While undoubtedly every mum (and every parent) who finds the time for a regular run is inspirational, to celebrate Mother's Day this year we wanted to hand the mic to 6 incredible mums from the Tribe community who constantly inspire us with their honest and uplifting running journeys. Here is why they run in their own words.
'Running clears my mind and gives me the opportunity to explore and be awed. I love the colours of the changing seasons, the sounds of wildlife, different landscapes, beautiful skies! It makes me feel happy, alive, privileged.. and thankful. I'm a better human because of it!'
'My little ones love running and exercising. We spend a lot of time working out together. They are mini-ninja warriors and think nothing of hanging from a hoop on one arm - I'm in awe of their strength! They really enjoy races, especially collecting the medals (we've really missed them during lockdown!)'
'My children definitely inspire me to set a positive example. I think children are great mimics and believe that actions speak louder than words. I hope my actions have shown them not to let fear be a barrier and that anything is possible if they work hard enough.'
Top tip: Don't overthink it, just do it. Running will help build your self confidence and you'll be setting a great example to your children.
'I do so much running that it bores my kids. My oldest child - who is now a mother - has started C25K which I support her with. My dream is for us to complete a 5K together. My children have seen so many new places due to travelling to races with me, the Alps being the latest one pre-Covid. To know I’ll see them at the finish line, and get their hugs, keeps me moving forward.'
'I train early. I am a morning person - always have been. I flag later in the day. During a training cycle it is not uncommon for me to be up before dawn working on a session. I can train before the kids wake up and be back in time for breakfast. I know it sounds a lot, but it’s how I get it all done. I however must point out, I go to bed at 9pm!'
Top tip: Start small. That first run/walk might feel horrendous, but the sense of achievement and endorphin rush will feel amazing afterwards. It’ll give you the impetus to go again. It’s amazing where running can take you literally and figuratively.
'Running means I can deal with all the other challenges in my life. I know I’ll feel better after a run and I love the time outside and away from everything. The world seems a better place after a run - and food certainly tastes better! I’ve stopped and started running again so many times over the years, but it feels like an old friend that’s always there when you need them.'
'My mindset has definitely changed since having kids. For one I value every second of the time I have on my own out running and doing something for myself. Secondly my tolerance for discomfort and pushing myself has increased massively. Once you’ve been through childbirth, running a marathon seems like a piece of cake!'
'I have to be very organised to fit my running in, as I work four days a week as well as managing all the boys sports commitments outside of school. It also often means getting up really early to fit in a long run while everyone is still asleep, but as a parent we’re used to sleep deprivation anyway!'
Top tip: Don’t put it off. Lace up your trainers and give it a try and you won’t regret it. I absolutely hated cross country at school with a passion and I’m now training for my first ultra.
'Run with your heart. Running gives me a feeling of freedom, connects me with nature and makes me happy. It makes me feel alive. I don't have a coach or training plan, I don't plan my races - I just go out and give it my best.'
'It's not always easy to find time for running when you are a parent of 3 children - or to find any time for yourself! I don’t stress about it too much though. When I have time, I go out, because it's something that I really enjoy - even if it's just a short run. When my youngest girl was a baby, I ran with a stroller. My running has changed through the years, but I've enjoyed every chapter of it.'
Top tip: Go out, enjoy the fresh air, don't push yourself too hard and keep it simple. Just one step at a time at your own pace.
'I'm a runner because it brings me joy, reminds me I am strong and can do hard things. After I had children, I realised I needed some head space time away from being a mum and from my job, so running became about my mental health. I found a couple of mum friends who also ran so it became a bit like therapy - happy chatty miles. This is where I learned to love it, for how it made me feel - mentally a little bit lighter.'
'Living with small people makes you much more aware that your actions have consequences, because they are taking in every single little thing. I really try to share the 'you can do hard things' mindset with my girls. Obviously I'm not a drill sergeant about it, and we have fun, but I think it's important that they know if they are willing to work for something, even when it's really hard and seems impossible, it can absolutely 100% be theirs. Running and all the positive influences (mostly people) that surround it has taught me this.'
'The girls are still quite young, 4 and 8, so it's not a thing they want to go out and do all the time but when they do, they have so much fun. We don't go far and of course it involves lots of walking and stops to look at things, but who cares! We're outside and we're moving and that is what is important. Just like me and their dad, they love the trails the best.”
Top tip: You can't pour from an empty cup, so making time for yourself is one of the most important things you can do. And remember, you can do hard things.
'Running gives me the opportunity to do something for me - to get some time alone or to catch up with friends and teammates. It keeps my body physically healthy but more importantly, my mental health positive. Each run challenges me and I guess, I just deep down really enjoy it - although I can't always recognise that!'
'As a mum of 4 (11, 8 and twin 3 year olds) it's a bit of a handful for me to run with them over any distance! Running and exercise has become such an integral part of my day to day life that it's become the norm for 'mummy to go for a run'. I hope by making it such a 'normal' part of my day, that will translate to them naturally including it in their own lives as they get older.'
Top tip: There will be more tough runs than easy runs, but the fun, challenging, scenic and social runs will far outweigh them all.