Department of Health & Human Services
Premiers Active April


Advice from a first-time runner on how he built up to 5k and did Run Melbourne.

Trying something new can be daunting for lots of us. When it comes to exercise, running seems to be something people fall in love with… once they’re up and running (!). The hurdle is in getting started. Chrisnaa is a 24-year-old medical student who was struggling to fit exercise into his busy life and noticed the effects. In 2019, he decided it was time for a change and with Run Melbourne ran his first 5k. Since then, he hasn’t looked back. We talk to Chrisnaa about his first event and get his advice on how to start if you’re new to running.

What made you want to run the 5KMs?

When I saw the promotion for Run Melbourne, I realised that it was also a great fundraising opportunity. It was the inspiration I needed to get up and want to do this. I decided this was it – it would be a great way to push myself to get fit.

How did you prepare for the run?

I made the commitment to do the Run Melbourne event about four months before. I knew running 5K at once, straight off, would be impossible for me so I started with really small distances. I would run for two minutes, walk for some and I just kept working at gradually building my way up.

I did this by running around my neighbourhood. It was really difficult at first, but the more I got into it, the more I realised I could do it. It really challenged what I thought I was capable of.

How did you feel on the day of the run?

I was incredibly nervous! I had only ever run by myself. Now I was running in this sea of people and everyone would know if I took a break. I didn’t want people to judge me. What’s great is that everyone’s so supportive. Some people were running, some were walking, and it didn’t matter because we were all out there together giving it a go.

Once I got started it was such a rush. Yes, it was hard, but the atmosphere was amazing. There were so many people cheering us on. I got an actual medal and I had that moment of, ‘WOW I really did this’.

What did you take away from the experience?

I’m thankful that it inspired me to stay fit. I do still run a little bit, but I’ve actually started to get into swimming and yoga, which I’m really enjoying.

Being able to raise money while running was a really nice feeling – I’ve made a tangible difference. I made a positive change to myself, but I also helped my community.

It also helped me to be more organised. Study takes up a lot of time, and when I started running I had to be more on top of things – that’s important. I felt more energetic which I really enjoyed too.

What would your message be to others who are contemplating running for the first time, or are too scared to start?

Just go for it. I know it sounds simple, but it’s all about those first small steps. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone but yourself. Just do a little more each day than the day before. Only when you push yourself do you realise what you’re capable of. It’s such a nice feeling. I can’t even begin to tell you what it does for how you feel about yourself and your mood. It’s really amazing.

Don’t be scared, just start.

Why not set yourself a challenge? In 2020, Premier’s Active April participants get 15% off entry to the Run Melbourne Event, accessible here. More than just an opportunity to set yourself a personal challenge, it’s a way to channel your effort into a good cause by raising money for a charity you believe in.

Last updated: March 12, 2020 at: 1:00 pm

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