Former GB international Colin McCourt is working towards a sub-16:00 5km to avoid 17 tattoos and shares the next stage on his journey in his second blog post for AW

Hello guys,

OK – let’s talk about week one!

So I had the mad idea I would run before work. I start work at 8am so doing this involved me getting up between 6am and 6.30am to run (‘not that early’, you say? I was used to getting out of bed 15 minutes before I was due at my desk!).

I had the perfect route to start on, it’s a 4.2km loop with hardly any breaks from crossing roads and to begin with it was taking me around 24 minutes to run. Over the week I slowly improved that and managed to get down to a quick 20 minutes. I was coupling this with an evening walk after work, walking for about 4-5 miles and I was taking little Finny with me to help keep me going.

In this first run, I couldn’t breathe and my legs were one fire. The chafing was unbelievable – I was going out the door Vaselined up to the eye balls and coming back with red raw legs. So, I started running in tights and this helped massively. Once that was sorted I thought, ‘right that’s it, ready to go!’ But nope, my man boobs attacked! I was so close to buying a sports bra by the end of the first week. On the Friday my legs were in pieces and my nipples had fallen off.

What a start! I was impressed that I had got up every day at 6am and got out the door to get it done. I was very motivated, more motivated than I have ever been. The hard part is getting up and getting out – we all love an extra few minutes in bed but the reward and the feeling I have once I’m out is worth every early rise.

It’s a very hard transition, I will do my best to explain this. Running used to be very automatic, almost thoughtless, most of the time for me – I could just do it. If I wanted to run fast, I would. If I wanted to slow down, I would. I had control of my body.

Now, I don’t have that control. I get why I don’t though – not having run for a few years, being overweight and pizza, pizza, pizza! However, mentally it’s hard not being able to do that and not having that control I had been so used to. I think about every step now, I feel everything.

My legs feel different. Obviously, they are covered in meat and gravy… but, you overthink what you are doing. You obsess about it. Well, I did. That first week was a mental struggle not just to get out but to try and let go of the past and move forward. My body is different now – and it might be changed forever. So, I just need to get on with it and I will soon find out what I am made of.

My plan is to slowly, very slowly, build up. At the moment I am doing 20 minutes in the AM and 20 minutes in the PM as nice and relaxed as possible. I am eating three meals a day and have cut all excess sugar.

I have subbed lattes for black coffee – no sugar. That took a bit of getting used to, I can tell you. No snacks between meals, which is a bit excessive but I just wanted to test myself. I will add snacks like fruit and nuts as the mileage goes up.

I feel good and I look better already. I am loving being back running and all the support you guys are giving is amazing. It’s helping me get out of bed every day and get it done – thank you guys.

If this helps just one of you make a change like me then that would make me happy.

» You can read more on Colin’s challenge here. Look out for regular blog posts from Colin on athleticsweekly.com, while you can also follow his journey on Instagram here