How cheering on others can improve your running

If you’re looking for a way to boost your running, then there is one thing you can do without even running a step. Spend a morning as a spectator and cheer on other runners. You’ll feel inspired, energised and motivated to succeed.

One of the highlights of my running year is cheering the runners at my local 10k, the Barnsley 10k. Every November for many years, I’ve stood at the top of the final hill, shouting and cheering to give the runners some encouragement as they race the last 400m.

I love doing it. It always puts me in such a good mood. As I walked home after the race, I felt inspired and happy, and more than anything else delighted for my friends who put in some fantastic performances. It was a great morning. I was buzzing and hadn’t even run a step.

This year’s race has given me much more of a boost than ever before. Just watching others changed my mindset. Within the space of a few hours I’d gone from thinking that I didn’t have time to train, that I’d never be as good as I used to be, to thinking I can do this. I can get my fitness back and I can be a better runner.

As soon as the thought entered my mind, I’d grabbed an entry form for a race at Christmas. Up to now, the only thing stopping me from racing has been myself and my belief that I needed to be back to fitness before I raced again.

Thanks to a morning of spectating I now feel I can race and use this to get my fitness back. The runners inspired me and helped improve my confidence. Simply believing you can do something, and having a can-do-attitude, is very powerful. Thanks to everyone running today I feel more positive about my running.

So, if you find yourself on the side-lines, whether through injury or lack of training, don’t be disheartened. You can learn a lot from others. It can change your mood and mindset. And, if nothing else, it’s fantastic fun. You’ll feel motivated, positive and determined. I’d definitely recommend it.

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