Running and mental health

Thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Ade, only been running 3 years or so (I'm 30). Never really thought I could run at all, wasn't that overweight but just assumed it was something I couldn't do. I read a few running magazines and while there is a lot of discussion over the physical benefits, there isn't quite so much about mental health. Has anyone else found running to benefit this?

I signed up for a 10k in 2010 and started slowly training, surprising myself how much better I got. Couple of years later and I do 10k or more a few times a week, I've finished the Great South run, a half marathon and now training for the London marathon in April. Excited about that one, although still a long way to go in training!

I've found running has helped my physical and mental health, which was probably the main reason for getting into it. Partly confidence, the challenge of it all, and partly just knowing i was doing all I could for my health. I find it improves my focus, attention span and concentration. Maybe it just gives me a more positive outlook generally, and no doubt helps with sleeping which I've struggled with most my adult life. I love the time to myself, seeing new places and exploring, getting to know areas more than I ever would just walking/driving etc., and generally pushing myself and feeling more alive.

I'm writing a blog about my marathon training, reasons for doing it etc. I'm running the marathon for Mind, trying to raise funds but also awareness of mental health issues. So rather than just a plea for donations that I'm sure people get all the time, I'd be grateful if you'd just take a moment to look at my sponsorship page. It has more information on mental health and the work Mind do, and I'll be publishing my blog on there later tonight, to be updated each week. It's a bit late as I'm a late entrant to the marathon, so the fundraising and training is all a bit more rushed! Any hints, tips and advice very welcome.

Thanks very much.


  • Welcome to the forum Adrian.

    People starting new threads asking for donations never goes down particularly well because if everyone who needed to raise money for VLM posted a thread, the site would be full of new threads. In addition, as it's a running forum, you can bet that lots of people  that are already known and have interacted with the site have already pitched first so you are a bit late image

    If you want to join in the forum, look for a thread and I'm sure you'll be welcomed or find the fundraising thread and post your pitch on there or wait for April till the one thread that forumites do throw money in a pot for is started. But just spruiking for money on a forum is the same as spruiking on a street or in a pub. If you don't do it there, why do it on here? 

  • Thanks. I'm not expecting donations, it's just a quick way of explaining my current running situation! Any fundraising ideas will be helpful though I'm sure, although should have quite a while as a late entrant to the marathon.

    Just thought it was time to check out some running forums as I've not a member of a club and only run alone, so don't really talk to anyone about it. None of my friends seem to run actually!
  • Adrian

    Well done on taking the plunge and for adopting running as a means of coping with physical and psychological stress. I have just literally finished reading a paper on exercise and depression which did not particularly feature running but which did draw a weak link between exercise and improvement in depression. As with all these studies it misses the art in favour of the science.

    If u run and the fresh air invigorates u and helps unto get fit which helps u to sleep which helps u to think more clearly, then in motivational terms u are getting the rewards for your efforts. You have set a tough goal, their is literally tons of info out there and lots of advice (some of it even useful) on this site.

    Mental toughness is a key component of motivation. Self determination and confidence are key components of mental toughness. Set realistic but tough training goals, and gradually you will continue to strengthen and improve physically and mentally.

    Running really can become a lifestyle matter or just a general past time. Either way it has great benefits, occasionally a few set backs but then resilience is another trait worth developing.

    Good luck.
  • Added my marathon blog finally, largely about running and mental health. (NOT asking for money!!) just trying to increase awareness for Mind and mental health, but hopefully a vaguely interesting running blog too.

  • Welcome Adrian. I do suggest you 'get the word out' to your non-running friends and colleagues though as it's a little bit like "preaching to choir" over here. I wish you well on your journey and am delighted that running is giving you a new sense of balance and vibrancy.  Cheers, TD.


  • Thanks.

    I've finally found time to write my marathon blog in recent weeks. Do take a look if you need time, don't have to donate anything, just want to share my experiences, raise awareness etc.

    Hope it's vaguely interesting! Training going quite well so far, usually feel better after the long weekend run than I do when I wake up!

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