struggled to find motivation and often felt frustrated by a perceived lack of progress. I struggled to run consistently for what I thought was a reasonable amount of time. For these reasons, I decided that running just wasn’t for me.

When I heard about the Leeds Dock C25K Running club, I was initially dubious but decided to give it a try, especially since the runs were scheduled on a lunch time and close to where I work.

Although I typically choose solitary exercise, I found running in a group to be very motivating and also supportive. The group members were all friendly and approachable, and there was superb support from the experienced run leaders. The sessions were tailored to beginners so I did not feel as though I was holding anyone back, another reason I had not chosen group exercise previously.

The fact that the sessions were on a lunchtime meant that I was able to get away from the work environment and enjoy fresh air and exercise instead of working through my lunch. It also meant that I did not need to sacrifice time with my family, either before or after work.

The C25K program was very achievable and whilst completing it, I realised that my past frustrations with running had been due to not knowing how to pace myself. The program and the group environment helped me to understand this and in 2 short months I achieved (and surpassed) my original goal – to be able to run 5k without breaks. 

This was a huge milestone given my past experience of running and can’t thank the Running Club enough.

I now understand much more about running and going for a run no longer seems to be a chore which I have to force myself to do, and actually enjoy the experience and the benefits it brings


Since lockdown, I no longer work from the office and have sadly been unable to continue with the Leeds Dock Running Club activities, and miss the group and interaction.

Now that I am working from home full time (and during the summer), my current form of exercise is usually cycling, as it’s now very easy for me to get out for a lunchtime ride. I plan to keep up with the running though because it will come into its own again once the days get shorter and the weather makes cycling less of an option. 

I am very pleased and grateful that I was able to complete the C25K program before lockdown because I am now confident in my ability to run and will always have this as an option to keep fit and stress free.





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