Cumbernauld woman fought back to fitness on a wonky treadmill machine

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A Cumbernauld mum who bought a cheap treadmill off the internet says it has transformed her life – and helped her train for a major event.

Natalie Connell, (33), who’s taking part in the Great Scottish Community Run this autumn, has lost three stone by training at home on the simple running machine.

Bank of Scotland, which sponsors the Great Scottish Run taking place on October 1, launched the Community Challenge to help get Scotland active.

The campaign has recruited one runner from each of the 32 local authorities in Scotland to take on a 10 week to 10k running challenge.

Each runner receives a personalised training programme by an expert coach in the weeks leading up to the run.

Natalie (pictured), who’s in her last year of training as a GP, wanted not only to shed the weight she put on during pregnancy, but was also trying to find ways of balancing the demands of being a full time mum with her busy work life.

“I used to run a lot all the time, I’ve done a marathon, triathlons and 10Ks,” she said.

“We’ve had a bit of ill-health in my family and with all the weight that I put on during my pregnancy, I just wanted to become healthier and get my health back on track.

“I bought a cheap treadmill – it was only £30 – and part of the plastic frame had a big crack in it and was held together by a bit of tape.

“I had gone all the way to Edinburgh to collect it and when I saw it, I thought ‘I’m not coming back without a treadmill’ -I thought it was going to fall apart on the way home.

“I started running on it for about 15 minutes a day and that’s how I’ve done most of my training. “It’s a bit boring, but it works for me.”

Instead of relying on a babysitter to look after her three-year-old son Samuel, she is able to watch her son from her treadmill with the camera that she has installed in his room.

“I want my son to grow up and see that a healthy, active lifestyle is important,” said Natalie.

Starting at George Square in the heart of Glasgow, the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run will see runners follow a route through the city before they reaching the finish in the shadow of Nelson’s Monument.

Natalie stresses it’s important to start in a small way, before gradually working up to higher levels of fitness.

“It’s all about taking baby steps first – even if it’s just running for ten minutes a day,” she said.

“You’ve got to use the support around you, too.

“I don’t want to take my own health for granted - I think people don’t realise how important it is not to be overweight.

“I love running. It’s the only time when I don’t have to think about anything and I always go to bed in a better mood. I can’t live without it.”

Bank of Scotland is supporting runners from communities across Scotland on their 10 weeks to a 10k challenge for the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run Community Challenge.

For more information, visit greatscottishrun.com/community-challenge