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I’ve been a subscriber to your magazine for some time, but really only dabbled in the shallowest end of the running pool, usually persevering for a few weeks before giving up because I “wasn’t good enough.”

I’ve tried couch to 5K programmes but always felt like I had to be able to do 5K in 30 minutes to call myself a runner which, at over 15 stone, is impossible for me. But in September, something in me just decided that I should just do what I felt comfortable with and enjoyed, so I started running at my own pace – so what if it takes me 45 minutes to run 5K? At least I’m moving!

I still felt far too self-conscious to run outdoors, so, apart from a couple of very early morning runs (when no one else is around), most of my running has been on a treadmill. Then I signed up for a half-marathon and suddenly thought, ‘I really need to know how well, or badly, I run.’ So today I did my first parkrun. I actually ran outside, where lots of other people could see me, including 201 other runners, who I felt sure would all be better runners than me.

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About Women’s Running

Coming up in the April issue of Women’s Running… Ramping up your mileage this spring? We’ve got everything you need in the April issue of Women’s Running, out now! Find the best running shoe for you with our first Women’s Running Shoe Guide, featuring 30 models tried and tested. If you’re marathon training, you’ll find part two of our 12-week training plans in this issue, taking you right up to race day. We’ve got an essential stretching routine to ease tired muscles, three gorgeous recipes to boost your health and energy, and tips on how to tackle long runs. Plus, we’ve got all the usual great gear reviews, inspiration and quick training advice.