Claire Winfield, 37, from Ilkeston has lost over four stone in just seven months after joining a couch to 5k programme with Jog Derbyshire group Ilkeston Joggers. As a complete beginner struggling to run for more than three minutes, Claire was running 5k within a month and is now joining in with the latest Jog into January beginners.
Finding the courage to get started
Claire said: “I joined the Ilkeston Joggers couch to 5k programme last June. They were already a couple of sessions in when I saw it on facebook so they were up to running in three minute bursts.
“Going for that first time was really frightening but there was really nothing to be scared about. The hardest point is turning up. But everyone is so encouraging and says well done when you’ve achieved something. Once you’ve done that first session you’ll wish you’d done it sooner.
Keen to lose weight
“When I started I was 103kg. I’d been putting on weight since I had my son 19 years ago and although I’d done yo-yo diets they’d never lasted more than a month. I was starting to try and eat more healthily and walking the dog but it wasn’t enough to lose the weight. If I was to run for the bus back then I’d have been out of breath.
“When I look back at the photos of myself at my heaviest it’s disgusting and I wonder why I waited all this time.
It’s all thanks to the group
“I’ve lost more than four stone since I started and feel great. I’ve got more confidence with clothes and I’m enjoying picking up new running gear as I’ve got more into it. There’s no way I’m going back to how I was now.
“I can’t thank the group enough, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have without them.
“The best thing about Jog Derbyshire is working as a group. That’s what gets you through it. You know when you turn up you don’t have to compete, you’re not made to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing and the leaders always praise you.
Achieving my goals
“The first time I managed 5k it felt amazing. I now join park runs regularly, which I never realised even existed before this group. It’s part of my Saturday morning routine and I’m already on my 20th. I’m doing the Derby 10k in April and I’m aiming for my first half marathon which I never dreamed I could do in the beginning.
“I never had the confidence to go to the gym before I started jogging. I have now but I would still rather go running outside. Running on a treadmill is boring. I can run much further outside – time passes much more quickly when you’ve got interesting things like scenery to look at and people to chat to.
Supporting others to take the first step
“January is a really good time to start. I’m now going out with the new intake of Jog into January joggers and there’s been a really good turn out. I like getting an extra run in and it’s nice to be able to help support people who are in the same position I was.”
How to get involved
Claire runs with the Ilkeston Joggers – you can find out more about them here
To discover your nearest Jog Derbyshire group use Find a Group