Half Marathon Motives (or am I just crazy?) : how to kick start your fitness

  'Rachel and Emily' taken by Rais Hasan 



It seems pretty obvious, but when it comes to fitness, setting goals is a great motivation. I’m generally a little bit different from most of the fitness industry with my attitude, I’m never really aiming to lose weight, be able to lift heavier in a certain amount of time, and I never make myself train a certain number of times a week. This is because in general, I like to train to feel healthy and happy. Yet, I completely get why setting goals is important and a fantastic way to be active. It's also very very good when you've lost motivation to train. At Leeds Girls Can we have the attitude of being active for yourself, not to please or impress others, but to push yourself and widen your comfort zone that little bit more. This often does involve a challenge!

Earlier this year I went along to the Week 1 Kirkstall Couch to 5k session. This means that the ladies at this session were brand new to running. After completing their many weeks of training together, I hear that they are now working towards 10k. This really inspired me, they have pushed themselves and beat their own personal challenges. I thought that it was only fitting that I do the same, as in October I will be leaving the UK to go off travelling. This means that my Leeds Girls Can ambassador role will be paused for the time being. I decided that I wanted to do something to show that #leedsgirlscan before I left. So, I, along with Ant, are going to run the Great Scottish Half Marathon in Glasgow on 30th September.

Many people have said to me, Emily, you’ll be able to do that easily because you do lots of sports anyway. But I find running to be a whole different thing, it’s not easy at all! So many little things can affect your running performance, nutrition, sleep, rest. Then you have the actual act of running, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. Sometimes it makes me feel like I'm going to keel over and have to order a taxi because I can't see how I will get home and sometimes it makes me think I'm some sort of invincible super human. We are now at the start of September so I really need to up my running game. We are aiming for a sub-two hour half marathon. (Eek!)

If you’re going to set yourself a challenge, what better way is there to keep yourself motivated than to fundraise for charity? I have been volunteering for Brain Tumour Research and Support across Yorkshire (BTRS) since beginning my second year of university when they opened their first Coffee Charity Shop, No. 31, Otley Road, Headingley in 2016. After two years of volunteering, I joined the staff team for the summer as a fundraising assistant. BTRS does amazing work within the community of Leeds and Yorkshire, supporting those whose lives have been turned upside down by a brain tumour. BTRS also funds research which takes place at the University of Leeds. They recently made a break through, discovering how to kill gioblastoma cells. This is a real game changer in the brain tumour world.

Being part of such an amazing charity has made my time at Leeds so much more enjoyable and I would highly recommend to all students at any university to get involved in some sort of community project or organisation. I wanted to show my appreciation to BTRS by fundraising for them as I leave Leeds for the time being. If you can make any small contribution towards my fundraising efforts I would be so grateful, or if not, just to pass on the word about BTRS and what they do. 

So far the training is going fairly well, I have been on a few long runs and my pace is going up quite quickly! I just need to make sure I’m eating the right fuel and getting out there and running when I need to. Let me know if you are training for any challenges! No matter what challenge you set yourself whether that be a 5k run or an ultra-marathon, as long as it is a challenge to you personally, I can assure you it will give you a kick-up the behind and motivate you to get outside and get active. I'll give you an update on my training progress in a few weeks!

Here is my Just Giving link if you would like to support me, thank you so much!

Em x

Facebook: Emily Ankers - Leeds Girls Can Ambassador
Instagram: @active.em.blog
Twitter: @active_em_blog 


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