I have to admit it, my running has been a bit stagnant over the last year. I haven’t stopped running. I’ve done a few races, including some marathons, I’ve got a few PBs at different distances but something has been missing. I haven’t really known what.
Is it just me or do you find that your running journey is a bit of a roller coaster? Exhilarating, unpredictable, fun and occasionally nauseating! I’ve been running now for eleven years and there have been many twists and turns, loops and ups and downs but I’m still on that rollercoaster and currently reflecting on my journey and keen to get others to board too.
I have this theory that running finds you when you need it most. Let’s face it, starting to run is really hard. Going from walking to constant running takes time and determination. Pushing your body feels unpleasant. The voices in your head tell you to stop. Feeling out of breath, sweating and a racing heart aren’t always nice sensations. People often start and fail and start again and then every now and then someone keeps going, works through it and running becomes a regular and essential part of their lives. What is it that makes the difference?
I was pretty excited about heading to the Malaga Marathon. In all honesty I was more excited about having four days away in Spain with my girlfriends than I was about putting myself through 26.2 miles! Although in the lead up to the marathon, the weather in Malaga had been cool and wet, we were rewarded with four days of sunshine. Feeling the warm sun on my face in the middle of winter was a wonderful treat. We had a day of acclimatisation when we intended to stay off our feet but ended up shopping and walking miles; we had some great tapas though! We found getting around Malaga on the train and tube system really easy, and cheap too. We’d read that getting to the out of town expo to collect race numbers was harder than the marathon itself but we had no problems whatsoever. We’d been very frustrated that we hadn’t had any pre-race info in English, the marathon guide was in Spanish and despite sending emails (in English and Spanish) we hadn’t …
When I’m choosing a challenge I just have to find something that catches my eye and makes me say, “Oooo, I fancy that.” I never quite know what I’m looking for but when I see it I know it’s the one!
I’ve been pondering the fine balance between being inspiring and being intimidating recently. The thing is, I think as we improve and smash our targets, as we progress in our health and fitness journeys, we often become intimidating and unrelatable without really meaning to. What we need is more and more people sharing their successes at all levels.
Changing your behaviour is a very difficult thing to do. How many times have you set a New Year’s resolution only to break it before the end of January? I’ve done this countless times. You have good intentions and even when you think you’ve set a pretty realistic goal you just don’t seem to be able to sustain it for any length of time.
I’m delighted to welcome Alexandra Merisoiu to the blog today. Alexandra has a background in Martial Arts (she still competes at international level) and a fascination with how the body moves. She is a Running Coach, specialising in running form and technique. She works with runners of all abilities to help them run faster, further, more efficiently and most importantly, with fewer injuries. I still frequently hear, “Running hurts my knees” so I thought it would be helpful to have Alexandra share some of her wisdom about minimising the impact of running. Head to the Merisoiu Technique Institute to find out more but in the meantime I will hand over to Alexandra to share some of her top tips for healthy running.
There are so many benefits of exercise. From getting fitter and helping control weight, to easing stress and lifting mood. I certainly began learning to run, hoping for the former and continued when I realised the latter. One of the unexpected benefits I discovered however was the ability that exercise has to empower.
Reaching the 5k target is a huge accomplishment so congratulations on your achievement! Perhaps you’ve done a 5k race or a parkrun to mark the occasion and are still basking in the glory of success. What do you do now though? Has running become a regular part of your life that you can’t do without out or more commonly, are you still wondering what all the fuss is about and dreading putting yourself through another run? Deciding what step to take next can be tricky. It’s very easy to find yourself not running at all and quickly losing all that fitness you’ve gained. Take a few minutes to consider which way to go now. Here are some ideas and options.