With summer hesitant on the horizon, the time for epic charity runs and marathons is close at hand. Now is the time that most ardent jogging veterans begin their arduous training for such events.
However, these fun run enthusiasts can expect many newcomers, as runs have grown exponentially in popularity for the last decade.
One newcomer is Grant Halliday from Paisley. The 25-year-old, who studies film and television at the University of Glasgow, is planning to complete the Resolution Run in the name of the Stroke Association.
The soloist runner is no stranger to the plight of people living with the fallout of a stroke, having been born with right-side hemiplegia.
He is facing a massive 5km with the help of the hugely prominent NHS’s free-to-download ‘Couch to 5K’ podcast.
Here, he talks to us about the trials of training and the tribulations of keeping up his motivation and determination (insert Rocky training montage music here*):
For the training I’ve been following the NHS’ free Couch to 5K podcast (downloadable from the NHS website), which is a 9-week programme for beginners that should mean that by the time of the Resolution Run I’ll have completed a 5K run. The podcast is intended to be completed 3 times a week, and increases in difficulty each week (Week 1: alternate 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking, for a total of 20 minutes; Week 2: alternate 90 seconds of running with two minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes, etc). I’d recommend it as a good starting point for anyone looking for a way of keeping fit.
I’ve never taken part in anything like this at all before. Part of the appeal of signing up for the 5k was to find something new that would be a different experience for me.
The Stroke Association are sponsoring the run. It felt like a bit of a light bulb moment when I was searching online for charity runs and the Resolution Run appeared. I was born with right-side hemiplegia which means I suffered damage to the left-side of my brain. Generally speaking those with hemiplegia suffer from varying degree of weakness, stiffness, and lack of control in the affected side of the body, rather like the effects of a stroke. Luckily my condition is so mild that it is basically unnoticeable (even to me!) and doesn’t affect my life at all, apart from having below-average dexterity in my right hand, very little upper-body strength and shoddy balance (although a lifetime of laziness and aversion to physical activity have also played their part). As much as my condition is really mild, I did have a few experiences growing up where I felt I wasn’t physically capable of doing certain things and would shy away from those situations – I never learned how to ride a bike because I didn’t believe I could do it because my balance was poor. I could have learned how to ride a bike with a bit of perseverance but I didn’t have the confidence in myself to do it. I feel like some of those negative experiences are in some small way relatable to some of the hard moments and doubts that will be experienced by those recovering from a stroke. It feels good to know that any money I raise for the Stroke Association will go to supporting those people who need help to overcome these types of doubts.
I started doing the podcast last summer but a minor heel injury halted my progress after only a handful of runs. Between working part-time, returning to university in September, and the onset of winter I never found the motivation to start back again. Part of the reason I signed up for the Resolution Run was to give myself an end goal to motivate me to finish the Couch to 5K programme – before I would put off running because of poor weather or busy periods at university, but now I’d feel like I was letting down the people who have donated if I wasn’t to complete the training and the 5K.
I’m not thinking too far ahead at the moment. I’m just focusing on training and completing my first 5k and then I’ll see how I feel after I’ve done that. Certainly I want to continue to keep fit and exercise, but I haven’t decided what form that will take.
If you would like to donate to Grant’s cause, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Grant-Halliday.
To find out more about Lisa, or the rest of the PosAbility team visit the Meet The Team section.