July 1, 2014
Name Sue Lenton
Where do you live? Sidcup
BMI and/or Dress Size I don’t like being defined by a number but BMI is 30.
When did you start running and why?
I started running at age 50, I wanted to find a form of exercise I enjoyed. In October 2011 I was 21 stone and began my lifestyle change. I had lost 5.5 stone when I decided to try running. I was determined to age disgracefully and decided I needed to be healthy to do so!
Did you run a lot when you were younger?
No! I hated PE – I was a chubby kid and the gym with all those bars and ropes terrified me.
What do you love and hate about the sport of running?
It’s my down time. Running is great and portable. You can do it anywhere. I’m a bit of a lone wolf and I like the idea of doing something outside, on my own, on my terms. I am competitive against myself so I am never without a challenge!
How often do you run?
3 times a week, usually two 5 ks and a longer run on Sunday – the length of that depending on what I am training for.
What kind of distances do you run in training?
I recently completed the Hackney Half marathon and in training for that the furthest I had run before the race itself was 11 miles
Do you parkrun? (if so which one)
No – I need one locally on a Sunday as Saturday is impossible for me.
Have you taken part in any races? Please tell us about them
Yes I have, my first ever run was a Santa 5k run; Great British 10K, BUPA London 10K, Richmond Park 5K, Great South Run (10 miles) and recently the Hackney Half Marathon, where I met up with Julie to make our way to the start. You can read about her race here
Have you had any negative experiences whilst out running?
Yes! Hence my runs mainly being at 5am on a weekday morning! I’ve had name calling and that kind of thing.
What are your biggest fears/concerns/hangups about being a plus sized runner?
Having a family member who always thinks I’m going to have a heart attack!! I think I worry about the strain and the toll of my joints but I listen to my body and to my physio if I get hurt.
What is your ultimate running goal and whats stopping you from getting there?
I have a couple really – to get 9 mph splits resulting in sub 30 5Ks and sub 60 10Ks – ultimately the London Marathon – who knows?!
What’s more important to you and why? Frequency, running or distance of running?
Running frequency, I think running in itself is important. Although I have to say I have a huge sense of achievement having run a half marathon so maybe distance is more important to me than I realise.
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?
I’m not sure if I’m honest. One thing about being overweight is that you tend to want to remain invisible, so that’s a tricky one.
What are the biggest barriers for plus sized women?
Themselves – lack of self esteem and self confidence and also to some extent society, not all runners look like Jessica Ennis!
What would you say to other runners just starting out?
Baby steps! Invest in a good sports bra, get good running shoes and get your gait analysed. Two years ago I was 50 and started with a C25K app and now I’ve run a half marathon.
What have you learned about yourself through running?
Anything is possible! I have a motto – Never Surrender, Always Believe.
Has the Fat Girls Guide to Running helped you in any way, if so how?
It’s a fantastic concept, virtual races are great and I think it’s nice to know you’re not alone. Reading about other (normal) people’s achievements, knowing you can go somewhere for advice and not feel like you’re asking a silly question. I have to say I have found the running community on the whole have been fantastically supportive.