How I learnt to love running…
If somebody told me last year that I would voluntarily wake up early on a Saturday morning to go for a run I would have laughed in their face! But nearly every Saturday I’m up at 8am and head to Parkrun for a 5k run with the family. If you didn’t already know I’m running the London Landmarks Half Marathon for Macmillan Cancer Support, so the 5k every Saturday is great training, however it’s also the most amazing way to de-stress. My job is by no means a high-stress however it can sometimes come with full on days where you just need to get away from it all and clear your mind. Exercise in my opinion is the best possible way of de-stressing with the promise of a bubble bath afterwards to further relax.
I think it’s all down to focus. Focusing your mind on finishing that run, so any other niggles in the back of your brain are forced out. You don’t have to pound the pavements; a treadmill works just as well – it’s not my favourite but when it’s raining it’s a good alternative. If running scares you, and trust me it did before I got into the swing of it, Parkrun is the best way forward. People of all abilities gather together to run or walk the 5k in a local park, it’s not a competition or a race it’s just running/jogging/walking, whatever takes your fancy. My brother-in-law practically sprints round, the Mr not far behind him, then me and my sister slightly out of breath arrive, followed up by my mum speed walking to the finish line.
You’d be surprised how many people you already know who head to Parkrun. I’ve bumped into old teachers, school friends, neighbours and it has such an awesome community spirit. There is no fee to join in, you don’t even have to sign up to get your time logged if you don’t want to, just turn up and run. You don’t need to have special gear either, just trainers (if you’re running)comfortable shoes if you’re going to walk it, something comfy to wear that won’t hinder your movement and if you’re a girl something to support underneath. If you get into running then treat yourself to something new to wear whilst doing it but to start off just wear whatever.
I still workout at the gym however I’ve taken my 5 sessions down to 3, choosing a run over weights; it helps me chill out and the cardio benefits to my general health are amazing – it’s also a great workout for your butt! If your New Year resolution was to get fit then check where your local Parkrun is and head there on Saturday to try it out, you’ll come away with a clearer head and although you might ache you’ve done your exercise for the day.