#runjoerun – by Joe Freeman

Running. Urgh. It’s boring. And hard. Very, very hard… I dislike running immensely, but that’s going to have to change now.

I work at Diabetes UK and am the chap who looks after all our social media. Had a tweet from us? That was me. I work with some brilliant, dedicated and talented people here at Diabetes UK, but I also work with some mean people. Mean people who rope me in to doing running – running in the Bupa Great Manchester Run in May, to be precise.

Having read Roddy’s recent blog about doing the Marathon Des Sables, I probably shouldn’t be moaning. He’s running 155 miles though the bloody Sahara desert and all I’ve got to do is a lousy 10km through the streets of Manchester in 137 days time. But the 10km might as well be 155 miles for me. At least it always rains in Manchester so it won’t be as hot as the Sahara, right?

Seeing as I’m now committed to doing this, I thought I’d write about my experiences and share them on our blog. Whilst many people run this distance “for fun” of an evening, it’d be quite an achievement for me (plus I want a medal). I cycle to work every now and then, but apart from that, I must say my exercise regime is somewhat lacking – and I don’t think you can call having an 18 month old boy at home “exercise”, unfortunately.

So to get started… This might be seen as a shameless plug seeing as Diabetes UK are Bupa’s charity partner for the Great Run series (yay!), but Bupa Running have really handy training plans to get people going. They’re all on their website, and you can choose the ability level that suits you.

I’ve got 137 days to train for the run, so I’m starting with “Running – Beginner: 5km” which should take 8 weeks. I’m skipping the first week of the plan because I think even I can manage that, so week two is where I’m kicking things off. A rather simple sounding “Run two minutes, walk two minutes – repeat five times” regime to get me going. I like the fact it’s in small chunks, and by the end of the training plan, I *should* be able to comfortably run 5km – halfway to my goal!

After that, I’ll do the “Running – Beginner: 10km” eight week plan and go from there. I have plenty of time, so can afford to take my time. First thing I’ve learnt already is that giving yourself enough time to train is important, especially if you have a rather hectic life to start with… Whilst I don’t have diabetes myself, I’ve spoken to – oh ok, and tweeted – people who do – people who have run in the past, and people who are planning to run this race with me. There can be a lot to prepare for and take into account (which I’ll cover in a future blog). But – giving yourself enough time to plan and having the right help and support in place is very important for everyone.

My aim is to get this done, and hopefully show people that if I can get off my rear and train for a 10km run, with the right help and support, anyone can. Obviously my ultimate aim is to be the new “Ridiculously Photogenic Guy”, but seeing as that’s unlikely, I’ll settle for doing the race in under an hour. Which I think is doable.

There is a fundraising element to my running too – it’s not simply because I’ve been roped into doing it by my so-called “friends”. I’ll be raising money for Diabetes UK, and will write about why I think this is so important in a later blog. Managing our social media lets me see how we help people first hand, in all areas of the work we do, for everyone with diabetes. It’s highly likely I’ll share my JustGiving page through this blog in future too and attempt to blackmail you into donating. It’s good to be honest and open – I wouldn’t want you here under totally false pretenses…

Until next time – I’m off for my first run. Is that a twinge of excitement I feel…?

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Hi Irene. Thanks for the comment.

We’ve done a lot of work recently around the care that everyone with diabetes should receive, and we believe there are 15 healthcare essentials that should be covered from people’s visits to the Doctor:

You’ll find the list here; http://www.diabetes.org.uk/About_us/Our_Views/15-healthcare-essentials/

This will help you and your son understand what care should be received, and also what to do if you believe this standard isn’t being met.

Our Careline are on hand too to answer diabetes related questions, and could well be worth calling: http://www.diabetes.org.uk/careline

I read in my Sunday paper that 24000 deaths a year from Diabetes have been to the patients receiving insufficient care. My son was diagnosed 3 years ago with Type 1 Diabetes and is one of the people who produces too much insulin. I discussed the article with him and he said how does he know if he is getting the correct treatment and follow-ups he has to assume that the professionals who are treating him know what they are doing. I think this is a pertinent point, how do diabetics know if they are being treated properly? Are there any clues as to what is and is not correct treatment and follow-up care? I would appreciate your comments because I worry about my son and his condition all the time especially as he is a new father. He is 40 years of age and when first diagnosed could only see a short term future for himself and articles like this he finds particularly worrying.