“Any idiot can run, but it takes a special kind of idiot to run a marathon”
“Oh My God, do you want to kill yourself?” was my Mum’s very over-dramatic reaction when I told her I’d signed up to run Brighton marathon earlier this year. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there were times during the training where I questioned my sanity – the broken toe nails; the blisters; running for 3 hours straight in gale-force winds; trying (and failing) to be teetotal and (very!) nearly doing a Paula Radcliffe half way round Clapham Common.
But as I gear myself up to start the daunting training programme once again, (after swearing I would never do another one), I began thinking about the positives of running and why I am one of those crazy people who do it. You know the type – those who rave about PB’s, chafing cream (yep, it’s actually a thing), hydration (Camelback all the way) and get up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday to do Park Run whilst normal people are still in bed sleeping off their hangovers.
So here are the reasons why I would encourage anyone who is considering running to get out there and do it:
- It’s free
As a northerner, I’m always on the hunt for a bargain (hello, Bankside Buzz card), so what better way to get fit WITHOUT spending a penny. Just think how much you could save on your £100 a month Virgin Active membership! All you need to do is get up and go – so you can easily fit it into your daily routine.
- It keeps you fit
Never again will you have to feel out of breath walking up the stairs or running for the bus. Studies have shown that running for just 50 minutes a week strengthens the heart, reduces the risk of heart disease and keeps your cardiovascular system healthy… so improving your fitness means you could snooze your alarm for an extra few minutes.
- You can eat carbs
Forget no carbs before Marbs – if you’re running you need a lot of energy, which means a lot of carbs – what was once your worst enemy is very soon going to become your best friend. Bring on the chips, pasta and croquettes!
- It’s good for mental health
Training for the marathon helped me overcome a difficult period, so I am a big advocate of running for anyone going through anxiety, stress, trauma or any mental health issue. Running releases endorphins which make you feel amazing and more energised (often referred to as “runner’s high.”) It also gives you time alone to think and problem solve. So, if you’ve had a bad day, go for a run, you’re guaranteed to feel so much better after it!
- You get to see the world
OK, so running has only got me to the dizzy heights of Brighton, Manchester and London so far… but it gets you out and about and able to explore so many places right on your door step. And for the more adventurous, there are organized races all over the world, so you can combine running with travel (Lisbon, Berlin and Glacier National Park are on my bucket list).
- It’s sociable
Joining a running club is a great way to make new friends. Chatting to other people whilst running makes the time go so much quicker! For those tempted to try it, come and join us at the Prox running club every Tuesday lunchtime – I promise it isn’t scary and no one gets left behind.
Hopefully I’ve given you an insight into why running is such a good thing to do – no matter how fast, slow, far, anyone can do it. All you need is a decent pair of trainers and the right attitude.
Now, who’s up for an ultra-marathon?