Will’s Blog: Leaving University and taking up running as a hobby

Nottingham student Will Roberts talks about the opportunity to take up running with Virtual Runner after he leaves university and heads back north.

Author: Will Roberts

I have always been interested in running but fail to see the interest in torturous hill climbs or long-distance slogs where the end never seems to be in sight.

That is essentially the main premise of running – the mental challenge is what makes it so rewarding.

My parents have both completed multiple marathons in Edinburgh, Leicester and London, suggesting I am next in line to take on this gruelling challenge.

But where do I start?

After three years of hectic university life, spending the weekdays working and the weekends drowning in snakebites, this has certainly taken its toll on my overall fitness.

I’m experiencing a changing period in my life where many aspects of my future remain uncertain and without clarity.

One hobby that I am confident I want to pursue is jogging, I’m not talking about training in extreme altitudes or competing in stupendous iron man challenges – one or two runs a week will do.

I’m sure many graduates will feel the same.

Departing university and getting jobs in unfamiliar cities, where time quickly gets swamped by work, creates a context where people require an outlet to relieve stress.

You may not have time for a scheduled race but the edge of competitiveness can still be achieved by using the Virtual Runner website.

This ensures you can keep track of your performances, awarding you with a custom medal based on the distance you have achieved.

I live in the peaceful Northumbrian countryside where there are plenty of opportunities for an evening jog but not everybody has this luxury, especially those who live in major cities.

As I plan to move out by the end of the summer, the Virtual Runner website will help me to explore whichever area I find myself in when I get into full time employment.

I hope to discover every quirky aspect of the concrete jungle that surrounds me and running would be the healthiest (and most certainly cheapest) way to unravel its secrets.

However, I often find myself asking ‘will I actually do this’?

During the cold depths of winter comfort eating and slurping on larger in the pub seems a far more tempting proposal than jogging head to toe in thermals on icy paths.

Indeed, I’ve always struggled to find motivation to go out and exercise without company.

To maintain training throughout my life I have always nagged my friends to accompany me to the gym or dragged them along for a kick about in the park.

Does this mean a running club is for me? Maybe.

I feel that it would be something a little bit different, something I could thrive upon whilst helping me to switch off from the trials and tribulations of daily life.

It would certainly help me to maintain the social side of life which I have been so accustomed to at university, a time to chat, meet new people and compete in an environment outside of the work setting.

As I begin my journey into jogging it seems that Virtual Running will help me to gradually improve my stamina over long distances, hopefully I will be able to catch up with my parents soon.

Next stop, The Great North Run.