I was listening to a Stephen Nolan’s late night show on 5 Live about the importance of exercise and snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan phoned in to contribute and ended up chatting for 20 minutes about how running had helped his mental state. He has suffered from bouts of depression and low self esteem despite becoming World Champion; In the past he has been fined for walking out of tournaments because he was bored and has wound up opponents by playing them left handed and still winning quite comfortably. He started running to lose a bit of weight but has become almost addicted to it clocking up 50 miles a week and he said that if he had to choose between running or snooker he’d give up the snooker no question. Having said that the running has helped his state of mind so much that he has hit his best form for a few years and is feeling good about his game anyway.
I used to run regularly and enjoyed it although I did get a bit bored with it from time to time, it helped me when I had a target I was working towards. It’s hard to find time for running now and from a physical fitness point of view cycling burns most of the calories I consume anyway. However with the mental as well as physical benefits I think it’s worth me finding the time for it. The cycling I do is different as it’s almost all commuting and not particularly relaxing, it’s also something I have to do rather than choose to do.
I did try running about 18 months ago but was quite upset by how much my legs ached the next day after running just over a mile. I ran tonight for about 15 minutes but took care to stretch afterwards. I’d like to do a 5k or 10k run sometime in the future but for now just look forward to early morning weekend runs around Heaton Park. I’ll watch out for dogs though, one bit me on the arse about 20 years ago when running through the park, it almost tore my shorts from me and drew blood which I didn’t notice until I’d run the 3 miles back home. I’ve never trusted dogs since.