As you may know, Nudjed partnered with Run4Wales to support 100 runners during their training for the 2015 Cardiff Half Marathon. You can read our previous blogs: an overview of the partnership; an introduction to the Nudjed Healthy Heroes; and in-depth interviews with two of our runners ahead of the race.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at how our runners found the big race, and the advice they have for anyone who’s thinking of taking part next year, or even just taking up running!
During the three month training period, Nudjed supported the 100 Club runners to improve their overall health. Through weekly newsletters and an active Facebook community, we shared interesting articles and advice about running, nutrition, and various other health and fitness initiatives. We measured our impact through monthly surveys conducted with our six case studies (the Nudjed Healthy Heroes), and the outcomes were very positive.
We measured health improvement through waist-to-hip ratio rather than weight or BMI, as some runners will have gained weight through converting fat to muscle. The Healthy Heroes lost an average of 4 cm from their waists and 5 cm from their hips over three months. This gradual improvement shows that the changes are sustainable and healthy, rather than the fast weight loss associated with crash diets.
We also noticed huge improvements in the general health and wellbeing of our participants. They reported that they felt more positive, had more energy, and started eating better as the weeks went on. Some even took up secondary activities to complement their running, like yoga and swimming.
Steve was one of our case studies. He made the decision to start improving his health after seeing photos of himself on holiday – he was almost 20st, and says he had a moment of clarity when he realised he wanted to be around for his two young children. He started swimming, and then got into running, signing up for the Cardiff Half Marathon as something to work towards.
He achieved a personal best time at the Cardiff Half, completing the course in 1:46:28. His next goal is to complete the World Half Marathon, which is taking place in Cardiff in March, in 1:45.
For anyone interested in taking up running, Steve has this advice:
“You’re not going to be a world champion from day one; you just need to find something that motivates you, and keep at it.”
Some of you will have read about Alan before, when we did an in-depth interview ahead of the big race. He achieved a personal best, completing the race in 2:04:03 – he says he was very surprised, but was proud that he was able to maintain a consistent pace. He’s determined to continue with his healthy lifestyle – since getting into running he’s lost a lot of weight, has more energy to play with his kids, and has even noticed a positive impact on his mental wellbeing.
After a suggestion from Nudjed, Alan has taken up yoga and meditation. This has helped with his running, as his flexibility and core strength have improved. He’s also been sleeping better since he started meditating in the evenings! Alan says that he’s realised the importance of looking after your mind as well as your body:
“Whatever the time and effort that has been put into training the muscles, you’ll need half that amount again to be put into training the mind; the legs will keep going long after the mind cries, ‘Enough!'”
Alan is looking forward to the World Half Marathon in March along with many other 100 Club members. He says that being a member of the 100 Club was great encouragement – through the Facebook group they were able to share questions and advice, and they motivate each other to step their game up.
His advice for those who are thinking about making changes is:
“Start slow. You could try a couch to 5k training programme, but take it at your own pace. It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep going!”
In March 2016, Cardiff has the honour of hosting the World Half Marathon. It’s one of the most prestigious global running events, and is open to mass participants as well as professional runners from across the world. Registration is now open, so be sure to visit their website if you fancy giving it a go!
If you’re inspired and fancy giving running a go, why not start with the Nudjed guide for first-time runners, or this couch-to-5k training plan from the NHS?
There are clear benefits to having a community of people supporting each other to improve their health. To learn how Nudjed could help you to achieve this in your workplace or organisation, check out Nudjed Insights.