Since the 70s, running has been amongst the top exercise choices for the average man (or woman) in the street, but in the last decade it’s seen something of an explosion in popularity.
It seems everywhere you look, people are running… Running in marathons, running for charity, running from school drop-off, running in Santa outfits or running for their mental health… And we’re loving it!
At eGlove HQ, we’ve definitely got the running bug.
Nikki is a bit of an expert and, having run her fair share of marathons and half marathons, she doesn’t like to let a week go by without at least 3 runs under her belt. James is a little bit less obsessed, but is definitely not shy of getting his running shoes on. He ran 60km in November for Movember (the moustache growing proved to be one step too far) and has made it through many half marathons and fun runs in very respectable times (though Nikki usually leaves him for dust).
In 2016, the number of ‘runners’ in the UK tipped the 2 million mark and the number is still steadily increasing.
With the introduction and mega popularity of running apps like Strava, there’s a lot more info circulating about running too - for example UK runners clocked up 192 million km in 2017 and uploaded 24.7 million runs to Strava alone (whoa). It’s true to say that running apps definitely make a difference to many when it comes to motivation and inspiration. Being able to track performance level, improvement, calorie burn or just to have an alarm bugging you to get your shorts on can really helping to spur us runners along.
Running is theoretically one of the easiest sports to slot into your life and that’s one of the reasons so many people start.
You can break into a run pretty much anywhere and can (generally) run straight out of your front door - so no need for expensive gym membership or fancy equipment (apart from a pair of phone friendly eGloves ;-). A 30 minute jog, a couple of times a week gets you well on the way to the recommended activity level for adults and there’s the potential to combine it with your commute, the school run or a bit of bonding time with friends or the kids - bonus.
Whether you’re a social butterfly or a bit of a loner, you can still run.
You can go solo with nothing but an awesome playlist of run friendly tunes or if you like something a little more sociable there’s always the parkrun phenomenon to consider. What began 14 years ago as a Bushy Park based fun-run has grown… and grown… and is now a worldwide weekend must-do activity, embraced by around 250,000 people a week. One brilliant thing about parkrun is that it’s free to take part (it’s largely run by volunteers) but even more brilliant is the fact it’s so inclusive. You can be a beginner or a Bolt and either way you’ll be very welcome… and it doesn’t matter if you’re 8, 28 or 80. There’s always a jolly atmosphere at parkrun events, plenty of camaraderie and lots of lovely like-minded people to chat to (even if you’re struggling for breath and are mostly nodding and grimacing). We’d definitely recommend parkrun as a great route into running and you can find everything you need to know about events local to you from the parkrun website here.
More and more women are taking up running of late and there’s been a major drive to encourage this from organisations like ’This Girl Can’ who aim to promote an active lifestyle and encourage the concept that there’s no ‘right way’ to get active. This Girl Can is funded by The National Lottery and with community discussions and an inspirational instagram feed, it’s definitely a good place to start if you’re wanting to run but are a little bit worried about how to go about it (and not give up).
If running appeals but you just don’t know how to break into it then ‘Couch to 5K’ could be perfect for you.
It aims to get you from a standstill to a steady pace over a series of weeks and literally walks you through the process via podcast, a downloadable schedule and lots of brilliant guidelines. It helps with motivation, keeping a steady trajectory, avoiding injury and building stamina, so before you know it, you can call yourself a real runner. The NHS is a huge advocate of the C25K programme because anyone can do it…. and it’s free. You can find all the info here.
If a C25K, parkrun, or even a 26 mile-er is not enough of a challenge for you then there’s always ultra marathon running (gulp). Now so many people are running, to some, being just a runner isn’t enough so there’s the six-day, 165km Oman Desert Marathon for example… or the the 155 mile Gobi March. Recognised as generating awesome levels of euphoria and a huge sense of achievement there are now more than 60 ultra races around the globe so there’s no shortage of ultrarun events for you to get involved with if you fancy something a little more hardcore than a jog around the block.
At eGlove we’re massive advocates of the benefits of being out in the Great Outdoors, whether you’re running, walking or sitting on a blanket eating an elaborate picnic.
If you can’t remember the last time you ran anywhere though (apart from that time you nearly missed the bus) then we’d encourage you to just give it a try. Go on-just down to the next junction… or round the garden a few times. Breathe, smile, get some music on your phone to listen to… and tomorrow try doing it again. It might just turn out that you get bitten by the running bug too and parkrun, half marathons and ultra marathon euphoria might just be the next thing around the corner….
If you’re starting running and want to keep your hands cosy whilst you’re out - but you still need to be able to operate your running app or C25K podcast - head over and take a look at our eGlove run gloves here.