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Eight things I have learnt since becoming a runner

Eight things I’ve learnt since becoming a runner

When someone asks what inspired me to take up running, I’ve got a pretty unique answer.

I’ve been part of the events team at Plan International UK for many years, which has given me the chance to meet amazing people from across the country, taking part in all sorts of running events to raise money for our work.

In fact, I’ve been so inspired by our amazing fundraisers that I decided to take up running as a hobby myself – and now I consider myself a runner. There, I said it. I’m a runner!

I’ve taken on a few distances for Team Plan – from 10ks to the Royal Parks Half Marathon, and even branched out into long distance walking on The Thames Path Challenge. One day I might even tackle a full marathon…

Plan International UK's Thames Path Challenge team
Kevin (far left) with Plan International UK's Thames Path Challenge team

So, if you welcomed 2019 with a new year’s resolution to start running, or if it’s still on your to-do list, here are the eight things I’ve learnt since becoming a runner:

  1. I run better if I take a rest day between runs.
  2. Wearing double-layer running socks helps prevent blisters.
  3. Don’t try and increase your distances too fast – slow and steady wins the race!
  4. I can’t run without high-tempo music in my ears. 
  5. I love heel drop stretches – that deep stretch in your calves is what I’m all about.
  6. Pizza is my favourite post-run dinner (although, to be fair, I always love pizza).
  7. I’m at my best when I run in the morning.
  8. My favourite running route is anything that takes me through central London when it’s quiet. It gives you a real sense of getting back the streets you love! 

A chance for children everywhere

Having seen Plan International’s work first-hand, I know what a huge impact the money raised by everyone on Team Plan will have.

Today, we work in more than 50 countries around the world, making sure children have access to the essentials they need to grow up happy and healthy – including education, healthcare, clean water and toilets.

We’re also dedicated to improving girls’ lives, by challenging gender inequality, campaigning against harmful practices like child marriage, and enabling girls everywhere to build a better future.

That means that, thanks to our amazing fundraisers, we’re able to support young women like Dia. She lives in one of the poorest and most remote villages in Vietnam, with her husband and three children. 

The family used to survive by growing corn on their small plot of land, and Dia’s husband was often away working on other farms.

Dia with her children in Vietnam
Dia with her children in Vietnam

Then, Plan International set up a village savings and loans association in Dia’s village. She was able to access training, helping her to plan her family’s finances and look for new opportunities to earn money – including requesting a loan to buy a pig. 

As the family’s income increased, Dia’s husband no longer had to travel for temporary work. Now the family are busy expanding their business, raising chickens and growing vegetables to improve their children’s nutrition.

The year you do something amazing

If you’re inspired to Join Team Plan but you’re not sure how to start running, get the Couch to 5km app. You won’t know if you like it if you don’t give it a go!

And once you’ve got the hang of it, don’t forget to have a look at all the races you can take part in with us – we’d love to welcome you to Team Plan in 2019!

Choose your next challenge

Join Team Plan for one of our exciting events or races

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