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"I’ve just finished my second 0-5k course with Run To Be" - Martin, London cabbie

I’m Martin, a 52 year old London licensed taxi driver. I generally eat the wrong things and because of my job, spend most of my life seated.

Run To Be first came to my attention around March 2017. I was walking my dog when I saw my neighbour, my wife’s oldest friend Merissa, out jogging. She told me that she’d enrolled in a running club, with the aim of eventually running 5k.

Knowing Merissa as I had for some years, I was surprised to learn a couple of months later, that she’d successfully completed the course and this inspired me to join up. Besides, I needed something to counter my bad eating habits.

Being a London taxi driver, it suited me best to run in the morning, so I joined Merissa’s group in Loughton.

I was warned that I might be the only man there, but I wasn’t particularly bothered about that. As a 52 year old, I’m not exactly burdened by ego worries. That said, I was initially slightly troubled when on the second run, I needed to stop briefly before the end of the run, whilst deeply aware that none of the ladies had needed to!

Fortunately, one of the mentors - a man - told me that this was my run and I should concentrate only on myself and what I’m doing. Run To Be always say that no matter how slow you run, you’re still lapping everyone sitting on the couch! This is very true.

The desire to improve, and the embarrassment of what I saw as a failure on the day, made me very determined not to fail again!

As well as the runs with Run To Be, you are assigned a couple of ‘homework’ runs each week.

When you’re running with others, your motivation, is simply wanting to not be the only one not to finish.

When you run on your own, it’s often a case of mind over matter.

If you keep telling yourself you can’t do it, you are doomed to fail. On literally every run that I did on my own, I had to battle against all the mental obstacles that my mind and body created to get me to stop running.

Everything from niggling pains, to that little voice in your head which says “I cannot do this!” I even found myself thinking of what excuse I’d use if I felt unable to battle through!

Thankfully, due to my disappointment from having to stop on that second run, I simply refused to stop and found that any pain that I initially perceived would generally disappear. Also, once I had beaten the mental obstacles, I found that to an extent, I became numb to the rest of the run, as I had simply found my rhythm...

Did it get easier? I’m not sure it did, as it’s still a real struggle sometimes. I think it’s fair to say I feel it less acutely! Especially when using my secret weapon: classic rock and heavy metal!

If ever you feel like you’ll struggle with your run, take some decent music with you. Something with a decent uplifting or driving beat. It’ll make all the difference!

I’m pleased to say that I’ve just finished my second 0-5k course with Run To Be. And if I can do it, so can you! Just give Lindsey a call!

Go out there and just run. For your health, for your fitness and for your self esteem. Just run to be!

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