Q: Why do you think people should take up running?
A: There are many reasons as to why people should take up running. Firstly it’s fantastic for your health and wellbeing. It will improve your cardiovascular fitness levels and help to control weight which has a huge knock on effect to reduce lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancers.
Q: You mentioned that running can also improve wellbeing. What do you mean by that and how does running help?
A: Wellbeing is a word used to describe your overall levels of comfort, health and happiness. Your state of mental health has a great deal to do with this. There are countless studies that suggest that exercise is just as effective, if not more effective for treating depression than many of the popular medications on the market. It also does a lot for people’s confidence and self esteem and hence helps to reduce things like anxiety disorders.
Q: And why do you run Colin?
A: I just love it. It has become a real passion of mine over the last few years. In fact so much so that if there’s a day when I am not able to run for some reason, I get really grumpy! It’s best to stay away from me on those days. I like to see new runners completing their first 5k, and the look on their faces when they realise that they can do something that they never thought was possible. I love it when somebody says to me “Colin I’m doing my first marathon!” That normally means that they have caught the running bug and hopefully they will get the marathon bug too!
Q: What would you say to the people who say running is bad for, it’s bad for your knees, humans are not supposed to run.
A: I would tell them to stop talking nonsense. Research shows that running is good for your knees. It strengthens cartilage and increases bone density, when done consistently. The people who get problems are those who dip in and out of running or jump in head first and do too much too soon. We have evolved as hunter gatherers and there are still tribes in Africa and South America who run down large animals like Antelope, over 50 miles until it becomes exhausted. The human body is built to run and it is built to run distances. That is why we don’t have much hair on our bodies and we sweat, it’s a cooling mechanism which other animals don’t have. Added to that, our Achilles tendons and large glute muscles which separate us from our primate relatives who spend more time swinging in trees or sitting on their backsides, are proof that we evolved to run.
Q: So what is the best way for people to get started in running?
A: There are lots of things that they can do. I would recommend finding their local jog Scotland running group, which they can do through the website. Lots of beginners go along to these groups so they won’t be alone. It’s good to run with friends or in a group because the motivation from other runners helps you to keep going out running regularly, and somebody more experienced can keep you on the right road (no pun intended.) Join your local running club. Joining a club can be great for your social life too with events, weekends away and great for making new friends.
Q: How did you get into running?
A: I was an avid footballer who did a bit of running on the side. I was decent at school, winning some cross country races but I had never given it any further thoughts. After doing some half marathons and 10k’s as part of my general keeping fit routine I decided to do a marathon. At that time it was going to be my one and only marathon just so that I can say that I have done one. Well, 8 marathons later I am booked in to doing number 9 in Amsterdam this year and looking forward to it coming round. Have even been all the way to Kenya to do some training sessions!
Q: What you say to people who think that they can’t afford financially to take up running?
A: Running is cheap. In fact it is pretty much free. The roads, parks and trails to run on are always open. To start with you don’t need an expensive pair of running shoes. If you are a beginner starting out, the trainers that you wear for any other sport should be adequate. Once you are beyond 5k it is good idea to invest in some properly fitted running shoes although they don’t have to be expensive. You can always get last years colours for half the price!
Q: A number of people tell me that they don’t have time to run. Do you believe this is true?
A: No I don’t. That’s just an excuse not a reason. The average person in the UK watches about 3 hours of TV per day! Cut down on other things and there is plenty of time to run. It’s a very time efficient sport that requires very little planning. Just stick you running shoes on and off you go.