Why I'm Giving Advent Running A Go This Year

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For the past 6 days I have laced up my trainers and headed out the door for a run. I have plodded, slowly, for at least 30 minutes everyday. And I will continue to do so until Christmas Day. Why on earth would I do that, I can hear you asking. My response? Advent Running.

I first heard about Advent Running a couple of years ago - it was mentioned in a Guardian article and I thought it was such a cool idea, but with holidays and work trips booked I didn't think I'd be able to find the time. But when I saw a post pop up on Facebook at the end of November this year, it piqued my interest.

The premise is pretty simple - you do 30 minutes of running (or any other type of activity) every single day from the 1st of December until Christmas Day. There is also a hugely supportive Facebook group to lean on for help and motivation, and organised events that you can join if you're based in London.

As someone who has been trying to get back into a regular exercise routine for ages, Advent Running felt like the way to do it. I love the way that the founders position that 30 minutes a day as a little slice of time for you in amongst an otherwise incredibly hectic month. And I knew that I'd be much more likely to stick with something if there were a community of other people around me, egging me on.

I'll be honest and admit that I thought I would definitely have given up after day 2. But now that I'm almost a week in, I know with certainty that I'll make it to the 25th. I'm enjoying my little plods, whether they're at 6am or squeezed in after work. I'm loving having some time to listen to all of the podcasts I've got saved up on my phone. And it's nice to know that no matter how crazy the day might get, there will be a little window of time that is just for me.

The regular exercise has worked wonders for my mind and body, and all that extra fresh air has been good for my soul. The difference in my mood after a week has been incredible - I can't wait to see what might happen in a month.

Rising to the challenge of Advent Running has also reminded me what I can achieve when I set my mind to something. For months I have been telling myself that I don't have enough time to exercise, but somehow I have found the time and energy to run for over 3 hours in the past week alone.

I feel like Advent Running has helped me find my running bug again, and I'm starting to remember all of the benefits that brings. The better sleep, the increased energy, the calmer mind, the stress relief. And for that reason, I know that I'll keep on plodding long past Boxing Day.