I started to take running seriously 10 years ago as a way of getting out and keeping fit. The more I focused on running, the more competitive I became with myself. I have a very competitive mindset and found that I wanted to run further and then run faster.
As well as the fitness benefits running has brought me, it has also brought me many mental benefits that help me deal with whatever life throws at you, both good and bad. Ten years on and I now have completed a number of events, mainly marathons and half marathons, and over time my times have gradually improved to a point where I now have PB’s of 3hrs 18 for the marathon and 1hr 29 for a half marathon.
I always think that you need time to process thoughts and put things in perspective and too often in life we don’t give ourselves the proper time to do this. What running does is that it allows you the time and space to get out and have some valuable thinking time.
The joy of lacing up your trainers and just getting out there in peace and quiet gives you that valuable time to run and think and process thoughts, allowing you to put things in perspective. This is particularly important when dealing the difficult times in your life. Personally, if I didn’t have the release and thinking time that running gives me, I believe that situations may have got me down and I would have suffered as a result.
The reason why it helps me personally is that there are very few times in life in this day and age where you get away from the constant bombardment of information and noise, and going out for a run is that time where you find your own space and give you that thinking time you need.
Determination and dedication – I have set myself a plan and a goal and I am going to achieve that. What running also provides is lessons that I can apply to my daily life that help me succeed in whatever I do. These lessons are:
- Drive and perseverance – There are times during the run where you struggle, do you give in and stop or do you push yourself to keep going.
- Organisation and planning – You need to plan ahead in order to find time each day of the week to fit your run in.
People run for different reasons and whilst my reasons started out as gaining fitness benefits, I didn’t realize the mental benefits it would also bring me.
If you want to get in touch or follow me I am @strongjon on Twitter.
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