I hate running. I love the feeling when you hit a pace and can breathe again, but the whole process has always felt so difficult for me. I WANT to be a runner, but I’ve never managed to enjoy it.

When Nike reached out to me and suggested I try their new Air Zoom Pegasus 37’s teamed with using their Nike Run app to improve my interest in running, I was skeptical but also feeling like I’d spent far too many iso weeks eating ice-cream out of the tub and playing Assassin’s Creed. I could probably do with some “sport”, so I agreed.

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37, $180

The training sesh’s were set up by their Head Run Coach Lydia O’Donnell, who made a plan for me as a rookie runner. Basically, it was a mix of days with paced runs, fast/slow ones and some yoga and stretching between.

The runs used the Nike Run Club app. It’s free, and has this epic collection of guided runs – where a coach is talking to your through it.

Sound annoying? I thought it would be. But it turns out I bloody love having someone in my ear spurring me on.

The first run I did was ‘One Hard. One Easy.’ It’s a “Fartlek” run, which I had never heard of before but basically means “speed play” in Swedish, and is kind of like HIIT training but running I guess? Like fast runs with slow running in between.

One Hard One Easy is voiced by “Coach Cory” and I think I love him? He has this dynamic British voice, like super encouraging but also soothing. He doesn’t yell but it’s like he’s always urging you to push harder.

It was really hard though. Like, I went too hard of the fast running bits and then struggled to get through it once I realised I was pushing myself too far. Still, I got it done and I really do credit that to Cory being in my ear.

I will say this – I felt like the Air Zoom Pegasus 37’s were the bounciest of any running shoes I’ve tried, which meant I never had that feeling where I was dragging my feet or lugging these heavy weights around. You know that running feeling? That helped, too. Just if you’re in the market for new sneaks.

I feel like, because I hate running the moment I want to stop is when it hurts – early on, that bit before you push into your stride. Having someone encouraging you really, really helped me through the tough bits.

You can still play your music, by the way – the voice just comes in over the top and the music quietens a little. You can also just run without the guided bit – the app lets you track your run and syncs with tech like smart watches

Example of the app.

It’s a heap of benefits for something that’s completely free, to be honest. I definitely found it helped me enjoy the run a lot more and feel more accomplished at the end of it.

Something I wish I’d done was set myself some goals and used the app to track them. I think that would have pushed me to continue running a bit more – I did, unfortunately, give up again over that really rainy week we had in Sydney.

But if I get back into it, the app will be key for me this time around.