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From Couch to 5K to Half Marathons: Mark Adamson’s Running Journey

From Couch to 5K to Half Marathons Mark Adamson Run Tri Bike
Mark Adamson
Year started: 2023
Next race: September 8, 2024 / Great North Run / Newcastle UK
Favorite gear:
  • Topo Ultraventure 3
  • Flipbelt
  •  Shockz Openrun

In June 2023, Mark Adamson embarked on a journey that began with the simple goal of weight loss. Little did he know that this initial step would lead him to embrace running as a significant part of his life. The notion of going from couch to 5k to half marathons didn’t exist, until it did. In this article, we explore Mark’s inspiring story, his motivations, the challenges he faced, and how his experiences can offer valuable insights for others considering or already on a similar path.

The Beginning: A Quest for Weight Loss

Mark Adamson’s running journey started from a deeply personal place. “I got married last year, and my wife and I both realized we were larger than we wanted to be,” Mark recalls. Determined to lose weight, Mark started his weight loss journey on January 18, 2023. By their wedding in April, he had already lost 25 pounds, a significant milestone that encouraged him to continue.

A key moment came when a fellow member of his weight loss group, who happened to be a runner, convinced Mark to try the Couch to 5K program. “I started Couch to 5K quietly on my own in May last year,” he says. This decision marked the beginning of his running journey.

The First Parkrun: Breaking Barriers

Mark’s first Parkrun on June 17, 2023, was a pivotal experience. Despite initial apprehensions about running in an organized group, Mark found the experience to be welcoming and inclusive. “The idea of running in an organized group was always intimidating to me,” Mark admits. “But the community was remarkably friendly and supportive.”

Mark’s progress was swift. From a finishing time of 37 minutes in his first Parkrun, he steadily improved to achieve a personal best of 25 minutes and 9 seconds. “I’ve done 33 Parkruns since then,” he shares proudly. “I enjoy seeing the same people every week and volunteering.”

Training for Iconic Races

Inspired by the famous Great North Run and the Blaydon Race, both iconic events in his city, Mark set his sights on more ambitious goals. “I’ve watched these races for years, never thinking I’d be in a position to participate,” Mark says. Signing up for these races provided him with tangible goals to work towards, further fueling his motivation.

Mark’s training regimen is rigorous and disciplined. He has faced numerous challenges, particularly in balancing his training with other life commitments. “Finding time for training has been one of the biggest challenges,” he admits. “But setting goals like the Great North Run helps keep me focused.”


The Role of Community Support

Community support has played a crucial role in Mark’s journey. From the encouragement he received during Parkruns to the supportive runner community on social media, these connections have been invaluable. “The running community is incredibly friendly and supportive,” Mark emphasizes. “People are genuinely interested in everyone’s progress and achievements.”

Mark also volunteers at Parkruns, giving back to the community that has supported him. “I’ve done two or three first-timer talks and enjoy welcoming new runners,” he says. This sense of community and shared purpose has been a constant source of motivation.

Health Improvements and Personal Growth

Beyond the physical benefits, running has brought significant improvements to Mark’s overall health. “My resting heart rate and blood pressure have dropped, and my HbA1c levels are now non-diabetic,” he reports. Mark, who is diabetic in remission, credits running with helping him maintain these health improvements.

Running has also boosted Mark’s confidence and resilience. “I’ve realized I’m more resilient than I thought,” he reflects. “Setting and achieving goals in running has given me the confidence to tackle challenges in other areas of my life.”

Looking Ahead: Future Goals

Mark’s immediate goal is to complete the Great North Run on September 8, 2024, and the Blaydon Race. He is also considering running a full marathon in the future, although he approaches this prospect with a mix of excitement and caution. “I think the next step will be a marathon,” he says. “But I need to be cautious and realistic about my goals.”

Mark’s journey is a testament to the power of setting goals, embracing challenges, and finding motivation in community support. His advice to new runners is simple but profound: “Give it a try. Don’t push yourself too hard, and enjoy it at your own pace.”

Lessons for Aspiring Runners

Mark’s story offers several key lessons for those considering taking up running or looking to deepen their involvement in the sport:

  1. Start with a Clear Goal: Whether it’s weight loss, improving health, or participating in a specific race, having a clear goal can provide direction and motivation.
  2. Embrace Community: Joining local running groups, participating in events like Parkruns, and engaging with online communities can provide invaluable support and encouragement.
  3. Be Patient and Persistent: Progress in running, as in any other area, takes time. Celebrate small milestones and remain patient and persistent.
  4. Focus on Enjoyment: Find joy in the process rather than just the outcomes. Running should be a fulfilling and enjoyable activity.
  5. Adapt and Learn: Be open to learning and adapting. Experiment with different training methods, gear, and approaches to find what works best for you.

Mark Adamson’s journey from couch to 5k to half-marathons is a powerful reminder of what can be achieved through a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone. From his first hesitant steps in the Couch to 5K program to training for iconic races, Mark’s story is an inspiration to all aspiring runners. His experiences highlight the profound impact running can have on physical health, mental well-being, and personal growth. As Mark continues to push his boundaries and set new goals, his journey will undoubtedly inspire many others to lace up their running shoes and discover the power of running.