Fox In Flats is running in the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K

Andrea is a blogger for Fox in Flats and is taking part in the spectacular Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10K on July 14th. Find out how a beginner runner is training for a 10k run.

On July 14th I’m taking part in the Sydney 10k Run, and I’ve committed myself to doing it just 3 weeks out.

I’m under no illusions that I’ll struggle to run the whole way. Given my sad level of fitness, the short amount of time to prepare, and my lack of running expertise, I’d be an idiot to think otherwise. But I do think I can finish the course within the allocated time 1 hour and 20 minutes.

It’s a flat circuit that winds its way from The Rocks at Sydney Harbour, up Hickson Road, around Darling Harbour as far as the Chinese Gardens, then up toward Star City Casino – and back again. So the scenery is going to be a feast for the eyes, which is handy because it will detract attention away from my face, which will no doubt be red, sweaty and creased in pain.

Er, WHY???!

It’s at this point that I’ve gotta come clean to you about exactly how unfit I am at the moment. I simply can’t play tag with my boys for longer than 5 minutes as I get too puffed out, walking up a few sets of stairs leaves me out of breath, and I can’t keep up with my littlest guy as we walk up the steep path from his pre-school to our home.

So of course I’ve agreed to take part. I want to be able to play with my high-energy kids without having to make excuses to slow down or stop.

My other sources of motivation are certain quotes – like the one below – that have been gleefully shared on the Fox In Flats Facebook and Instagram pages.


"Do one thing everyday that scares you."

- Eleanor Roosevelt


Not being one to do things by halves, I’ve decided to do one thing a day that scares me until the Sydney 10K Run on July 14, and that thing is to train my butt off.

The plan of attack

Not knowing where to start, I asked the Facebook Friends of Fox in Flats for tips. Needless to say, they came to the (running) party with bags of golden advice.

Here’s a selection:

  • Start slowly! Don't try to run fast, just try to keep a slow jog going over a km or two, and try to increase the distance every time you go out. Casey
  • Good shoes, loud music, pretty location. Just go! Build on a bit each time. Rochelle
  • I only started running about 2 week ago, using the couch to 5k app, but for a non-runner I am itching to get out & run if I miss a few days... It doesn't take long to turn yourself around if you really want to. My mantra while jogging is 'your mind is giving up, not your body. Don't. Give. In!' Erin
  • Start with flat runs – much easier!! Pump up the iPod!! I find it easier to not hear my breathing! Also I do things like just get to the end of the street, just get to the post box, etc. Alana
  • Whatever you do go and get yourself fitted in to the right kind of running shoes for you before you even think about starting. Unless you do some regular leg strength training now this would be my number one starting point because your shoes will be your first line of defence against you hurting yourself! Ideally go to a shop that specialises in running shoes, if there isn't one conveniently near by try a reputable place but you want to talk to the most experienced person in the store and ideally someone who runs themselves. Tatum
  • Try to find a local Park run on Saturday mornings too, they're great...and free! Casey
  • Just make sure you take it easy with training and on the day. Recovery is just as important as training. Warning: You will be hooked. A runner's high is the best kind of high. Lee-Maree

Taking all of this advice on board I’ve hit the ground running

My friend Sara, who lives nearby, kindly offered for me to tag along to her gym, and go for runs with me. It’s also a great excuse to have a catch-up, which we’ve been meaning to do for ages.

Serendipitously, at my first class at the gym with Sara – a boxing class that she described as “hell” – I was also able to convince the trainer, Norman, to give me some intensive one-on-one sessions in the lead up to the race. I figure that I’m going to need to pull out the big guns to get me into any kind of shape. And Norman does, in fact, have Big Guns… He is also ever-so-slightly gorgeous so that might provide a teeny bit of extra motivation to turn up to our sessions on time and literally work my butt off.

The Running Dare

So, I’ve taken up this most unlikely of challenges, and am now daring you to join me!

My running buddy, Sara is in. One of my besties, Anna, has committed to it. Anyone else up for the challenge?

We could all grab a coffee down at Sydney Harbour post-race, share our training war stories, bitch about ‘bee’s whiskers’ and I’ll show you a photo of Norman’s arms ;)

Keen to join me?

Register online now to run the Sydney 10k. The first 5 who register will receive 20% off the race entry fee from sponsors Real Insurance. Just enter the code BlogSH10 at the online checkout.

Until then, my mantra is going to be:

Who’s in?

And if not, hit me with your excuse, and make it a good one!

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