R is for running after my kids

08 January 2018
John Derryman, 47, Salisbury
Man with medal after running a marathon

Playing football in the park with my boys in the evening is a regular thing now – as I have the energy to do it. A year ago, this wouldn’t have been possible as I was too unfit and couldn’t run very far.

In summer 2016 I was running after my son as part of a game we play, and I couldn’t catch him because I became out of breath quickly. This is the moment I made the decision to turn my life around. 

I booked a two and a half hour health assessment at the Bupa West End Health Clinic, in central London to kick off my journey to good health.

The assessment was great. The health adviser highlighted areas for improvement, but in such a way that wasn’t critical. When it came to looking at my V02max results, which measures the amount of oxygen you use during exercise, I realised my fitness levels needed some work. Because it measures your capacity for aerobic work the general idea is that the more oxygen you use, the better. My V02 came in the bottom 5%, which is really low. This was crushing, but I wasn’t judged at all, and came away feeling determined to get healthier. 

I weighed nearly 97 kilos in August 2016 and my target was to get down to 90. I had an action plan that involved reducing my alcohol consumption and losing weight. Together with the health advisor, I was involved in setting objectives and targets for both of those lifestyle changes.

Soon after my assessment I started running at my local Park Run. My first 5k run took me 40 minutes but now I can run it in 25 minutes!

I hoped that one day I would run a marathon but I lacked motivation. The team at Bupa helped me turn this goal into a reality with their lifestyle coaching service.  The coaches suggested little changes such as opting to walk to work a couple of days a week and those subtle suggestions made it realistic.  I had two follow up calls from the lifestyle coaches in the months after my assessment, which really helped me stay focused and motivated on each goal.

I am proud of the change I have made to my life and then in April 2017 I achieved something that I never thought I would, or could, have done. I ran the London Marathon – and completed it in five hours and 18 minutes. I now have the bug and have entered to run the Cardiff marathon next.

I am now ten kilos lighter than I was when I walked into the Bupa clinic. I track all my steps and I understand how to make better food choices. I am in a much better place health wise, than I was and without sounding too cliché, I genuinely feel like I am a better father for it.



This case study reflects the specific experience of one member. The cover you choose will be subject to specific terms and conditions that may apply to your policy. Pre-existing conditions are normally excluded.

What is #EverydayMoments?

A new health report of 4,000 people, commissioned by Bupa Health Clinics, revealed that seven in 10 Britons overlook the role that feeling well health plays in enjoying their everyday lives.

The #EverydayMoment campaign sets out to encourage everyone to share their own ‘everyday moment’ – all the fantastic things that they do every single day thanks to good health. 

To help continue to enjoy your #EverydayMoments book an appointment at one of our 50 + health and dental clinics across the UK for a range of different health services, including physiotherapy, GP services, health assessments and dentistry. 

For more information visit  Bupa.co.uk.

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