How running saved my life.

 

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Yes it’s true – if I had not discovered the benefits of running I would almost certainly not be writing this today. In my late teens and early twenties I went seriously off the rails. By my mid twenties I was a complete mental and physical wreck, weighing just 7 stone. I had to drop out of university, having developed a serious drink problem, a 40 a day cigarette habit and was having regular psychiatric treatment for a severe depression which had seen me hospitalised twice after overdosing on sleeping pills. My days were definitely numbered and I looked forward to it all being over.

At around this time I started taking the dog for a walk, the walks became longer as I noticed I felt better for the fresh air and exercise. At some point – I can’t remember exactly when- I started running and felt better still. Over the next year or so, I did more and more running and finally quit the cigarettes as they made running harder. I drank less frequently, started to recover my appetite and gradually got stronger.

I started to enter fun runs, then more serious races. I trained hard and raced frequently – sometimes several times a week. I got faster and faster through brutal interval training on the roads in all weathers. Soon I was running at 5.15 – 5.30 mile pace and winning the odd race too, which motivated me to train even more. From mental and physical wreck to this within the space of a couple of years. My self-confidence and general well-being improved massively. In more recent times, I have completed 100 kilometre races and even a 300 kilometre run along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, in a week, for charity.

Running has definitely turned my life around so, when people tell me that running is bad for you or that they are not natural runners I have to laugh. EVERYBODY is a natural born runner – how do you think we survived this long?! There is nothing more natural to us than running.

When people ask me why I waste my life running, even now, I tell them that, for me, running IS life. For me there is no greater freedom than that I feel when out running the trails in all weathers. I hope to continue running for many years yet, continuing to push myself to my limits and beyond, not now to beat other competitors, but simply for the sheer primeval thrill of running and that glorious feeling of freedom, in a world of my own. It is the ultimate escape.

I’m very happy to answer any questions you have with regard to running and how to train and eat to run longer or faster or both.

Call David on 07504439555 or email me at davidperry57@sky.com.

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