I have just completed my first “official” half marathon – the Hackney Half!
I was originally meant to have run this in 2019 but due to the joys of injuries, I had to pull out. The 2020 event was unfortunately postponed like all other races which brings us to… NOW!
Let’s take it back a bit to when I started running…
You might look at me on Instagram and think I’ve always been a ‘runner’ or always loved running. But how wrong you are!
I used to categorise “runners” as being super athletic, fit, speedy, competitive which in all honesty scared me from even starting. Over time, I’ve realised this warped expectation I created in my head is true for a very VERY small percentage of the population. In general, running is simply lacing up and going for a jog! Anyone can participate, any age, any gender. To socialise, as a form of meditation, whatever your reason, ANYONE can be a runner!
Ask me a few years back if I would be able to complete a half marathon, I would have laughed in your face! Yes, I’ve always been fit due to my background as a dancer, but long-distance fitness is way different to quick spurts of energy in dance routines. It’s a completely different type of training. Building that physical stamina but also that mental resilience.
But I’ve always loved a challenge. Loved the feeling of pushing my body to see what it can achieve. I started off small, (ie running round my block and feeling I smoked a pack of 50 the day before) but over time adding an extra 1km each week, following a structured routine, fighting through the tough days, I’m able to run 13 miles!
Consistency and discipline are key for weekly improvement.
Running has truly transformed me. I feel I have finally conquered the mindset, and now when I finish a run, I feel so empowered. There is no greater feeling than proving your negative thoughts wrong! And you truly do take on the day like no other. But it’s also a great way to disconnect from the world. A sense of meditation. Some of my best decision making is made on a run without the subconscious getting involved. Running has made me appreciate nature more – especially during lockdown! But most recently, running has been a great way to bring the community together through my ‘Fun Run & Coffee Clubs’ that I hold on an ad-hoc basis.
I hope by reading this, it’s given you a little nudge to remove any expectations or assumptions you make of ‘running’ or any other sports or fitness events that you “wish” you could do, but instead go by impulse. Enjoy the challenge. Embrace the “failures” and just start with little achievable goals. Maybe start with the couch to 5k app as a starting point. But once you start achieving your small goals your confidence builds to take on a bigger challenge like a race. It really has helped me beyond fitness itself and I actually believe running is a major factor in building my mental strength.
I can help you!
- “RUN FOR IT” – I’ve created a tailored running programme for those wanting to complete a 5k, 10k or half marathon goal. Each programme is structured with resistance band strength exercises, weekly mobility classes, and 3 programmed runs a week (depending on your goal). Sometimes we need that structure and support to aid our progress and consistency!
- FUN RUN & COFFEE CLUBS – if you’re London based, I hold ad-hoc 5K runs to bring people together WHATEVER your level of running. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, have a chat, feel safe running together as a group and also have a giggle! Sign up to my newsletter and follow me @rhiannoncbailey on Instagram to keep updated on the next run club!