Mr Read, “Today we are going to…”. I haven’t even finished my sentence and I can see thought bubbles emerging from the minds of every pupil. Why? Do we have to? What’s the point? I must admit… I sometimes struggle to answer these while motivating Year 5 to work out Roman numerals (of course…useful if you have a fancy clock at home). Or while Year 6 take their first steps into new territory – algebra. Even as adults, we can struggle to complete tasks if it is difficult to see the purpose.

Why do you run? How do you run so far? Do you find it boring? I get asked these questions a lot. In times when motivation is scarce, it’s my answer to ‘why?‘ that helps me take that first step out of the door. What am I doing this for? Who will this help? What will I gain? What will be achieved?

I run to keep fit. I run to stay healthy, mentally and physically. I run to be social. I run to challenge myself. I run because it makes me feel good. It’s these aspects that drive me forwards and urge me to continue. Every run, even the worst runs, provide me with a surge of endorphins, lifting my mood and opening my mind. It’s rare for me to regret a run and I guarantee that’s the same for most runners. The positives certainly outweigh the negatives (if there are any negatives!?).

Ask the question. 

Maybe it’s worth asking yourself, ‘Why?’. The answer to it should motivate you, be meaningful and fill you with enjoyment, passion, or happiness. Ideally, it’s not just a ‘tick in the box’, but something that’s going to motivate you. If you struggle to answer, is it worth it? Will you be as driven? The answer to ‘why?’ is the driving force. It’s the thing I think about when I contemplate running or when I’m digging deep in the final few miles.

Take the first step

It’s difficult when you first start. Running can be a one-way ticket to struggle city. The journey of achey legs and tired lungs is endless, but it’s a worthwhile journey and it does get easier. Trust me.

Post-holiday exercise is the worst.

Put an event in the diary and give yourself something to work towards. Set realistic goals. Small steps can lead to the biggest changes. Throughout your journey, celebrate the little wins; the extra couple of minutes running, the extra repetition, a faster burst to finish or the fact you actually have energy to make dinner after a run… Celebrate these moments. They fuel you for more. They’re signs that you CAN do it and you ARE moving in the right direction.

My reasons for running: 

  1. To stay healthy. Keeping the heart and lungs ticking nicely!
  2. Be part of a community. Running has the best of both worlds – a perfect mix of independence and team camaraderie!
  3. Positive energy levels (really!?) Running results in me feeling much more energised for the day.
  4. It’s cheap/er than most other activities… Once you’ve purchased the trainers!
  5. Stress relief. Running clears my mind and gives me a sense of freedom.

What motivates you? 


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