Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the last week, you’ll undoubtedly have heard something to do with the London Marathon.
Running can at times seem like quite an isolating sport or activity but it isn’t and doesn’t have to be. If the London Marathon has taught us anything, it is that running is a community. You’ll likely have heard of the story of Matthew Rees and David Wyeth; David was on the brink of collapse just 200 yards from the gruelling 26.2 miles finishing line and Matthew came to his rescue and supported him to complete the race. Thoughtlessly he sacrificed his own competition to help another athlete in need. Even if you’re not a participating runner in such an event, strangers turn up in droves to help support and cheer on other strangers to help give them the strength and courage to continue. It’s pretty inspiring.
Many runners, just like Matthew and David, run in local clubs. There is a whole community and network of likeminded individuals who train together frequently and then participate, and in some instances compete, in races. Which, no matter the distance, has a number of rewarding accomplishments: to start, there is the sense of achievement in completing something you set out to do; it’s the money you raise for your charity; it’s the inspiration you give to others to run, give or do something for others and themselves and ultimately, it’s knowing your health will be better for it.
On the subject of health: Running is an excellent cardiovascular activity to help promote a stronger and healthier heart; it aids in weight management and loss; it can be and is a full body workout; promotes a healthier mind by relieving stress; it strengthens your bones and joints
Of course there are also some benefits of having an activity you can do by yourself:
- You’re not constrained by time or finances- as it is a sport that can be done anywhere, it immediately lifts a number of limitations that other sports have.
- Following on from the above, if you can’t attend a training session, you can make it up/do it in your own time.
- It gives you some much needed personal time which you can use to practice mindfulness or use it as a time of reflection
- If you feel uncomfortable participating in group activities or at the gym you plan a route that will give you some much needed privacy.
The thing to remember when it comes to running is you don’t have to be the world’s greatest. It takes time. Everyone will have started in much the same way. Each sport/activity requires very different attributes that takes time to develop so although someone who by all regards is physically fit, they may well struggle initially when it comes to running- just remember that. For inspiration, we’d highly recommend taking a look at This Girl Can Run who post frequently about the journeys like minded individuals are taking, just like you. There’s no mask and it’s inspiring.
The running community:
- RunTogether– They offer a directory of groups, suggested routes and some top tips
- Good Run Guide– for much the same reasons as the above group but found their suggested routes much more extensive
- Runner’s World– a great site if you’re looking for local events. Type in postcode into location, search and then sort by proximity (this is how we find the website works best)
- This Girl Can– aside a wealth of information on lots of different activities, their running aspect is one to pay close attention to. From advice, to shared stories, it’s a great resource to have.
In conjunction with this activity we’d highly recommend working on your foundation: your feet. In running, your feet take the brunt of the sport which can cause problems in your calfs, knees and surprisingly affects your back, shoulders and head. But there is a way to strengthen them. Follow this four step routine, which can be done sitting in your office chair or at home watching TV, to give them greater power.