The Sunday before last myself, Hazel and 40,000 other people took to the streets of Manchester to run in the Great Manchester Run. I’d like to start by saying I am not a long distance runner. At school I hated cross country and the thought of running for hours on a treadmill is honestly my idea of hell. But I’ve always had a lot of admiration for people who ran long distances and I wanted to give it another chance.
As the event drew closer we decided we should probably try and run a bit before the day. We started by doing a Park Run (5km) and then for the next 3 weeks we did a couple of 5km runs each week. Okay, so we weren’t overly prepped but I was pretty confident/naive that it was all going to be okay.
There was a half marathon that kicked off in the morning which one of my closest school friends ran in and I was so, so proud of her.
Then it was our turn.
We went in the purple wave. These were thousands of people all from Manchester University who were running to raise money for dozens of different charities.
The atmosphere was so incredible. Crowds of people lined the streets to cheer us on.
With everything that’s been going on recently it really felt like Manchester wanted to prove that it had come together and would not be afraid or defeated.
I think we proved this ten times over and the amount of support was overwhelming.
We crossed the finish line in just over an hour and it was honestly one of the best feelings ever.
Okay no, it’s not a marathon or a half marathon (that’s next on the list), and we weren’t the quickest, but for us it was an incredible achievement.
For anyone thinking about signing up to do a fun run, whether it be a 5km, 10km, or just joining your local running club then JUST DO IT. Honestly, you don’t have to be a pro athlete and it doesn’t have to be competitive, it can just be for enjoyment.
We took up running during our revision period and I’ve never really had that feeling of ‘switching off’ before, but that’s what I did. Honestly I never thought I’d ever be saying I enjoy running or encouraging anyone else to do it. Okay, so running on the treadmill still isn’t for me and although the thought of running outside used to be so daunting, I now prefer it without a doubt. No gym membership required, therefore no excuses.
If I have any quick tips or advice for those starting out they would be:
- Listen to your body – running can be quite hard on your joints, so if its causing pain then don’t just ignore it, give yourself a rest.
- Invest in some good running trainers. I started by running in my usual trainers that I wear to the gym but after my second 5km I was getting excruciating pain from my ankles up the side of my shins so I switched to my mum’s trainers which had a lot more support around the ankle and almost instantaneously the pain went away, et voila. (So just make sure the trainers are right for you).
- Oh and finally, STRETCH post run. If you don’t you will reallllly feel it the next day. Taking up yoga is a really good way to do this as well.
(*Some of these photos have bene taken from the Sport Manchester Facebook Page)