I run, therefore I am
I owe running a great deal; fitness, weight loss, the amazing communities – but also my life. Like many others, running is a form of escape, expression and also transformation; be it physically, mentally or both – for some, its a means to survive.
At my heaviest of 23st 6.4lb (148.7kg) I learned that it doesn’t matter who you are, what your body shape is or why you are running in the first place; running and its communities really are one of the most inclusive in the world.
For me, running is more than just 'going for a run'. It's helping support others to get active and show everyone that it’s more than just going for a run or getting active; everyone's run is personal to them and that no matter how you do it, there is no real wrong way as long as you enjoy it. Be in the elements, be grounded to the moment and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Some run for speed, some for distance but I personally run for mental health maintenance and the enjoyment it brings.
It doesn’t matter what your goals are, running really does transform people’s lives and helps to keep great mental stability and always makes me #RunHappy!
The best advice I can give anyone starting out running, is not to compare yourself to anyone else - an hour long 5km is still as far as a 30 minute 5km - the most important thing is to enjoy it!
There's loads of support out there to help you take your first running steps! The NHS have created a great Couch to 5k app and accompanying podcast. There are other 5k programmes are available nationwide too that help to build your fitness levels to run 5km non stop!
If you're already running and want to take things further you can search for local running clubs via Athletics England.
Brooks Run Happy Team
I’m incredibly proud to represent the Brooks Run Happy Team UK and Ireland 2020 and 2021. Brooks believe that everyone has their own path in running. Running fuels happiness and optimism and changes our perspectives to help see the world around us in a better light.
Like Brooks, I believe running can transform peoples lives; it changed mine. It's amazing to be working with Brooks to help motivate others to get active and help change people's lives.
Running should be fun and open to everyone; Brooks do everything they can on inject that into their products to help everyone to #RunHappy.
Find our more at Brooks Running
Virtual Running has seen an exponential rise in popularity during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. They're amazing events you can complete in your own time, either in one go or over a number of runs. You don’t even have to run them! You can cycle, swim, skip or any other means of movement! Below are some of my favourites.
Of all companies out there POW Virtual Running is my personal favourite. I love how their medals have a pop culture motif; from comic books to blockbuster movies and even national holidays. They also have a really supportive Facebook community that's open to everyone!
I've run with Virtual Running UK before and I really like the way that money goes to charity. I love their fantastic medal designs and monthly races. They have another great Facebook community too!
Awesome Virtual Running is a reputable virtual running company, with their own artistic flair in their medals. They also have their own app for to show you've completed your race making it really easy to claim for your medal.
Ministry of Medals is a strong promoter of the "healthy body, healthy mind" philosophy which really resonates with me. They also offer charity races too which is a great way to raise funds for your favourite cause.