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 are be sharing their progress with readers along the way as the team at Kirklees Active Leisure help them to get ready for their half marathon challenge.
“IT will come as no surprise to you that training for a half-marathon involves a lot of running.
“Running on treadmills, running round reservoirs, running up hills, rolling down hills...
“But there’s only so much running that can be done by novices like us without someone going crackers.
“So for our sanity, Claire and I thought we’d mix things up and try out a few of the classes run by Kirklees Active Leisure.
“We decided to ease ourselves in with a bit of Zumba, the Latin dance-inspired fitness craze.
“Since we were both beginners there was a fair bit of going in the opposite direction to everyone else and general flailing around, but nobody batted an eyelid. This friendly class was all about having fun while getting fit so the trick was just to keep moving.
“It was a bit of a revelation to find myself smiling and laughing while exercising, but that’s the magic of a class that involves plenty of Beyonce-style booty-shaking.
“Don’t let the fun deceive you though, this is still exercise and there’s still plenty of scope to have a bright red, sweaty face by the end.
“Buoyant from the booty-shaking, we signed ourselves up for a spinning class the following Friday.
“Spinning strikes fear into the hearts of many who believe it is a form of exercise bike-based torture, but is beloved by fitness enthusiasts in search of a vigorous workout.
“A motivational quote on the wall of the spin studio at Dewsbury Sports Centre says it all: Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever.
“Pain may be temporary, but my ability to endure it is limited at the best of times.
“To make matters worse, our trainer Danny Missin had put us through our paces the previous day and, crippled by squats, we could barely walk.
“Hobbling into the darkened studio, we found the music pounding and loyal spinners already pedalling away under the disco lights.
“With a little help from the friendly man on a neighbouring bike, I adjusted the saddle and slowly started pedalling what felt like a bike with square wheels.
“Five minutes in, my heart was pounding and it was time to crank up the tension on the flywheel, making it harder still to pedal.
“With the encouragement of instructor James, we alternated between spells of pedalling as fast as possible, or pedalling with the tension set so high that it took every ounce of energy to keep going. At one point while we were stood up out of our seats pedalling, my legs simply gave way.
“I was totally shattered and sweating from head to toe by the end of our 45 minutes, but buzzing because I had survived!
“Equally exhausted, Claire likened the experience to ‘a distressing rave in a sauna’ – but that hasn’t stopped us going back. After all, pain is temporary...”