Why not make 2022 the year you take up running?

Why not make 2022 the year you take up running?

12 April 2022

Join the MindSpace running group and we’ll help you get started…

Studies have shown that physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing. Even a short burst of brisk walking for ten minutes or so increases mental alertness, energy and lifts the mood.

Participation in regular physical activity has been found to increase self-esteem and reduce stress and anxiety. It thought to be able to play a role in preventing the development of mental health problems and in improving the quality of life for those experiencing mental health problems.*

The MindSpace Stamford’s running group is an inclusive and supportive group that encourages people to start running and make it a regular activity. Aimed at beginners and returning runners, it meets on Friday mornings at Stamford’s Empingham Road Playing Fields. Each session lasts approximately 45 minutes including a warm up, the main running session and a cool down including stretching. 

Running leader Andy runs a Couch to 5k group and aims to start a new cohort every few months. Once participants have completed the Couch to 5k programme they are encouraged to continue to run with the group to give them motivation to continue running and develop their running further if they so wish.

The next Couch to 5K session begins on Friday April 22!

As well as the widely known physical and mental benefits of running, it’s also a great way of getting to know new people. Andy says: “We’ve had lots of positive feedback from our runners. Indeed, when we were running the group recently, one of the participants said: ‘I wouldn’t be running today if it wasn’t for the group’, so having a regular group to join with encourages people to stick with it.”

The group is open to everyone who would like to give it a go. Andy says: “If someone is at all unsure if it’s for them, we suggest they consult their doctor first. We can tailor the programme to suit individuals if they find it too difficult to start with.”

Running Group Leader Andy is a qualified running leader having completed the Leadership in Running Fitness course. Here he tells us how he came to MindSpace and why he set up the running group…

“I first came to MindSpace about four years ago with my then 22-year-old nephew. We regularly attended the Thursday night cafés and we both got a lot out of coming to MindSpace. I now volunteer at the Thursday evening cafés.

“I am a keen runner and offered to set up a running group because I know how much running helps my physical and mental health. Having it as part of the MindSpace offering makes it inclusive and I thought we may encourage new runners who may feel daunted by joining a running club or don’t know how to start.

“We have good links with Stamford Striders running club and the local Parkrun who are very supportive of the group and we work together to signpost people to each of our running groups. Some of the group ran in last December’s Santa Fun Run and raised money for Mindspace.”

Here’s what one participant, Nick says: “I joined the MindSpace Couch to 5k group and have found running with others much easier than trying to do the programme on my own. The course starts gently and you slowly increase the amount of time you run. Andy the course leader is an experienced runner and creates a friendly and inclusive place to meet new people and build your confidence in running. I would definitely recommend it!”

The MindSpace Stamford running group meets at 9.30am on Friday mornings. There is no charge to take part, although donations are encouraged. Sign up to take part at https://mindspacestamford.com/join-in/

*More information about the benefits of exercise on mental wellbeing can be found on the Mental Health Foundation https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-using-exercise