There are three types of runners in the world….
The first people are those who would only ever run if their safety depended on it. Their body panics and goes into fight or flight mode, thrusting flight, and consequently running, into their lives. Running is a means to an end for these folks, whether they are running away from a tiger so they don’t get eaten, or more commonly, running to a bus so they aren’t late for work; running is never a choice!
Next are the fanatics, the people who live and breathe running. You can usually tell them a mile off (or 1.60934 km) because of their brightly coloured running gear. While usually spotted at the weekend, I suspect they also wear it under their clothes at work, just incase an opportunity to run strikes. They’ll also be carrying around at least two flasks of liquid, one filled with water of course, and the second a homemade electrolytes drink – the runner’s equivalent to moonshine. If you spot one of these types of people and you’re in a hurry, or you really need the loo, DO NOT engage with them about their latest PB because you will be there for a very long time indeed.
The third group are the casual runners. They dabble in pavement pounding enough so that they could join in with the run chat about shin splints and foam rollers, but they probably eat jelly babies at home for fun rather than a glucose boost. They book half marathons way in advance, all the time secretly hoping that the time never comes, and then struggle through the entire course cursing themselves for not training properly. This type is often transitional, as people either progress to running fanatics, or decide that running is not for them after all and pack it in.
As a ‘fitness blogger’ you may have imagined that I fall into category deux, but I am actually a casual runner. Until today the longest I had ever run was around 7km and I hated every minute of it. However, last year I signed up to complete the Manchester Winter Run for Cancer Research UK to keep myself motivated to workout during the winter and today was finally race day.
Admittedly, I hadn’t done as much actual running as I had intended to at the beginning. Although recently I earned that running doesn’t make you a better runner so an absence of mileage isn’t the worst thing to happen.
A good running training regime consists of exercises to strengthen your posterior chain (legs, back, bum), plyometric exercises (explosive, jumping exercises which develop power in your movements), improving your posture and balance, and working on exercises that develop your core. So all in all, my usual routine of weights and bootcamp with the occasional HIIT sprint session was just fine.
Although, after a practise 5km the week before, I was left feeling tired and anxious about how I would do this all over again during the event.
The Manchester Winter Run was here! After a terrible night’s sleep and feeling like I was going to sit an exam again Emilie from Eat Live Breath and I joined the waves of people at the Etihad Stadium ready to run.
It was absolutely freezing, and as I was wearing what looked like a child’s windbreaker jacket with barely any shelter from the cold, I was excited to get moving and become warm again.
With fake snow, penguins, and polar bears around the course, and people dancing and cheering you on, it was hard to run without a smile on your face. I feel like I should also mention how many runners had the names of the people they were doing it for on their backs. There were many close family members like Mum, Dad and Gran, plus people writing ‘survivors’. Such a fun event like this is a brilliant way to raise money for Cancer Research UK, but it did still have a sad undertone that there are still millions of people losing their lives to cancer everyday.
Back to the race, so Emilie and I paced ourselves really well so we never become too tired, we did stop a few times but generally stuck to a speedy pace. I was quite surprised how easy it felt, perhaps it was the combination of being outside with other people and a change of scenery that took my mind of the running, whatever it was, it was a lot more enjoyable than running on a treadmill in the gym.
We finished in 1.03.48 which I’m really pleased about considering it was my first 10km and we were going at a steady pace. Also they gave us these really cute medals!
Next stop was Revolution De Cuba in Manchester for an amazing lunch with cocktails, tapas and lots of cheese! They have such a delicious lunch menu and the live music makes it a vibrant atmosphere for Sunday catch-ups. I literally inhaled my food, I had chimichangas (which is one of the best words ever by the way.) By the time I left I was so full I couldn’t tell whether it was my sore legs slowly me down walking, or my full tummy!
Overall it was a fabulous day and maybe I’ll become a running fanatic after all!