This post kind of follows on from “The Inspirational nature of a runner” which I posted a fair few weeks back. Unfortunately due to work and this other “small commitment” of half and marathon training I haven’t been as active on the blogging front as I would have liked to have been and it’s about time I wrote about this subject “What’s your excuse!?”
Something I find really interesting about runners is that a lot of us will run for the same reason or reasons. Those reasons to run can be so vast and can all be interlinked. Someone may have one reason to run and that could be to raise money for a charity, to keep fit and healthy or to look good etc. Another person may run for 10 or so reasons and each day one of those reasons will be important than another. The various reasons to run will also effect people in different ways and there will almost be a certain level of motivation that each of these reasons bring. This level of determination or want/need to run will then effect how often or how far and fast the runner will then run.
This is where excuses can play a part, whether someone will run or not. One of the biggest factors that will stop people from running or from running as far/fast is the weather. This is something that I tend to refer to as “part of the challenge” of running. For some reason running in the rain, which I had to do yesterday, can seem really therapeutic. It also makes you appreciate the small things, like warmth and good food etc I find. Something interesting that always tends to be said about running is that the first step or two are the hardest. The weather definitely maximises how hard these steps are but I think once your out there and tackling this extra challenge you will feel a greater sense of achievement once you have done your run.
Another excuse that I tend to hear or even make myself is that “I don’t have enough time.” This one is a tricky one because everyone has different commitments, it just depends where running is ranked as a commitment for you I guess. In December and January I set myself the challenge of doing 300 miles each month. I know, a bit excessive but I actually enjoyed it. To achieve these mileage targets something I had to do was alter my sleep pattern, there were days when I got up at around 4am and went out and did approx. 10 miles. This for me was another level to the running I have done before but those 300 mile targets gave me such a focus and I managed to fit it around work and socialising etc quite comfortably in the end. Running at those times in the morning also gave me a little seclusion which I enjoyed and had been use to down in Devon. In the grand scheme of things doing the 300 mile targets didn’t take a huge amount of time out of my month and being a runner you will know how much, running that far, allows you to eat!!
Another benefit of running on average 10 miles a day, well for 2 months+ is that my sleep has been really good. I like to think of sleeping, eating and running as the three amigos and they all help each other out! ha I have really enjoyed my running the last few months and enjoy setting random day, weekly or monthly challenge to keep things interesting. Luckily for me things are quite flexible at the moment so I just run when and wherever I want to around work and other social events and also because I love my running I wont tend to make too many excuses not to run. Something I want to share with you is the journey of two amazing people I have had the privilege of being in the company of in the last few weeks. These two guys have both been on incredible journeys and would struggle to make excuses to not run.
The first person I want to mention is Rich Whitehead MBE. I’m sure most of you will know about him or seen him on Splash and other various TV programmes but for those that don’t know much about him he is simply incredible. He won a Paralympic 200m Gold Medal in London in 2012, is the World Record Holder for the Marathon in 2.42 and ran 40 marathons in 40 days. These achievements are pretty unbelievable when you think he’s gone from 200m to smashing Marathons to 40 marathons in 40 days, how diverse is that! One of the other things that makes this even more incredible is that he runs with prosthetic legs, as he has a double through-knee congenital amputation. Please check out http://www.richardwhiteheadrunsbritain.com and think about this guy and his achievements when it’s raining or you are busy and about to make those excuses.
The second guy is Simon Wheatcroft. He is a blind ultra runner and uses technology to reach new limits. I was lucky enough to hear from him at the Like The Wind magazine launch a couple of weeks back and I was absolutely amazed at what this man has achieved and is targeting. I can’t really put in to words how inspirational this guy is to me so please check out his website http://www.andadapt.com/?page_id=6 I would also definitely recommend getting your hands on the Like The Wind magazine if you can at some point. At the moment I am still struggling for time to read all of the running books I own, mainly due to running which is ironic but there we are, such is life becoming a marathon runner I guess.
I hope to speak/tweet to you all soon via #ukrunchat #fastesthouroftheweek etc and let me know your favourite and best excuses!