We are the Endurance Store, we're Wigan's only Independent running store, based just 5 minutes from Junction 27 M6 near Standish. We're also an official sponsor of the Wigan 10k and Wigan Run Festival.
It's only 7 weeks to the Wigan 10k which is one of the regions largest community running events. Each year countless people stand and watch their friends and family members and each year many of them wonder.... Could I do that next year?
Of course other things get in the way and in reality, many people just don't see themselves as runners. It's simply not something for them, it's too far out of their comfort zone and more often than not, fear and anxiety can get in the way.
Here's the thing... you have to be physically capable of covering the 10k distance but that's often the easy part. In the last 15 years, people taking part in running events has become common place. Once upon a time, it was something that running club members alone would do, but now, it's a mass participation sport. It's not all about the time in which you can finish the distance, it's now more about the challenge, the enjoyment and the accomplishment of collecting your medal at the end. If you think that a 10k is not for you, because you're not a 'runner' then you're wrong. There's all different types of people, a mixture of ages, gender, colour, sizes and abilities. Some people will walk the full distance and others will run, but ultimately you won't be the only one.
When novice runners take part in their first event, they'll often post a nervous comment on social media and what follows is support from their friends. The most common reply that we'll see is:
"don't worry... you can do this, you've done the distance in training so be confident"
Now I've talked to a lot of novice runners and the thing is, there's very few of them who don't already know that they can comfortably do the distance. The vast majority of people are not nervous about 'completing the 10k course'... I'd bet that most people reading this know that they can at least walk 6 miles, so 'completing the distance' is not the thing making people nervous and neither is it the thing stopping them entering an event such as the Wigan 10k.
One of the greatest things about taking part in mass participation events can also be the thing which keeps people away. Rather than going for a 6 miles run or walk on your own, the event brings likeminded people together. It's a community spirit which you can't replicate on your own. Until you've taken part, you can't understand how that community will support you and cheer you through every step. Unfortunately, it's the fear of the unknown for many people which stops them from entering. It's out of their comfort zone, it's a new group of people that they are not part of and they don't know what to expect. Maybe they'll look foolish? Maybe they'll be the slowest? Maybe they just won't fit in? For many this is enough to put them off, but for those who are brave enough to take the risk, they generally find out that all of their pre-event worries were unnecessary. Only by taking part do they truly realise that there was absolutely no need to be worried.
Most first timers are in a state of euphoria at the finish line, overwhelmed with the experience and the sense of achievement. This is precisely why running is not only good for your physical health, but critically, it can also do wonders for your mind.
So... here's your challenge. If you've never done a 10k before then enter the Wigan 10k now and join us on the day. If you are already a runner, share this article on social media and challenge your friends to join you on the start line. You can be their mentor and help them on race morning.
Here's the physical part...
1. If you can already run 6 miles, then just enter and turn up. Just come and enjoy a great day, you're already more than capable.
2. If you can run small amounts but 6 miles is too far, that's fine, there's plenty of people who jog/walk the route.
3. If you are not a runner at all, that's also fine, come and walk the 6 miles, but you'll still need to get moving in the next 6 weeks.
You'd don't need any fancy stuff, just put on a pair of training shoes and suitable clothing and go out of the door. We're aiming for at least an hour of continuous exercise within the next 6 weeks. You will be more than capable, it's more of a mental barrier than a physical one.
Week 1: Walkers, go out and walk for 20 minutes, 2-3 times per week. If you are able to jog small amounts, then walk for 3-4 minutes then jog 1-2 and repeat.
Week 2: Increase to 30 minutes 2-3 times per week. If you are able to jog, repeat as above, but try to increase the time (if you did 4 minute walk / 1 minute jog last week, increase to 90 seconds or 2 minutes jog)
Week 3: Split the workouts. One should be longer and one should be harder. Walk for 40 minutes once per week at a steady pace then do a shorter 20 minute walk but walk at a much faster pace or up small hills to make it more difficult. Same applies if you run small amounts, walk 40 minutes with small amounts of jogging then do 1-2 shorter workouts of only 20 minutes, attempting to run faster.
Week 4-6: Progress the long walk to at least 60, preferably 80-90 minutes, adding 10-15 minutes each week. Don't worry about 'pushing hard' this is simply 'time on your feet'. Jog small amounts if you wish, but ultimately, the time you keep moving is important, not how hard it is. Complete 1-2 shorter sessions which are much brisker walking or faster running to raise your heart rate more.
If you've took the time to read this and you still think I'm talking about other people, I'm not... I'm talking to you. There will be plenty of people just like you on the start line, so what's stopping you being part of something amazing? What are you waiting for? If you feel uncomfortable on your own, then message one of your friends RIGHT NOW and ask them will they partner you and walk or jog together. It's much easier when 2 of you commit, you can't let the other person down!
Go and dig your shoes out of the cupboard and take up the challenge. We'll be posting a weekly blog to tell you everything you need to know beforehand and we'll be with you right up until race day. If you need any help, feel free to contact us at the store or comment on Facebook, we'll be happy to answer questions.
You just need to enter first by GOING HERE. It's important that you enter now and don't 'leave it until later'. Once you have entered, it's set in stone and the deed is done. If you don't enter, it's far too easy to back out as you don't actually have to turn up anyway.
Take that first step, share this on social media and tell everyone you're taking on the #Wigan10kchallenge
Do it now!
The Endurance Store