Why this woman loves to run (and you might too)

I’ve never considered myself as a runner, walker yes and I do like the local park run with the dog, but I know people who can’t envisage their life without running being part of it. Here’s a guest blog by Helene Feger, explaining why she loves to run.

I’ve been running for more than 30 years.

I can’t quite believe that as I write it. When I think of it, my relationship to running has been one of the most enduring in my life.

Rain or shine, four times a week I run the towpath next to the Thames near where I live. Holidays, business trips, weekends away don’t deter me either. It’s a great way to see places that you wouldn’t otherwise.

I’m not into running long distances or achieving personal bests every time I run. In fact I have no interest in either. I run for 30-40 minutes at a comfortable pace. For me the rewards are a bit of time to unwind, let my mind wander and de-stress. It rarely fails to deliver.

It wasn’t always like this. When I started, every running session was a battle of wills - my lazy self would find any excuse to avoid running. And I’d count the minutes, footsteps and gasp all the way.

But within a few short weeks the sheer physical exertion became easier and my mind wasn’t constantly fighting my body to STOP.

Over the years I’ve stopped running to have children, or due to injury or just life getting too busy. But I’ve learned a few ways to keep faith with running:

  • It really does help to find a running mate or mates to keep you going in the early days

  • Even 15 minutes of running to blow the cobwebs away is better than no exercise at all if you are really busy.

  • You will have bad days when it feels like you are wearing lead boots, followed by good days where you feel you are flying. Take them both in your stride (literally).

  • If you need to start out walking and running don’t worry about it. You’ll soon find your running more and eventually all the way.

  • Running outdoors is a million times better than running on a treadmill. The weather, seasons, neighbours all make it far more interesting than the drudge of the treadmill.

  • Take the long view and don’t worry about setbacks - you can get back to high levels of fitness quickly.

The key is making exercise part of who you are and what you do.

If you’ve been thinking about running just give it a try and you might find you develop a good habit of a lifetime.

Other blogs you might be interested in reading:

What are the best exercises for women over 50

7 ways to keep motivated to exercise

How to loose weight, get fitter and feel better

How much exercise should you do?