To put it bluntly, if you run, you’re a runner.
Running can be a really great therapy for people - that moment when you feel that runner’s high or cross the finish line after a year of training. Whatever your reason for running, there’s always some motivation behind treading the pavements and trails.
The beauty of running slowly
One of my favourite facts is that your starting speed is always someone’s PB pace. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr:
“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
On a scientific level, running slowly actually increases your oxygen creation by aiding in the growth of your capillaries. This allows for the oxygen in your blood to move to the cells or your muscles much quicker, making you an efficient human machine!
Running slowly also jump starts those power stations in your cells - the mitochondria. Powering these up allows the glycogen and fat in your body to be turned into energy, allowing you to run further and faster in the future.
By staying at a lower pace, it will also allow your body to use fat instead of your glycogen as fuel, which will mean that you’ll be more comfortable on those longer runs!
Try not to get too hyped up in your pace and don’t allow yourself to compare against others in your running community. We all go for runs for different reasons, different goals and different types of training. Focus on yourself, your goals and what you want to achieve.
The slower you run, the more opportunities you have to explore the world around you. I remember my first Marathon - it took me just over 6 hours and I appreciate how slow that is compared to the majority of runners but I loved it. I loved being able to stop, talk to people, really soak up the atmosphere and get the most out of the day. Not only did I get great value for money, I still completed exactly the same millage as everyone else on that day. 26.2 miles is still 26.2 miles, however long it takes.
Big girls (and boys), you are beautiful!
When I first thought about the title of this blog, I only included ‘too big’ as I feel that it’s something I hear a lot, not because it’s something I believe in at all. Running is for anybody, irrespective of size!
To put it bluntly, if you run, you’re a runner.
I love the way that fellow ASICS Frontrunner (@mrs_ led_ runs) put it - having a few extra wobbly bits isn’t a barrier to being active. As always, it’s so important to make sure that you get some kit that really works for you: Do you feel confident? Do you feel able to get out there and smash your goals? ……….great! Now get out there and explore the world of running!
In line with kit, invest in a good sports bra and if don’t be afraid to use balms or creams on any bits that might chafe - it’s not nice!
If you’re new to running or haven’t bought new trainers recently, make sure that you find the right type of shoe. To help with this, you can have your gait analysed, to look how you run and whether you need any additional support.
Running can feel really scary sometimes and it can feel as though people are watching you and potentially judging your ability to run, especially if you have a larger frame. This can be really tricky if you’ve just started and haven’t quite fallen in complete love with running but trust me, it will come. Stay focused on your goals and don’t allow the wandering eyes of others to put you off. You’ll inspire the next generation of runners, showing them that anything is possible…..and you might just enjoy it on the way!
With age, comes experience
Perhaps you may not have the most experience in running if you’ve just started but studies show that runners over 40 are actually the fastest-growing group for running. If you’re a bit older, you (probably) have a bit more maturity in you and you’re able to listen to your body, which is great news for injuries. You’ve got the life experience behind you to know when you’ve pushed things a tad too far and (hopefully) the sensibility to plan your training according to your ability.
Age is simply just a number and I love nothing more, when racing, to look around and see people in their 60s, 70s and even 80+ just enjoying themselves. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:
“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Of course, take things slowly, as anyone would. Take your time, enjoy the moment and enjoy running for running’s sake.
Teacher of Mathematics from Basingstoke
Age group: 25-29
Para OCR Races - An Exciting Updateby Jamie Gane / Nov. 25, 2022
If you have been following my journey for a little while, you may have noticed that I have been campaigning for more inclusion within competitive Obstacle Course Races (OCRs). This blog aims to give you an update of what’s happening in the world of para/adaptive inclusion within obstacle racing.
Recovering from Surgery - Tips & Tricksby Jamie Gane / Nov. 08, 2022
As someone who has now undergone over 50 operations, I am accustomed to bouncing back after both minor and major surgical procedures. As i’ve just recently had a larger operation, here are my hints and tips for how to recover or keep yourself occupied during your recovery.
My First Experiences of Wheelchair Racingby Jamie Gane / May. 20, 2021
For anyone who has watched Wheelchair Racing, you’ll probably remember a flurry of speedy wheelchairs, racing around a track. You’ll probably think that they’re quite comfortable and super speedy from the get-go - this couldn’t be further from the truth. This blog looks to explore my first experiences of wheelchair racing, as races look to open up again.
'I don't have time to train' - Finding Productivity in Runningby Jamie Gane / Mar. 04, 2021
In the past, I have frequently said ‘I don’t think i’m going to have time to train today,’ or ‘I wish I had more hours in the day to train.’ While this blog certainly won’t extend your day by a couple of hours, it might just change your mindset, to find productivity in running.
Running Blades - The Factsby Jamie Gane / Jan. 28, 2021
Since the 2012 Paralympics, running blades have been put into the spotlight, with people now able to recognise what they are used for. With more and more people being offered or exploring the opportunity to run with a running blade, I thought I would explore the facts. Are there different types? When would you use one? What’s the grip like?…all will be answered!
Creating Accessible Racing Eventsby Jamie Gane / Sep. 25, 2020
With races and events cancelled across the globe, there are plenty of new opportunities for event organisers to reach out to a new community of disabled athletes. When the word ‘accessible’ is mentioned for events and races, it often sets out panic to organisers, who picture wheelchair ramps, toilets and lifts. In reality, creating accessible events can be relatively simple and just making an effort to include disabled athletes can have huge benefits for everyone involved.
Appreciating Your Own Companyby Jamie Gane / Apr. 16, 2020
As humans, we tend to be social creatures and for those who especially enjoy the company of others, the current climate is particularly challenging. Whether you’re isolating on your own or with family, for some, this period is maybe the most time you have spent with yourself in a while. It’s evident that spending time with yourself allows for a really great opportunity to learn to love your own company but this blog will help you to understand how to to start appreciating this time.
Staying Focused on Your Goalsby Jamie Gane / Mar. 19, 2020
As we come into March, those January goals are either completely on track on just on the cusp of abandonment (if they haven’t already been scrapped and if you can even remember what they are). So, with this in mind, how do you keep your motivation and maintain your healthy habits while enjoying the process?
Why My Races Have Two Resultsby Jamie Gane / Sep. 10, 2019
Official results and personal bests, often the only records we count when looking at achievement. Always taking into account two separate times, why are my official times and adjusted times different?. This blog looks my progression away from official results and looking at what it takes to count a personal best.
Adaptive Athlete OCR Eligibility Reformby Jamie Gane / Aug. 13, 2019
For many able-bodied athletes, qualification to the European and World Obstacle Course Racing Championships can be extremely difficult. In some races, an individual needs to be placed in the top 5 within their age group to qualify and this can take an athlete several attempts to achieve. Now imagine being an amputee, a visually impaired runner or a wheelchair athlete and having to still achieve a top-5 result against able-bodied individuals.
LGBT Sport Participationby Jamie Gane / Jun. 30, 2019
In the UK, the number of people who regularly take part in sport is increasing however, the all the numbers point towards an underrepresentation of LGBT participants. In a world heading towards equality and acceptance, why don’t the numbers add up? What are the options for LGBT participants?
Body Positivity as an Amputeeby Jamie Gane / Jun. 05, 2019
Body Image - how we think and feel about our bodies. Ever-evolving and heavily influenced by others and the media. Rewind back to the 19th century where amputees were being marketed as freaks within the circus, we as a society have certainly come a long way. It wasn’t until the promotion of the London 2012 Paralympic games where we saw those with limb differences were actively being promoted with their positives.
My Battle into Runningby Jamie Gane / Apr. 01, 2019
Feeling the breeze in my hair, seeing the world from a foot taller and the ability to conquer the previously unconquerable – all experiences I felt when I started running after 14 years in a wheelchair. Get your reading glasses on as I tell you the story of how I lost my leg and started the battle to begin to win the long run.
What Does it Take to Finance Sport?by Jamie Gane / Mar. 27, 2019
What does it take to finance a career in sport? It's certainly a juggle for me to balance finances and training but my juggle of jobs keeps me motivated, flexible for training and most importantly, happy. In order for me to fund my sports, I have 8 different jobs, with multiple organisations and with a wide range of roles.
The Nuts Challenge OCR Reviewby Jamie Gane / Mar. 25, 2019
Last year, I was looking through the Obstacle Course Race World Championships (OCRWC) qualification criteria and came across The Nuts Challenge. I remember the title of the run catching my attention but wondering really how nuts it would be…..I guess that I was soon to find out..
Preparing for Your First OCRby Jamie Gane / Jun. 24, 2019
Congratulation! You’ve signed up for your first OCR (Obstacle Course Race) or at the very least, you’re thinking about signing up. You’ve taken your first step to entering a community and starting a race like no other. Obstacle Racing is pretty challenging with lots of crawling, climbing, jumping and sliding but check out these tips on how to prepare for your first OCR.
Rest Days are Your Best Daysby Jamie Gane / Jan. 29, 2019
When you’re in a routine and on a roll with your training, you don’t want to think about rest days. The thought of stopping for the day seems pretty daunting, let alone stopping for a week! Despite the daunting nature of rest days, they really can be your best days of training, allowing you to recover, re-group and re-align your goals.
A Different View on Disabilityby Jamie Gane / Jan. 08, 2019
The Winter Wonderwheels event, as part of the Superhero Series, is the UK’s only disability sports event for everyday Superheroes! They create a really fun, personally challenging environment for those with disabilities without the worry of time or equipment restrictions. Whether you have none, one or two feet, travelling in a wheelchair or flying in a rocket, nothing is impossible - I’m yet to see a rocket though!
Exploring New Sports as an Amputeeby Jamie Gane / Dec. 04, 2018
Finding and discovering a new sport as an amputee can be very daunting but also extremely rewarding. It's difficult to find clubs that are able to cater for your adaptations and confidence is needed to join an able-bodied club but it does host a whole load of benefits.
Jamie Gane - 2019 Goals & Plansby Jamie Gane / Nov. 20, 2018
2018 was my year of experimentation. A year, my first full year of walking, to see where I wanted to take my life and career. With incredible opportunities taken and awesome teams joined, the 2018 season is almost at its end. So with that in mind, where do I see my plans heading for 2019?
There's No 'I' in Frontrunnerby Jamie Gane / Oct. 30, 2018
The ASICS frontrunners are a team - a team of like-minded and talented individuals in the pursuit of movement. Whether that’s running, cycling, walking, swimming or judo, the team pulls together the experiences and talents of others to share within the group and to inspire others into movement. Until this weekend, I thought I knew what it was to be an ASICS Frontrunner but the past few days in Dublin have really opened my eyes.
Tips on Running at Nightby Jamie Gane / Nov. 20, 2018
As we now start to venture into darkened nights, we now find that our runs start to get darker and darker. Not only are we having to think about how to be seen but also how to see as well as all of the other challenges that running at night has. Whether you are going for a jog in low light or running throughout the night, this blog will give you some tips and hints as to how to manage it.
1 Weekend, 1 Leg, 50 Miles of Runningby Jamie Gane / Oct. 08, 2018
In Berlin's version of Europe's Toughest Mudder, I managed to break the amputee record by 5 miles and 25 minutes. I didn't feel prepared or ready for the race and had no intention of breaking a record but here's my breakdown of the weekend!
Why Do Judo When You're an Amputee?by Jamie Gane / Sep. 11, 2018
People often ask me - 'Why do Judo when you're the only amputee?' or 'Surely it's really unfair that you fight against two-legged people......why do you even bother?' Here's are some of the reasons for me to just be part of an amazing sport, despite a huge disadvantage:
Runner's Anxiety is Real but Manageableby Jamie Gane / Aug. 20, 2018
Your heart is pounding, you're sweating and you haven't even started running yet. You feel a pit in your stomach while butterflies work their magic inside of you, eating away at any confidence left - these are all very common feelings for an individual with runners anxiety. So what is runners anxiety and what can you do to help manage it?
Discovering my Life Valuesby Jamie Gane / May. 23, 2018
Values help us decide what is important in life and where our priorities lie. They help us to differentiate between two alternate options but with so many to choose from, which ones fall into my top 5? I met yesterday with one of my mentors from the True Athlete Programme, where we worked together to find values, and the meaning of those values. We discussed how values naturally change over time and they can be used as a tool to measure how well you're sticking to your life plan. Fortunately, the values I discovered can form the acronym B-HELD, with an aim for me to be held up through these values. Here's what they stand for:
Wheelchair User to Marathon Runnerby Jamie Gane / Apr. 25, 2018
If you would have told me in April 2017 that I would be running the 2018 London Marathon, I would have never believed you. This time last year (mid-May 2017), I had just received my first walkable prosthetic leg, following my amputation in late 2016 and started to walk with two crutches. It is with great pride that I am able to say that I have completed a marathon: and here's how I did it:
Running with a Running Bladeby Jamie Gane / Mar. 28, 2018
I'm standing in a queue at an event, while waiting to collect my race number, when I notice someone suddenly look down and notice my Blade XT - a very common situation for me. Whereas most British people would talk about the weather or politics, I am asked what it is like to run on a blade. My honest answer to them is generally that I don't know any different as, despite being a new amputee and only being able to run for less than a year, I have never been able to run with two feet.