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Sport of the Month: Running

By Thomas Harris

The Sport of the Month series continues with running as the sport of the month for March.

Inclusivity is essential to our sporting community, the chance for anyone and everyone to join in and enjoy. With just a pair of trainers, if you don’t mind getting a tad sweaty, anyone can lace up and take part in running.

The rules of running are simple. Run, and try not to stop. Getting involved in the sport is just as simple too. Anybody can go for a solo run, setting a distance or a route and sticking to it. Many running clubs bring together solo runners ensuring that the sociability aspect of the sport is not lost. Other organisations are dedicated to getting younger people involved in running and on a larger scale. Parkrun, for example, operates all across the world and organises weekly sessions where you can sign up, complete the route and receive a time. Anybody of any age can take part and give it their best shot. As a bonus, Parkrun even offers some rather nice merch in their stores. No matter what sort of running you are after, there will always be some way of getting stuck in!

Personally, I have been running regularly ever since primary school when I joined the after-school running club. Naturally, after moving to the University of Glasgow, the first club I really looked to join was one that would let me get outside, go on some jogs, and make friends along the way. UofG is home to two clubs centred around running including the Athletics Club and the Hares and Hounds. As a member of the Hares and Hounds, I have found that the welcoming and inclusive nature is at the heart of the club. They offer optional training sessions four times a week in addition to many weekend races that really allow you to test yourself on a more competitive level, or equally just take part for the fun of it. In addition to improving your running and getting some exercise, going along to the socials as well as all the runs they offer allows you to meet so many people that are just as passionate about running as you are. Clubs like this really emphasise the togetherness of the sport.

Aside from the great competitive and social opportunities running enables, the benefits to your health are equally remarkable. Harvard Health Publishing estimates that running for an hour at a pace of 5mph may burn 500-700 calories depending on an individual’s weight and other biological factors. There is also evidence that running for just 10 minutes each day can lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, with regular runners estimated to have half the typical chance of serious heart disease. On top of this, there is a further suggestion that running also improves your sleep quality and stress levels. Running can help regulate your body temperature and hormones and release serotonin, which can improve your mood. The evidence is there that aside from the obvious perks of losing weight and keeping fit, running is just generally good for health and wellbeing. Personally, I have found that if I’m feeling not at my best, getting out of the house and going on a run is a great way to make me feel better.

Many people set themselves goals of improving their fitness, or getting some more exercise in, however, putting these goals into action is a lot easier said than done. Running exists as a great method of making those goals a reality. It’s so easy to get involved whether in a group or just by yourself, and the health and social benefits that the sport offers are great. So, if there are any budding runners out there, get outside and get running. 


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