4 tips on how to start enjoying running in partnership with Nike Women


I’ve done lots of running in my life, running away from problems, running way from commitment, running for the bus but actual running? Not so much.

At school i was such a well behaved, rule following, homework on time kind of student. That was until PE, I hated it, Squeezing my chubby body into my PE uniform and being made to run laps in a field was my version of living, muddy hell. I was constantly worried about being judged, laughed at or mocked for being slow. 



I could manage the dance classes, netball, baseball but when it came to running I was out. No literally, I would check out of my lesson. The excuses came thick and fast.

I have a headache
I’m on my period
I left my kit at home
You name it and I had an excuse.

Truthfully I cared more about how others perceived me than anything else and that stopped me from enjoying exercise much later into my life.


Fast forward 17 years and my aversion with running is still real but this time it's less about the worry of others and more about my personal ability. The truth is running has always seemed like an exercise that just wasn't built for me, it seemed like a sport that was best suited for the agile, the fast and the fit. I'm none of those things but that doesn't mean I or even you can't give running a good go. So with that in mind my last and final post with Nike (find my other posts here and here) is 4 tips on how to start enjoying running. 



1. Couch to 5k 

Couch to 5k is a challenge and nine week program to get the British public up and running. It is easy to follow with a downloadable app available on android and apple . Each week offers step by step instructions on how to get started and the idea is that you slowly build your endurance as each week goes on. On top of that there's tons of resources  for pre and post stretches, as well as real life stories to help inspire that oomf you need. The lovely thing is you don't have to do it alone, there is a forum with over 40,000 people who offer support and guidance to anyone who needs it. The Nike+ run club running app is also a great place to feel involved with a community of people.

2. Listen to podcasts 

Some people enjoy the peace and quiet of nature when they go for a run, but I am personally not one of them, I need distraction so that I can keep on going and I find that podcasts really help with that. I find myself getting lost in a juicy interview or a story and before I know it I have walked or run on the running machine for 30 minutes. My personal favorites to listen to are:

- The High Low a popular culture podcast by Dolly Aldterton and Pandora Sykes.
- What Page Are You On On a podcast all about books by Bethany Rutter and Alice Slater 
- Dessert Island Dishes a look into the favorite food of interesting people by  Margie Broadhead 

The audio guided runs on the Nike Running Club app also have tons of sessions which specifically guide new runners on their first run.

3. Following plus size runners/ Athletes 

Representation and visibility is really important and I find following other strong plus size women athletes and runners massively helps me with pushing myself with exercise. One of my personal favorites is Mirna Valerio who I met when shooting a campaign in New York a few years ago. Her passion and drive for bringing a body-positive message to the world of running is inspiring and it makes me realise that my body can do anything if I put my mind to it. I also recommend exploring the #plussizerunner on Instagram to see images of men and women who are also on a journey with running.

4. Invest in decent sports wear

When I first started exercising my gym kit was a scruffy pair of leggings, oversized mens t-shirt and whatever trainers I could find in the sale. It wasn't until Nike extended their sports apparel and I tried their range I realised just what I had missed out on. Aside of the fact it was the first time I felt stylish and good when heading out to exercise, I also felt the benefits of effective sportswear technology. My Nike Leggings are not only slick and stylish but they actually stay up when I am running which has often been a struggle previously. The elasticated high waist on these leggings actually stays up making my jog or walk much more comfortable. I'm no longer left with very obvious wet patches from sweat because of their sweat proof technology. Plus their newest REACT trainers are softer, springier, lighter and are designed to absorb energy from impact which is so important for me when I run.


I truly hope that this series I have shared with Nike, exploring different forms of exercise has been insightful and informative, especially from my perspective as a plus size woman. One thing I have learnt throughout this partnership is that exercise and wellbeing can and should be enjoyed by everyone. All women deserve access to stylish and effective sportswear and thanks to Nike I have been able to explore exercise in both style and in comfort. 


Nike Element Women's Running Top 

 I am wearing size 3x in this top and it is really comfortable and the fabric is lovely and soft. The Zipper around the neck is really helpful for keeping you warm as well as allowing you to cool down quickly post run

Nike Epic Lux Women's Running Tights

 These are great running tights, they are stretchy but firm which is helpful with them staying up during the run. I love the style of these with the paneling which adds style to the legging. 

Nike Epic React Flyknit 

These are fantastic trainers, they are so lightweight that you hardly feel like you are wearing anything. The foam bottom of the trainer feels really nice when running. My only advise with these is, if you are have wide feet then I recommend going in store to try these on to whether it is best to size up as whilst they have a lot of stretch they foot width is a little narrow.