Holly’s Great North Run 2023 update: “Bopping away to 90s hits is a great way to exercise”

Our journalist Holly, has found what works best for her for getting fit.

Last month, I decided that I would like to run the Great North Run next year in 2023. Since then, I’ve embarked on a strict training regime in order to become fit enough to successfully take part in the event. However, it has been a real challenge.

I don’t think I quite realised how hard it would be to find the motivation to train almost every day and to completely change my diet. It seemed easier than it looked, and given the fact I used to be a dancer, I thought I would take to it with ease. Oh, how delusional I was! I found myself to be out of breath after less than 30 seconds of running, and couldn’t kick the habit of  reaching for unhealthy food options at my weekly food shop.

After letting it get to me, I soon realised that too was an unhealthy approach. I’m not going to become the next Paula Radcliffe as if by magic (realistically I never will be), it’s going to be a struggle to get myself fit and able to run, but I just need to keep on going with it.

It hasn’t all been doom and gloom however! My chosen charity, Tommy’s, accepted me to run for them. I have to raise a minimum of £300, but I would absolutely love to surpass that target. I have set up a JustGiving page, I have only raised £20 so far sadly, but there is still plenty of time before the big day. Tommy’s is a UK baby loss charity that researches the causes and supports families. What they do at Tommy’s is amazing and I would love to be able to contribute by raising money and awareness.

To gain confidence and the ability to run, I started to use the Couch to 5K app. Even though it is designed for people with no experience in running, I have admittedly found it a little difficult. I am determined to keep at it and hopefully improve my stamina over time. However, I have also started to do dance workouts via YouTube. I have found this to be a great way to exercise while having fun, bopping away to 90s hits and even broadway musical numbers. I also joined the gym, so that I can access proper equipment and take part in classes led by professionals.

You can follow my journey to running the Great North Run 2023 on my Instagram page @projectholly22.