Why Should I Run?
Why should I Run? I have never been a runner, in fact for most of my life I’ve hated running. I am a short, 43 year old not slim man. My knees, ankles and feet hurt most days and my back causes me more trouble than all my children put together! I’ve known for a long time how exercise can be physically and mentally beneficial but in recent years I’ve let it slide. However last year my wife and I decided to try and get a bit fitter.
It was all going nicely until my wife declared that she and her best friend had signed up for the half marathon in our home city……shit just got real! She started training like a demon and was an inspiration to me. I signed up too, but due to injury and a minor yet painful operation, I didn’t take part in the half marathon. My wife and her friend did run it though and I was hugely proud of them both watching them cross the finish line.
What did this whole experience teach me? Well for starters, I learnt that my wife is a total bad-ass. She’d gone from someone who had never ran before to a running addict, her well-being had increased tenfold. For me though it reminded me that running on a regular basis is fabulous for physical and mental health.
Like many people I have suffered with depression in the past and anxiety is always a monkey on my back. I knew that I would do well to follow my wife’s lead and continue running, even if it was only once a week. Recently we have been doing a weekly Parkrun together on a Saturday morning (my wife still runs more then this but our Saturday morning runs have become a highlight of our weekend. We rarely drink alcohol on a Friday night now (something that we often did to excess) as this would spoil our run. Starting Saturday with a 5 km (3.1 miles) really sets the tone for a happy, rejuvenating weekend.
What is Park Run.
Parkrun has 5 basic principles “weekly, free, 5km, for everyone, forever”. Parkrun started in London, England in 2004 and has spread like wildfire across the planet. There are now events across at least 17 countries including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and various European countries. You register on their website and print your barcode that you get scanned when you finish, this generates your time and it gets emailed to you or sent as a text the same day.
Some countries also have junior Parkruns on a Sunday morning too, but the younger ones do a 2 km run. There are hundreds of people who run, from super speedy running gods to people who walk it. Individuals, couples and families are always present. It’s a very friendly event and you also get a free t-shirt at several milestone runs (50, 100, 250, 500).
Have a look on the Parkrun website and find your local run, sign up and give it a go. What’s the worse that can happen? It’s free, it’s good for you and you might just make some new friends.
If there is no Parkrun near you or you may not be able to run 5km (3.1 miles) yet then just run! Find a nice area and run. You may start at 1 km or you may have to keep stopping and walk for a bit. It doesn’t matter. Just start. Do something. If you are out there doing it you are already doing more than those who are not! Do it!
What does running do for me?
Whilst running is a regular part of my life now, our relationship status is still set to “complicated”. I still ask my self “why should I run?” When I wake up early on a Saturday morning, I usually don’t want to run, my wife gives me a metaphorical (but sometimes physical) kick and we go. After the run it’s a different matter: I’m energised, my mood is lifted and I actually feel relaxed.
If you have any questions or things to say please use the boxes below. Also please subscribe.
These posts may also be relevant to you:
Thanks for your time,