Going gets tough, but reward is a six-mile stretch for Emma

Emma Judd and fitness instructor/trainer Dawn Grant
Emma Judd and fitness instructor/trainer Dawn Grant

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When News reporter Emma Judd signed up for this year’s Great South Run, she knew she’d need some help. As personal trainers Dawn Grant and Max Eacott, from Portsmouth-based 24/7 Fitness, put her through her paces, she’ll be writing about her progress each week.

This past week has been hard. There are no two ways about it. Gone are the space hopper trials outside Café Rouge in the sunshine.

Gone are the Gunwharf Quays security guards laughing at me while declining my ‘polite’ invitations to join in with the torture.

And gone are the days when I could distract my trainer Dawn by talking about boys – nowadays the only spare breath I have is used up either grunting or swearing...or both.

Because, with just five weeks to go until the Great South Run, it’s all starting to get a bit serious.

Mention it to some of my friends who are also doing it, and you’re likely to get a wild-eyed look back.

And it seems the pavements are becoming ever more crowded with after-work runners desperately trying to get ready for it.

I’ve been training so hard that my legs may actually fall off before my next sports massage tomorrow.

So when Max took me out for my regular weekday session last week, and told me to try to push through the pain of the lactic acid building up in my shins, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it.

I did it. It hurt. And I cried a little bit. And then two days later I ran the furthest I’ve ever run – a cool six miles.

It seems that this race will be run with mental toughness, not just physical fitness. And it’s going to hurt...a lot.