There are those of us who think about running for charity, others who run for charity. And their are a certain few who were born to run for charity. Sounds a bit dramatic? Hey, this is a blog post, gotta make it interesting!:-) Today’s featured charity runner is someone who was literally brought up on the traditions of charity walks and runs. I’ve only focused on female charity runners so far, but this week’s feature is on Matt from London. And he’s got a bucketful of inspiration and tips for those of you into running and running for charity. Read on!
Getting the inspiration to Run For Charity
This blog is all about getting people to start running, and even better, running for charity. If you’re looking for inspiration to get out there and making that difference, Matt Walker is a great person to follow. He’s a regular runner, great blogger and currently fundraising for Cancer Research UK.
Of course, I asked him all the usual questions about running and charity. And our interview has some real gems of advice. For more on Matt you can find out more on his blog HERE
Here’s that interview with Matt right here.
Getting Started Running
There are a million and one reasons why people start running- for Matt it was very much a family influence that started him off.
Why did you start running?
Matt: I’ve been running since I was a kid. My dad used to take me on sponsored charity walks and runs and we used to make a day out of it. Raising money for charity is something which I’ve been brought up on and nearly 2 decades later here I am! Personally, running for me is a great way to relax.
Running is certainly relaxing. How did it escalate into running for charity….
Matt: If I can do something which I enjoy for a good cause then that’s even better for me. Around 3 years ago, I started to run more and more and I ran my first 10k in London at the British 10k; the crowd were amazing and definitely helped me through. Now I run frequently during the week and have my sights on running a Half Marathon this Autumn.
This is a path that so many runners tread (pun intended)- start off with the 5k. Then you catch the bug and the runs just get longer and longer. Good luck on that Half marathon!
Running for Cancer
This is my favourite question. It’s easy to get stuck trying to choose a cause to promote. If you don’t have an obvious choice for which to charity to go for then just how do you choose? It’s always good to ask people with experience on this so I took the opportunity to find out from Matt.
Please tell me and our readers about the Charity you chose to support
Matt: I’m in the middle of a personal challenge which I am running for Cancer Research UK. They are a charity which I have supported a lot because like most people, I have family members which have been touched by cancer. They really are a great charity to support as they’re always making new advancements into treatment and prevention.
Definitely a commendable cause! I wanted to find out a little more about what challenge he’s into right now.
Matt: My challenge is running 10 x 10km runs over a year. I have run 7 so far, with only 3 left to go. If you’re just starting out as a runner, I would suggest that having personal challenges can be a great motivator until you get more into your stride.
Choosing Your Charity
So what about people wanting to run for charity? What criteria should they use to find a charity that suits them? Previous featured runners told me that the charities overheads and percentage of revenue going to the beneficiaries are important. This weeks runner has a slightly different take on it.
For anyone wanting to donate or run for a charity- how can you find a good one?
Matt: If you want to raise money for a charity and don’t have a clue who to support, then definitely doing a bit of research is the way forward. Supporting any charity will make a difference in some way so find out what you are passionate about. Once you have an idea, you can either search for charities on Google or by the Charity Commission on the Government website. Have a look at your chosen charity’s vision and what their strategic plan is going forward. Do you support it? If so, then there’s your answer!
The vision- seems pretty key here. I’ve seen others talk about the impact that charities have. You should definitely take these factors into consideration before you make your choice.
Advice for the New Runner
No doubt there are plenty of you out there who are just started running. Here are some tips for those of you at the start of the running journey.
What’s your “golden tip” for our newbie runners out there?
Matt: My ‘golden tip’ for any newbie runners out there is to start low and slow. Rome wasn’t built in a day after all! Find your limit and ask yourself this question: what is my goal? Do you want to run a specific distance or is this just a way to keep fit? Once you know your limit and your goal then devise your own training plan working up to it. There are many great resources online to help with this. Over time, your limit will increase with more running. I’ll add just one last thing; when you’re running it may feel painful, but remember you’re doing something really good for your body and mind. Embrace the lactic acid and smile, because you’ve got this!
Embrace the lactic acid!! Love it! Great advice about your limit slowly increasing over time! Very sound advice indeed!
Thanks again to Matt and all the best to you and your 10k mission for Cancer Research. Any questions or comments just put them below and I’ll be back to you. Look forward to seeing you again on the next edition.