Ex-smokers are some of the biggest anti-smokers, and in much the same way, this reformed couch potato steps onto a somewhat giant soapbox when it comes to extolling the virtues of regular exercise. I love running and what it has done for me. I sometimes think that if everyone ran a few miles a few times a week, the world would be a better place. But then I realise how evangelical I sound and I want to punch myself.

I know that the me of five years ago would have not taken kindly to anyone that recommended I sign up for a 10k race. And the thought that running round in the cold for two hours on a Saturday could be fun would have met with a furrowed brow and the palm of my hand accompanied by the phrase ‘talk to it’. So instead of boring all my friends to death with my running mantras and the number of miles I’ve clocked up this week, I blog.

But now a real-world friend of mine is starting running. He’s got previous form – the first 10k race I ever did was also his first dalliance with running. However he didn’t train nearly as much as he should. He completed it but promptly stopped running once he crossed the finish line and has barely put his trainers on in the three years since. But now, after countless texts and emails from me, sometimes encouraging, often nagging, he’s decided to give running another shot. Now he wants to go all the way – he wants to do a marathon. Why not think big.

We’ll be running this marathon together later in the year and I’m now his self-appointed coach. But, contrary to what he thinks – I’m not trying to get him fit to take on the marathon. My ambition is much greater than that. I want him to love running. I want it to become part of his life, to be something that, in a couple of year’s time, he couldn’t imagine not doing. If he can learn to love running, there’s no distance he can’t run. Because “he who runs for pleasure never gets tired.” And if I can inspire just one other person to run a marathon – that will be quite enough for me to give up the soapbox.

Janathon Day 22
Today I ran 4.25miles and needed the loo the whole way. Note to self: don’t drink a pint of orange squash before you set off. Schoolgirl error.

2017-06-23T07:40:34+00:00 22 January 2011|


  1. Midgie January 23, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    So very cool to be able to encourage others to take up running for life, rather than for a race! My approach is to almost hold them back, taking is slower and easier than they think they can do so that when they finish a run, they feel like they can do more.

    For me, this is much better than finishing a run/race feeling totally exhausted and never wanting to put a running shoe on again!

    So keep up the amazing influence and getting more people out and active … helping them believe in themselves to do anything they put their minds to!

  2. fortnightflo January 23, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    I just read your marathon blog, and although I’d gone off teh idea of a marathon it really made me want to do one. As a supporter I get emptional when I see poeple cross the line at London – just thinking about what they go through to get there, so gawd knows what i’d be like if i did it – great stuff well done, need to go and get a tissue now as am welling up…

  3. maggiee January 23, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    Good luck with your mission; I agree whole-heartedly… I used to hate running and now I’m the first to extol its virtues; though only when asked! Get him through the race, and get him loving running! Good job! 🙂

  4. steveandkatyrun January 23, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    There is one up side to drinking a big glass of squash before you leave – I bet your time was superb! Hope you inspire your mate. Even if he doesn’t do a marathon it’s always nice to having a running partner.

  5. iampreppy January 23, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Hi Laura,
    Here’s a thought …how about working towards membership to the Marathon Maniacs or the Half Fanatics? The criteria is on their website. As I run a lot of Half Marathons, I joined the Fanatics. It’s a great group and no matter where in the world you run, you’re pretty likely to “run” into a fellow Fanatic or Maniac. 🙂 Just something to think about…

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