Couch to 21k: entry one

Faculty: Science and Engineering
Category: Sport

30 November 2017

Karan signing up for CHM

My palms are sweaty, my legs are like jelly and my bottom lip is trembling. After I finally manage to regain some composure and spit out the words that I need to, it then dawns on me what I’ve actually done.

No, I’m not recalling the moment I first asked a girl out, I’ve just signed up for the Cambridge Half Marathon.

Over the last few months I’ve decided to try new things and challenge myself so when I heard about the Cambridge Half Marathon it sounded like a great opportunity. 

It’s going to be a tough journey to get ready and make it to the start line in March as I’m not a runner by any stretch of the imagination but it is a doable challenge.

Just a few weeks before signing up, I ran 5km for the first time ever and I was really proud of myself so I can’t imagine how happy I’ll be when I do the Cambridge Half Marathon.

In the last few weeks I have been regularly going to my local Parkrun in East London and I’m getting faster each time. 

I love the feeling of getting a new personal best and I am more productive after too. 

Even though some of the early mornings are tough, it’s definitely healthier than my usual Saturday morning routine of having a lie-in or playing video games.

I wouldn’t normally do a 5k at 9am on a Saturday morning but there’s something about Parkrun that motivates me to get out of bed.

I also did a Santa fun run for St Clare Hospice last weekend with my family which I really enjoyed.

santa fun run

It was my first time doing one and we ended up winning as the first group of six people to cross the finish line.

I’m pretty sure there was only one other group of six but it’s the first race I’ve ever won in my life so I was on such a high after.

It was a great day out for us and it was also nice to see so many people from the community get involved with it.

I recently bought myself a shiny new pair of running shoes to carry me along this journey which was an experience in itself. 

When I headed into the Asics shop in Wembley, I thought it would be a simple task but I soon found out that there are different types of running shoes for your foot. 

After doing some squats, the assistant in the shop pointed out that I should get structured cushioning shoes due to the way my feet moved. 

My first run with them was at the Chelmsford Parkrun in November and got a new personal best of 25:21. 

They are a lot more comfortable than the trainers I was using before which were quite old and multipurpose.

I know I need to start stepping up the distance that I run soon so I am going to follow the training plan on the Anglia Ruskin website.

It’s a 10 week plan so my training officially starts on Monday 18 December and it builds up your distances using a low-medium-high schedule.

I’ve heard good things about it from people that have run the half marathon in previous years and it was made by Dr James Johnstone so if it’s got the thumbs up from science then it’s good enough for me.

I’m tracking my progress on Strava which is a social tracking app for runners and cyclists. You can register your own workouts and see how other people are getting on. 

I would love to have more people on my feed – search for me ‘Karan Gadhia’ and I’ll follow you back.

As this is my first long distance run, I’ve set up a JustGiving page to raise money for Cancer Research UK. 

I hope to raise as much money as possible which will help saves lives and fight cancer. 

A message that one of my friends left on my page sums up my decision to run the half marathon – “This will either be really cool or really funny.”

Who knows which one it’ll be? Be sure to check out my next blogs to find out.


By Karan Gadhia


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