Now that I have resumed running after a long time, I have been thinking about how I am going to keep running, when I have found every other time that I usually give up after a few months. This is on my mind because of my motivation to start running, which is to stay healthy so I can contribute actively in my family life and in my professional life. I have often joked about teaching PE when I'm in my late 60's, the real joke is that I would probably be as useless in the same situation in my late 30's if I didn't get active again. The truth is that I can feel that the natural fitness that I have been getting from everyday activity has been getting less and less as the years have passed. So I am glad that I have acted, but now I have to keep it going and not give up at the first cold.
I have already considered routine, and my weekday running is happily taking place after the kids are asleep. I can keep this going, my everyday routine is unlikely to change much from where it is, so I should be able to keep this up wherever possible.
My motivation is also higher at this point in running. Obviously, a lot of this comes from the target to run the 10k race and remember Pete, all of which gets me through the aches and pains that would have stopped me in the past, aches and pains are all relatively smaller now.
But if that is the case, will all of my motivation disappear when the race is run? If one thing is certain, September 14th will come along and then it will be gone. When I face the following day, I am back to motivating and answering to myself. That hasn't quite worked out so far. I have run in a 10k race before, while studying at Aberystwyth. I did the run, felt great and I can't really remember how long I continued to run afterwards. It can't have been long enough to be memorable. I definitely didn't sign up for another run after the event.
Which brings me to a couple of new aspects of running. I am now motivated to be in Handsworth Park on Sunday mornings. There are plenty of people there that I want to see and speak to and run with, and I don't want to let them down by not being there or not being able to face it because of missing my own weekday runs. The biggest change here is that it is not just one other person, it is a group, a community. I have run many times with and got into running because of my dad. But when routines or circumstances change over time it means the whole link-up falls apart, even between close family. I trained up for the Aber 10k with my good friend, Paul. But of course those days are finite and no longer live in the same town or city. Being part of the running group means that new people are joining every week and the returning runners can attend some weeks and not others. If I was not able to run on a Sunday here or there, the whole group will not fall apart and it will be there again when I am able to return. If it is still there when I need it, then the motivation to keep running will still be there. So however informal the group of runners, it really is a case of the more the merrier, at least for that reason.
Linked in with the running group, another motivating factor came from a recommendation made by a member of the running group last week. I have downloaded the MapMyRun app and have been using it for my last few midweek runs. I am often a slave to the tech I keep putting around myself, but at least when my phone is harassing me to do something in this case, it is for a good cause. If you, like me, are a bit silly about gadgets etc. it can't really harm to get hold of a running app to keep you going. Other apps are available in case anyone is reading!
Finally, now that I am getting the bug for social running, I am going to look into running a Parkrun sometime soon. I know there are a couple nearby, one in Walsall and another in Cannon Hill Park. I can't really recommend these as I have not done one yet, but I heard great things about how many people were running in Cannon Hill Park on Saturday. They certainly look like a great idea, they are free and they look like they are here to stay. If you have not heard about the Parkruns, find out more at www.parkrun.com.
So if you are looking at your own motivation to keep running, this is what I am learning this time round: Enter runs and raise money for charity along the way. Make sure at least one of your weekly runs is with one or more people. Make your tech bully you to run more. Find your local Parkrun.
It's early days but I think this will keep me going. Unlike my knees, b