Running club no-go again, and second attempt at free gym

Running club no-go again, and second attempt at free gym

I'm trying to really up my exercise this week, and part of this was to make sure I finally made it to my local running club. In my previous post (Tues) I was quite demotivated when I got an email saying it had been cancelled but the organiser said there would be a 'casual run' today that I was welcome to join. So today I went to the meeting point in the Olympic Park, but there was no one there (but LOADS of people for parkour club, like hundreds - maybe I should have joined them?) So I texted the organiser and they were at Stratford station instead. I suggested I could cycle over to meet them there but it would take me 10 mins, and he replied that maybe I could meet them en route. They were planning a 20+mile run into the city and I was welcome to join and leave at any point. But this wouldn't work for me - how would I get back to my bike afterwards, and I hadn't brought my oyster card or any cash to get a train back home either :( So I had to say I couldn't make it. Hmph. He was apologetic and said to come Tues, I was at the right place for the Tues meetings.

So, a bit discombobulated by it all I set off and just decided to do a normal run round the park. As I set off I thought I'd try a free gym again, as there is one at the Olympic Park too (on Tues I tried the one in Abbey Lane which was pretty disappointing). Above is the picture of the free gym at the Olympic Park. There are 3 types of machines there, from left to right - a treadmill, an 'oblique' and two rowing machines. I ran about 1.7k to the free gym, rotated between the 'oblique' and the rowing machine, which were in much better condition than the Abbey Lane machines and importantly still had their instructions attached. Then I continued my run in a big loop ending up back at my bike. Altogether I ran 3.3k (10% increase on Tuesday's run) in 24 mins, only a slightly slower pace, and masses faster than my usual 5k pace. And I think I would use those machines again, particularly the rowing machine, as it felt quite effective. So all in all it worked out okay, and I feel on track for achieving my goal of upping my exercise this week. But I definitely don't plan to run 20+ miles any time soon, or ever for that matter :)

By the way, it was amazing to stumble on the parkour. People were trying to hop up steps and things, it looked fun as I ran past the different groups in their different areas. I think this is what was going on. parkourgenerations.com/?eve...

Last edited by

32 Replies

oldest β€’ newest
  • Nice work. I didn't know there was gym equipment at the Olympic Park, seem to have missed that. But then I go there less since they closed part of the Greenway. May take a look one day.

  • Its near where carpenters road meets the canal, on a big sweeping bridge to the north of the olympic stadium. I've also come unstuck because of the closed greenway. They're slowly reopening some of the Bow back river paths now though, so maybe worth re-exploring :)

  • Hi Ruth,I just wanted to pop by and say I've read all your posts today ...right through from the start ...and find you a complete inspiration .

    I've been messing around with half-hearted attempts at healthy eating ...yet again ....and haven't run in anything like a really committed way in quite a while for a variety of reasons ...some completely valid ,like a recent cold which knocked me off kilter for almost a week and some trying weather conditions...BUT...I've also found plenty of excuses at other times too...and it's mostly down to lazy-itis.

    Feel quite ashamed to write it ,but might as well just get it off my chest and here is as good as anywhere !

    So what I'm really saying is thanks for some really motivational posts,lots of great advice....I feel like I've had the necessary kick up the a**e I've been needing for some time now 😝

    Hope the Tuesday running club gets off the ground this week .

    Sending you good vibes for tomorrow's weigh -in.😊

  • Thanks Carolecal, I'm also inspired by lots of the posts on here. I don't think you should be ashamed about false starts and gaps in your motivation, we all experience this, we're all human. Good luck getting your running and healthy eating intentions off the ground this time around and good vibes for your weigh in too :)

  • Hi Ruth, glad you didn't let the mix up get you down and that you managed to turn it all into a positive day of exercise. You truly are an inspiration for getting off your bum and going for it, it was you that inspired me to get my bike out again ( do admit that I am only on it once a week at the minute though 😁 ) and I follow your posts avidly. I only use the treadmill and rowing machine at the gym ( again I am only going once a week at present). I love the rower and for me it strengthens where I need for the job I do. My daily activity is walking the dog ( 1 hour minimum) and I try to keep a steady pace when doing so. I bought a pedometer a few weeks ago as I was curious as to how many steps I actually walk on an average day and was pleasantly surprised to realise that it was a lot more than the recommended 10000. No wonder my legs don't match the round barrel of a body they have to carry, lol.

    Looking forward to your next post hun x

  • Thanks Shellie, it's really good to know others are as pedantic as me about monitoring their exercise! I'm really trying to nail it this week, hopefully it will feel like less effort if I can just get a good routine. I think going out on your bike once a week is pretty good considering everything else you do, you definitely seem to have a pretty good routine, and having a dog to walk definitely helps! I don't think I walk a lot because I'm on my bike most of the time, and sometimes cycling isn't such great exercise, especially when you're just freewheeling through subways etc... I could definitely walk more, there's another thing I might try to build in...

  • Hi Ruth

    Living around where you do, are there any rowing clubs (you are quite close to Docklands ? I think they used to have rowing around there ?). I used to row up in Scotland and it is a great workout, and really good team sport if you get involved in rowing in 4s or 8s. Much more enjoyable than pounding away at an ergo in the gym :-)

  • There's a rowing club near Springfield Park (on the River Lea) and another at the top of Deptford Creek (just south of the river). But as I can't swim, I'm wondering if real rowing is the best plan! Probably best to attend some swimming lessons first, and before doing that, talk myself into wearing a swimming costume... Thanks for the suggestion though, I'm all for doing things for real where possible :)

  • Hmmm - I can't recall ever capsizing in a big boat (easily done in a single though !) - but yes, they might not want to take you on as a non-swimmer - I think the armbands get in the way of the oars !! Definitely worth learning to swim for though :-)

  • Hi Ruth. Such a shame the running club is messing you about. I have found that when it comes to exercise you can't rely on anyone. I have been let down so often by friends when it comes to swimming, aqua aerobics and the gym. Each time I have ended up doing things on my own (are they trying to tell me something?!). So if you can, I would say just rely on yourself and go on your own (provided you are safe). Unless you can maybe find say 3 other friends who will run with you, that way at least one may turn up and if they let you down do it anyway - like you did today.

    Alternatively how about setting up your own starter running club for people at the same level as you?

    As for running 20+ miles - I understand that running over 10k regularly is what causes injury so that is something to think about long term.

    If I was local to you I would happily walk while you ran ahead but sadly I am 200+ miles away.

    Anyway enjoy your free gym :)

  • Hey Sueper, that is a good idea to try and start a starters running club. Ruth, you should do this if you have the time hun. 😊

  • I often think of starting a walking club locally. The ones near me are either on week days (when I'm at work) or short walks near the city centre on the weekends. When I am a bit fitter I might re-think it :)

  • I don't have the time! And this running club is advertised as being meant for people at around my fitness level. I think the Sunday run must have just been aimed at different people! But it is a good idea to just organise your own. I found lots of different running groups on the runengland site. Maybe there's something similar for walking groups?

  • I am determined to join this running club however difficult it is as it feels like a good way of maintaining my running and keeping it fun. But I think I've just caught them at a funny time when there's been a few cancellations and crossed wires etc. I'm no expert on running but I've never heard someone describe 20+miles as a casual run before, there must definitely have been some kind of crossed wires there! I'm hopefully going to my first parkrun with a friend next Sat down in South West London, so there's something to look forward to that will be with a friend at least. Thanks for the offer of walking while I run ahead... We could all synchronise our exercise perhaps. I do at least think of everyone on here while I'm out and it keeps me motivated :)

  • Well done for all the exercise you are doing despite the run around you are getting from the club ( sorry for the pun!)

  • Thanks Yoyonomore. I need to just keep it up, ongoing. It feels like my body just needs to be this active so I think I need to develop a long term exercise habit now. Hope all going well with your power walks and resistance bands too :)

  • Thanks .Gave myself the weekend off. Upping from 2 mile to 3 mile tomorrow. Aiming to do a workout every weekday morning this week. I think I need to up my game x

  • Good luck with upping the mileage. 3miles is the same as 5k I think - pretty far! Good luck doing the workout every day too. I want to do 3 runs and 3 biking days every week from now on.

  • Sounds like you had a great session and you can see with the times and distances how far you have come from starting the journey on c25k,

    If that happened to me, I wouldn't have gone out, I'd have probably been to disappointed or I would have done a small little jog around a grass area with a football at my feet, maybe I should take a leaf out of your book and attend my local running club as well which they have a beginner group on mondays and the meeting point is only round the corner from me :)

    I must say about parkour it's one of the best sports I've ever tried and I've tried about 20 different sports over the years, I did it for 4 years but had to give it up a couple of years back due to health reasons, I'm overcoming them so might start up again, I'm thinking of doing some videos and putting them on youtube once my health is pretty good it's mainly my co-ordination and balance that is holding me back from doing the sport again, it doesn't just work your legs, it's like a whole body workout, it works your arms, legs, core, back and your stamina as well,

    I hope your next running session isn't cancelled and you enjoy the session, let us know how you get on, if I go to mine next week I will put up a post about the session :)

    Take care,

    Siobhan x

  • I was starting to become that person who gets put off and ends up staying in, hence applying extra determination this week! The parkour did look amazing. It's quite balletic and graceful and i like the big trousers they wear, makes it all seem larger than life and magical. I wonder how you can rebuild your coordination and balance? Getting back to being able to do parkour again and to make a video about it would be pretty cool :)

  • I will definitely have to take a leaf out of your book, and go out and join the running club, I did contact the club a few weeks back and they said I can go along for a couple of sessions and see how I like them and if I enjoy the sessions then I join up, if not then there isn't any pressure in joining the club which I think is a great thing to do, gives people a couple of sessions to decide whether they want to carry on going,

    I attend an adult gymnastics class once a week and the coach designs my programme more around improving my balance and co-ordination so I spend a lot of time working on the beam, I started 2 years ago on a floor beam and I am now on a 2ft beam able to do tuck jumps, half and full turns without falling off, I can also do forward rolls and cartwheels on the floor beam, when I started I couldn't even stand on a beam without falling off, my balance was really bad back then, I'm also able to do other things as well, I coule probably do some small vaults over walls now as I've been practicing them in the gymnastics classes I go to. :)

  • Thats a bummer about your running club but I am proud of you for not just giving up - I wish I had some of those machines around ME when I went for my walk.

    I have to admit I am a bit bummed today. My left knee has been moaning a bit over the last few days and its quite stiff this morning. I can walk on it and the more I do the more it loosens but it worries me a little. - it has a lot of activity planned in the next 12 months! :)

    Wil check in with the doc today and see what she says.

  • Oh no Dave, you need to get that knee fixed! Good you're catching it early and getting advice from doc. There are lots of knee exercises you can do to strengthen it of course too. Also cycling is fine on a dodgy knee. Maybe time to consider getting a bike? I'm still not completely sold on the free gyms but yes its good they're just out there in the parks, even if some seem to be better maintained than others. Maybe some will come your way at some point too...

  • Hi Ruth, just catching up. It's such a shame you have been messed around by the running club, but on the up side it did not deter you from getting your workout in which is just great. I love the bit where you say " I definitely don't plan to run 20+ miles any time soon, or ever for that matter" you really made me Laugh OL :-)

    The free gym sounds great with a treadmill and rowing machine. We have one of these near me but the equipment is poor and does not have a treadmill or rowing machine.

    I have been doing a 1 mile run every morning followed by a brisk walk then onto lifting some weights. In the afternoon I do some more cardio for 1 hour, then onto a 1 hour walk in the evening. I am really upping my exercise game this week too and feeling it this week all over.

    Seems we are always looking for different ways to reach our goals. You are doing a brilliant job so very well done and I look forward to your next post. Have a brilliant week

    Trafford1 x

  • Hi trafford1, thanks, after all that effort I then saw a 6lb loss on the scales, so I'm mega motivated to keep up the same level of activity going forward. I've also been adding in walks after dinner if I've had a less active sort of day, e.g. freelancing on the computer all day. The free gym I went to first of all (previous post) was very badly maintained and felt borderline dangerous, but the one in the Olympic Park was good (probably because newer) - so maybe see if there are other ones near you that are maybe newer/better maintained? I also thought about just taking a can of WD40 next time to get the cogs turning a bit better!

    I've just texted the running club organiser and he's confirmed it's definitely going ahead today. So I'll be letting myself in for some organised running this eve, in approx 2.5 hours time, the first ever since I was 11 or something. Wish me luck! Good luck upping your exercise this week too, I like the idea of lots of different avenues leading towards our end goal, and us switching paths as we go along to keep it interesting. Enjoy the view as you travel along :)

  • WOW Ruth, a 6 lb loss....I am in aww of you right now. That is such a GREAT achievement and truly an achievement that would make me mega motivated also :-) Very well done.

    It's great to hear that the running club definitely went ahead and I really hope you had fun and enjoyed your run. I went all out yesterday after dinner, sprinted and walked briskly a 5 k and completed this in 25 mins 58 secs. I was all puffed out by the end but I am glad I did it.

    I agree it's good to switch things up which does keep this journey interesting and keeps us motivated. I haven't had a big loss since the begging of my journey, but it sure would be good to have one like yours which is just fabulous :-)

    Keep up the excellent work, you have truly motivated me today Ruth

    Trafford1 x

  • That's a very tidy time for 5k! I also sometimes switch between fast running and walking. I'm slowly starting to get the control to switch between fast and slow running, which also helps give you a feeling of rest periods during the run. I think the overall distance that I ran in yesterdays running club must have come to well over 5k, split into two sessions. I didn't measure it but it was 7 laps (3 laps, then a break, then 4 laps) round a field and each lap felt about 1k long. Also I was really pushed to go faster each lap. Very much feeling the effects this morning!

  • I have been feeling the effects of the workouts too but haven't given in. I am in a lot of pain all over through the tough workouts I have been putting myself through, but still need to get up in the morning stretch then run the mile, lift weights then onto the HIIT for 5 mins then squats with kettle bell. I am hoping to have a big number this week and pray it could be something like your number.

    You sound so full of motivation and determination and I like that very much about you Ruth. I solute you for running those 7 laps around the field. Well done :-)

  • Thanks. You should salute the other 4 who were there too - they all ran 2 laps more than me! Hope you have lots of pain-easing methods, good long stretches, hot baths with dead sea salts, ibuprofen gel if all else fails. You want to see a big loss but you also want to be still able to stand and get on the scales ;) Lots of luck. I salute you too!

  • no pain no gain :-) Long stretches 3 times a day :-) morning, noon and night. It's all worth it!

  • Good luck with the running club tonight. If it isn't right for you I have discovered that there are two beginners running clubs in Redbridge if you can get there? Both on Wednesdays at 7pm. Let me know if you want details. Also 9am on Saturdays they do park run in Valentines park Ilford.

  • Thanks, that's good to know. I'm based in Bow so the Olympic Park is really convenient for me and I also have a nearer parkrun in Hackney Marshes. Do you go to either of those running clubs or parkrun? How do you find it? I enjoyed my session last night, it really pushed me to the limit, so I'll def be going back.

You may also like...