Me? Take part in the Ludwigsburg City Run?! I couldn’t have imagined myself doing that two years ago. It was actually my son who really got me into running; when I went to cheer him on during the junior race of the Trollinger Marathon in 2012, I saw many happy faces – so many, in fact, that I realised that there must be something good about running.
It was this experience that inspired me to start training seriously myself. In previous years I had made some half-hearted attempts, which soon came to nothing. Everything changed in May 2012 when I went from being the ‘unsporty dad’ (that’s what my son called me during our first training session) to becoming a half-decent runner.
It was then that I started training regularly. I would go once or twice a week – sometimes running, sometimes walking. I also joined a running group on Facebook, looking to gain further motivation through contact with like-minded people. To take part in the 2012 Ludwigsburg City Run was unrealistic, so I set my sights on the race in 2013. During the winter, unfortunately, I didn’t manage to run very much. I therefore started swimming too in order to stay fit. However, swimming can only prepare you for running to a limited extent, since it hardly puts any strain on your tendons and ligaments.
From March 2013 onwards, there was no stopping me, particularly after I joined the new MANN+HUMMEL beginners’ group. Aside from the running group, MANN+HUMMEL offers many other sport activities as part of its corporate health management programme. It was wonderful for me to be able to train with a professional once a week (in addition to my training away from work) and to gain tips on running and maintaining a healthy diet. This training was particularly beneficial for me because the group initially comprised just five people, before dropping down to three, and that made the training very intensive.
Ludwigsburg City Run – the moment of truth
Last Saturday, it was finally time to compete in my first 10 km race. The weather was perfect as the 270 runners from MANN+HUMMEL lined up at the start of Ludwigsburg’s 15th City Race.
To be part of the largest team, to see people all around you wearing the green and yellow MANN-FILTER kit, to be cheered on by colleagues and to be greeted by our super-fast boss at the finish line, all made it a very special experience. What made this race all the more rewarding for me was that I also achieved my personal goal of completing the race in less than an hour.
When I realised on the final stretch that I had made it round the course, I experienced the famous ‘runner’s high’. The endorphins that are released in the brain, the cheers of the spectators, the atmosphere on the final straight – all these factors combine to make you forget your pain. No matter how you felt a few kilometres further back, this is when you forget all the tension before the start of the race and, of course, the great exertion you put yourself through during training.
This race has now got me totally hooked and I’d like to have more experiences like that. The 2014 City Run is pencilled in my diary; my time of 58.07 minutes from 2013 will be my benchmark. I have also considered taking part in my first ever half marathon.
As for all those people who have not done much running before, I can only encourage them to give it a go. For me, there is no better way to get fit and balance out my everyday life in the office. That said, you shouldn’t push yourself too hard. When in doubt, your head will always want more than your legs and circulatory system can endure. The fact that running is a relatively cheap sport and is promoted by MANN+HUMMEL in a number of ways, is just the icing on the cake, which any runner can enjoy with a clear conscience.