September 30, 2015
We don’t think you need to be a marathon runner to be considered for our runner of the month feature sponsored by UFit protein drinks, but this month we simply wanted to showcase an amazing lady from The Clubhouse who achieved an amazing feat a couple of weeks ago, and with so little fanfare too. I think you will agree Rebecca is an inspiration and proof that anyone can do anything if you set your mind to it
Name Rebecca Linsdell
Where do you live? North Lincs
BMI and/or Dress Size 14/16/18 Don’t weigh myself anymore…
When did you start running and why? I started running in June 2014, mainly because of my young daughters – I wanted to be able to keep up with them and set a good example, and I really needed to improve my fitness.
Did you run a lot when you were younger? Never. Hated sport at school, PE was so boring and if you didn’t have a talent for it, you were last to be picked and virtually ignored. Once I started to get boobs I was so self conscious and uncomfortable I just did the minimum.
What do you love and hate about the sport of running? I still find it amazing that I can run at all! I love it when I find my stride and I can just keep moving and forget about everything else! It’s time to myself, and I’m doing something for myself. I hate getting out of the door…. I hate trying to keep an eye on my pace…. And having to wash and straighten my hair so often!!
How often do you run? 3 or 4 times a week What kind of distances do you run in training? I’m happiest doing around 6-10 miles now, but if I’m out early (before the kids wake up) it’s more likely to be 3 or 4.
Do you parkrun? (if so which one) Yes, Scunthorpe, though want to visit the recently set up Gainsborough parkrun soon.
We know you recently took part in a Marathon, could you tell us about your experiences with training, motivation etc. I work really well with a training plan, and was lucky to find one that fitted. I’d done a half marathon in June and just decided to carry on increasing my distances up to marathon length. As for motivation… Well mainly I just wanted to prove to myself I could do it! I only did my first 10k in March, so if you’d told me then I’d be running a marathon in Sept I’d have laughed in your face! But I’ve found I like running longer distances – though it was getting a bit much at 20miles… I did decide to fundraise for a children’s hospice as well, which helped give me that extra push. The most important thing was just to believe I could do it. It sounds hokey but it really worked, I never let the self doubt in – ultimately all I had to do was keep moving.
Have you had any negative experiences whilst out running? I’ve had a few blokes shouting comments about my boobs, and a car ful of kids trying to spook me one night. Otherwise just my overactive imagination freaking me out occasionally! Oh, and a nasty fall on a road at the beginning of a 19mile run – I bravely bear the scars… 😉
What are your biggest fears/concerns/hangups about being a plus sized runner? I don’t really have any these days! I used to be so concerned about what people thought and how I looked, but now I realise most people aren’t looking, and anyone who HAS got a problem with how I look and what I’m doing is just an ignorant idiot, frankly.
What is your ultimate running goal and whats stopping you from getting there? Now I’ve done a marathon I’m reassessing my goals – I’ve got a couple of 10ks lined up so at the moment I’m focusing on improving my times. But I do HATE speed training!!
What’s more important to you and why? Frequency, running or distance of running? Probably frequency as I really miss the headspace when I don’t get out at all. However, I am missing the longer distances now – not something I ever thought I’d say!
What could the government, local authorities, sports clubs etc do to encourage more people to take up running and sport, especially overweight and inactive women? Sport needs to be made more accessible and inclusive! You read so many stories of running schemes advertised as for ‘beginners’ which then aren’t – if someone inexperienced turns up at a club asking to join, wanting to learn and participate, why on earth would anyone go out of their way to exclude them?
I love the This Girl Can campaign because it’s so incredibly positive, and I really think self belief is a massive factor – that’s something that needs to be fostered in people wanting to take up sport. And that positivity needs to be carried over into everyday life, so people don’t feel too intimidated to join a gym, or scared to start running because they don’t look like the models on the covers of magazines.
What are the biggest barriers for plus sized women? It’s so hard to take that first step, and I find so much of the battle is in my head. Issues around confidence and perceptions of how active people ‘should’ look can make it seem pointless to even try. And when you have a battle to find activewear that’s fit for purpose AND actually looks good, it doesn’t help.
What would you say to other runners just starting out? You CAN do this – it won’t be easy, but stick with it, it’s SO worth it. Do it for yourself. And positive thinking can take you a VERY long way!
What have you learned about yourself through running? I’m stronger than I thought and more determined too, and I’m far more optimistic than I realised!
How has being a member of the Clubhouse helped you in any way, if so how? The support of the other Clubhouse ladies has been fab – it was much easier to get up for a 5.30am run when a few of us had committed to it the night before! And it was great to get advice from Julie on my training plan.
As part of our new partnership with the Protein Company we will be sending you some uFit protein drinks to help with your training. Have you used protein drinks before and how do you think you might get on with them?
I only heard of protein drinks through this feature, so would definitely be interested to try them though and can’t wait to give uFit a go.
If you know someone who would make a great Runner of the Month why not put them forward for October by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org