- It starts from 0. It expects you to be bad. It's all about being positive about being bad, and appreciating the courage and dedication it takes to stick with something that you're bad at.
- It steps up gradually. It's neither extremely hard, nor extremely easy. There's a podcast for each week, with nine weeks in total, and you do each podcast three times. Each week, you run for that bit longer, and walk for that bit less. The changes are achievable. It challenges me, but within my limits.
- It plays the music. Playing my own music has always been an issue for me, because I pay too much attention to it and it messes with my emotions, which is hardly helpful for running. The music has good beats, it helps you with speed, and it's well-chosen to motivate you and make you feel empowered while you run.
- It's got a voice. Her name is "Laura", she tells you when to run and when to stop, and she tells you that you're doing a good job. I need that. It cancels out my negativity.
For me, this strange desire was bred in from childhood - most, if not all, of my childhood memories are in the Lake District or the Derbyshire Dales or the Yorkshire Moors; anywhere but the rolling agricultural landscapes of Hertfordshire, where I grew up. When I first decided to move away from home, to go to university, again it was this landscape that drew me in, that made me feel something that the gentle grasslands of my home county could not.
Maybe it's my Northern blood - for hundreds of years, Lancashire-born family on my Dad's side have been throwing themselves at hills and hoping that they come back in one piec…