Run baby run! Yurrebilla and the long distance mind….

Prevent_North_Adelaide_Physiotherapy_running

Many of you will be aware that it was the Yurrebilla 56km ultra marathon today, starting at Belair and ending in Athelstone after much gruelling up hill and down dale.  An incredible achievement for all of those who participated, who show dedication to their sport, which is really more of a passion, I mean it has to be don’t you think?

A huge congratulations to Campbell Collins-McBride, who did his first ultra today and smashed it in 6 hours and 15 minutes.   Cam showed an incredibly sensible approach throughout his training and was very good at listening to his body rather than adhering strictly to a training schedule.  And the benefits showed today.  Well done Cam!

So what makes people want to do ultramarathons? Is it the personal achievement? Do they want to see just how far they can push their bodies? Are they adrenalin junkies? Is this the best for of meditation to quieten the mind whilst the body is occupied?  Are they just naturally gifted?  Are they crazy??

I’m not sure, but I do think they are amazing and inspiring people.  After New York next year, (yes we are going back, please pray for no more hurricanes, typhoons, or anything else!!) maybe this is the next thing to work toward.  Let’s just take it one step at a time…

Once people get into running, it is like a whole new family of people who understand why others do it. It is a solitary sport, which is fabulous! Solitude is such a precious commodity in today’s overstimulated society.  Running gets you away from the madness and stresses of our day to day life and just allows you to clear your head.

It is a great chance to think about things.  Most runners get into a meditation which is very easy, as their breathing synchronises with their steps, and they think about taking one step after another.  There are many counting strategies involved, sometimes to get through difficult stretches of running, but all of these techniques result in a deep meditation that refreshes the brain’s functioning.

The Huffington Post notes the following 13 mental health benefits from running, and as stress is now the number one cause of injuries and illnesses this is important stuff!

Here they are: (from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/27/mental-health-benefits-exercise_n_2956099.html)

  1. Reduce stress
  2. Boost happy chemicals (natural ones that is)
  3. Improve self-confidence
  4. Enjoy the great outdoors
  5. Prevent cognitive decline
  6. Alleviate anxiety
  7. Boost brainpower
  8. Sharpen memory
  9. Help control addiction (will let you know if i reduce my chocolate addiction…They are really talking about drugs and alcohol – see article)
  10. Increase relaxation
  11. Get more done (more productive and more energetic)
  12. Tap into creativity (shown to be more creative for up to 2 hours post exercise session)
  13. Inspire others

Pretty convincing huh??  Have you got your gear on yet?  Are you out of that door???  Dont forget your hat… and no sunscreen on the forehead!

Courtney_Salter_North_Adealide_Physiotherapy_PreventFor those who like to have some company with running, there are many fantastic running groups such as SARRC (South Australian Road Runners Club http://www.sarrc.asn.au/) who set up some terrific runs and provide a great resource of knowledge from those experienced runners and coaches.

The Streakers

Believe it or not, there are many people who cant go a day without running.  They are the ‘streakers’.  And yes they are wearing clothes.  They run for a minimum of one continuous mile every day, running consecutive days and NEVER missing a day.  Some of the longest running streaks have been well over 40 years.  (http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/streakers-in-sneakers/371347/)

Some of these runners have actually run EXACTLY THE SAME PATH for those 40 years.  Maybe they have a fear of getting lost.  Who knows but it is just amazing don’t you think? Could you imagine doing that?  Not sure that I could.  There is a man in LA who is particularly famous for this, so much so that people come to run with him, and he now has a whole trail of people who wait for him at his usual entrance point to the beach and run along behind him.  He has inspired many.

So my ‘streak’ has been 2 days (‘cough’ – hardly a streak yet!).  Spurred on by my fabulous patients who have instructed me to stop working so much and get out there!  Thank you to you all, you know who you are, and all Librans need a push from time to time…  Let’s see if i can streak all the way to my birthday next month… it’s a start!

 

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