Reporter Series journalists Georgina Morris, Lauren Ballinger and Claire Armstrong are taking part in this year’s Great North Run in aid of Action for Children.
They’ll be sharing their progress with readers along the way as the team at Kirklees Active Leisure help them to get ready for the challenge ahead.
“After our first training trip to the gym at Dewsbury Sports Centre, Claire and I vowed to make a date with the treadmill at least twice a week with the aim of eventually working in some classes too.
“It was easy for the first few weeks – going to the gym was a novelty in itself and actually doing some exercise had me feeling like a saint.
“But like all novelties, the shine can all too easily wear off. It’s then that you realise the real value of having a training buddy.
“If I’m having a lazy day and mumble about maybe giving it a miss, I’m so shamed by Claire’s determination to go on her own that I soon change my mind.
“If we set ourselves a target for time on the treadmill or cross-trainer, neither of us wants to stop before the other.
“And when the thought of sit-ups to build core strength after all the cardio and work on the resistance machines has one of us ready to crumble, the other can be counted on to keep us both going.
“The Kirklees Active Leisure team at Dewsbury Sports Centre have been on hand to give us pointers and talk us through using new pieces of equipment.
“They’ve also offered to draw up a training programme to help keep us on the right track and make sure we don’t slack off. I dread to think what they have in store!
“With five months to go until the Great North Run, we’ve also started running out on the road.
“Lauren is training at a different gym, but she’s been joining us for runs around the reservoir in Tingley. She’d been worried about falling behind us, but she was still running long after Claire and I dropped to a walk.
“It can be pretty embarrassing to go puffing past people out walking their dogs and enjoying the scenery when we’re all sweaty and red-faced, but everyone we’ve spoken to about the race has told us it’s vital to get in plenty of running time outdoors as well as on the treadmill.
“But just has we were starting to make good progress, holidays reared their head and threw our routine into chaos.
“I’m ashamed to say that neither of us has darkened the door of Dewsbury Sports Centre for three weeks now.
“A two-hour cycle on a hen do in Amsterdam, a two-and-a half mile run with a friend in Darlington and a seven mile walk when I was visiting family in North Yorkshire helped me to get in some exercise during three weekends away, but with Claire out of the country I failed miserably when it came to mid-week gym visits.
“Suitably shamed - and panicked that our 13.1 mile is a month closer – we went to the gym after work yesterday and we’re off again tonight. Wish us luck!”