How goes it Team Bangs Army?
Everyone back into the swing of things post-festive over-indulgance? Well first things first, if you're running the Berlin Half Marathon, your training should've started this week. I hope you've all drawn up your plans and have them stuck somewhere you can see them. Twelve weeks from now, we'll be lining up on the start line and of course, practising the dances we intend to do as we cross the finish line. This is the start of a pretty awesome journey my friends.
I'm encouraged to see so many of you on Twitter getting out there for your first runs. To watch someone going from 'I could never run' to 'I think I'm gonna try it' to actually getting out there and hitting the road is a pretty fantastic thing to see. Each step is quite literally a massive leap when you're going from not particularly caring about your body to trying to use it and view it in a different way.
What I wanted to talk about today is the importance of linking running in with the rest of your life. By that I mean, really taking in what the process of running is doing for you. If you're following a training plan, think about the difference that sort of structure is making to your life. If you're running early in the morning, make note of how much more energetic you feel during the day. If you run after work, note how your sleep pattern is changing.
Are you thinking clearer? Are you more focused? Do you feel more confident? Really connect with what running is doing for you not just on a physical level, but on an emotional one. Think back to your first run, where having been convinced for so long you couldn't run, you managed to crank out one mile, or two or three. How great did that feel? To prove yourself wrong, to overcome an obstacle you'd put in place yourself is a fantastic feeling. This new found feeling of awesomeness manifests itself in different ways. If you can run further than you thought, why can't you go for that promotion at work? Take charge of a situation you thought you had no power in? There's really nothing you can't do when you think about it.
This may all seem like some hippie mumbo jumbo, I know, but I think it's really important to connect running to more than just moving your legs. When you evaluate the effect it has on other aspects of your life, then you realise it really is part of your lifestyle - it's not just a fad you can give up on, 'cause it'll have a domino effect on all those other areas it makes a difference in.
It's really important to keep evaluating this as you go along. Celebrate 1 mile, 2 miles, 5 miles, 10. Celebrate lampost to lampost, dashing to catch a bus you thought you were gonna miss and not being as out of breath, celebrate the aching muscles, the scuffed up trainers, the stitches in your side, and the long hot soaks in the bath post-run - you've earned it.
Til next week, keep clocking those miles.