What A Great North Runner – Part 2 !!

Our Inspirational Heart Hero Joe Barry starts his training for the Great North Run

Joe Barry was born with undetected CHD – 20 years and four open heart surgeries later, he has chosen to take part in the Great North Run for Tiny Tickers to help us to find more babies with heart problems and give them the best start in life that they deserve. – Here is his update at the start of his training 

I had only been running for about a month when I decided to sign up to do the Great North Run this September.  I knew I would have to start training seriously for it as soon as possible but rather than just making up my own training plan when I have no knowledge about training for a half marathon whatsoever, I decided that I needed to look for a plan that would work for me. Luckily, the Great North Run website gives you a plan depending on how fit you already are when you register. The length of time you run for slowly increases over the next 3-4 months leading up to the event.

My first run using the plan was only a 15 minute run and it wasn’t too bad to say I normally have to stop and walk for a couple of minutes. Yes, I felt tired after it mainly due to me not running constantly for 15 minutes in ages, but I found it to be relatively comfortable. The length of time I ran for was slowly building up and eventually I ended up running 5 miles continuously, at a steady pace, at the end of May.

Joe proudly models his Tiny Tickers T-shirt

This was actually a massive personal achievement. Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be able to run 5 miles continuously due to my heart condition. I remember when I was younger I used to get out of breath even when I walked for about 5 minutes, so I know it may not sound like much but to me it’s huge. 

Since being back at home in Leeds I’ve found that one of the best routes is Roundhay Park and I’m finding that the first month has not been too bad and I’m actually enjoying going for runs which I never thought I’d say. I just hope the next few months go as smoothly as the first one has!

Joe’s fundraising page – read his inspirational story here