I Wish I Could Do Something Like That…

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I Wish I Could Do Something Like That…

12th Nov 2013

Along with ‘you must be mad’, ‘I wish I could do something like that’ is the most common response I get when I talk about running events I’ve taken (or will be taking) part in. But when I then open it up and ask ‘why don’t you?’, those same people who wish they could do it, immediately shut it down, as if to say, ‘I’ve never done anything like that before, which must mean I can’t do something like that’.

I’m here to tell you that you can! Fitness levels can be trained and improved, training time can be made even if you have a busy schedule, and the training itself (as well as having a personal goal, away from the stresses of work etc) can be a huge stress reliever! If a running event, no matter what distance, is something you’ve wanted to do but have ruled out…reconsider! It’s a great way to keep you focused on any other health or fitness goals you have, such as weight loss. Having the date of your event, or a countdown to your event written somewhere you’ll see it regularly throughout the day, will remind you to train and eat well.

Before I go any further, I must clear up that I am very much beginner at these events...in fact I’ve only ever competed in two! I’ve never liked distance running, and all of my training in the past has been short, fast and explosive, geared around football. My first event was a Half-Marathon in my hometown of Shrewsbury. Some friends and I had wanted to run a half-marathon for a while, so when it was announced that Shrewsbury would be hosting it’s first Marathon/Half Marathon event, we didn’t really have an excuse not too! We decided to run for Cancer Research UK, a charity that meant something to us all…and the training began!

Fast forward to 23/06/13 (race day) and more specifically, the finish line. After a sprint finish, which in my mind was not dissimilar to a typical Usain Bolt 100m sprint (probably not how it was seen by spectators), I had an overwhelming feeling of pride for what my friends and I had achieved. We’d conquered our first half marathon, achieved times we were all proud of and raised around £1700 for Cancer Research! Later on, as we met for celebratory drinks, an odd feeling joined that earlier sense of pride; ”I’m so relieved that’s over…but when’s the next one?!’.

Despite the tough training runs, the blisters, the impact on my already dodgy knee from an old football injury, I wanted to compete again! So when a client of mine said she was thinking of signing up to 10km mud run with some friends, and invited me to join them, I jumped at the chance and signed up that weekend!

The mud run took place recently (28/09/13) at Hawkstone Park in Shrewsbury. The 10km route snaked through caves and follies, through woodland, up and down hills (more up than down), over fallen trees, through water and over bridges, amongst other things. In short, it was really, really, really good fun! I took part with two clients I’d had the pleasure of training and working with over the last 18 months, and some of their friends!

While the mud, the steep banks and crawling through muddy water may not be for everyone (it was like a big natural playground for me), the feelings of achievement, pride and camaraderie this event, and the half marathon back in June, brought made it all worthwhile! To the point where the same group, just two days after the mud run, has already signed up to a similar event in November.

The point I’m trying to make here is that these events don’t have to be something that you just ‘wish you could do’! Obviously is not just a case of signing up and turning up, but with the right training program and the right attitude, you could be well on your way to achieving something great! You could even run for charity and raise some money for a good cause at the same time. It’s important to start from where you are, and by that I mean don’t sign up for a marathon if you can’t run a mile. The 5k fun runs, such as Race For Life, are a great place to start.

Even if your first event turns out to be your last event, at the very least you’ll have the experience and the achievement, and no one can take that away! However, I don’t know many people who’ve competed once, and not gone on to compete again!