The Running Life of Brian
I’ve been asked to write about my running journey and by doing so I hope it may help you with yours in some way.
I grew up in Ireland playing sports so I suppose I always had a running background growing up but it wasn’t really until I moved to the UK in 2010 that I started running more and entering races.
Having studied Sports Recreation and becoming a Personal Trainer I really did pick up the fitness bug. I wouldn’t say I was a natural runner, with quite a broad build it really was a case of practicing in order to see improvements.
Park runs seemed relatively new at the time and I used to go to Hyde Park in Leeds and run 5k on Saturday mornings. I was very competitive with myself, always looking to shave time off my PB. I was amazed with how friendly everyone was and that it was all run by volunteers.
After a while, 10k races became quite a common occurrence for me, which included doing the Abbey Dash nearly every year. In the last few years I have completed several half marathons including Leeds, Chester and The Great North Run. I found these really challenging…which I liked. A challenge helps you grow as a person and pushes you out of your comfort zone.
I have a diary in which I write out my goals at the start of each year and last year one of them was to complete my first marathon which I did in Blackpool back in April. It was tough, but again I loved the challenge and I also really enjoy running near water as I find it relaxing – this was a coastal run so was perfect! I use the Leeds Liverpool canal a lot for my training.
In 2018 I’m planning to do my first ultra-marathon which has me feeling both scared and excited at the same time!
The only thing I don’t like about running is injuries, but if you take care of yourself and be sensible and patient you will overcome them.
The things I like the most about running is how it clears your head, increases your energy, helps you keep fit and healthy, helps you meet people and strangely I even like that achy muscle feeling the day after a run.
Simple but effective tips I would give people to help their running journey:
- Schedule and plan your training regime. Write it down or type it up, it’s not as easy to forget about it then.
- Join a club or group, especially if you struggle with self-motivation – get people around you to help.
- Stick at it! It will become a habit over time but sometimes when things get tough you just need to keep going.
- Invest in a decent pair of trainers, you need to look after your feet and legs if you expect them to look after you!!
- Compete against yourself and don’t compare. Obviously elite runners have to compete against each other but for the majority of us the best way to focus is on YOU.
- Fuel your body with a balanced diet and plenty of water. But yes most runners do like and deserve a treat now and then.
- Enjoy yourself and be grateful for the ability to be able to go out there and run.
- When the going gets tough, it’s worth remembering that your body is usually capable of more than your mind thinks it is.