Charlotte Harding is a member of the Run Mummy Run community. In this blog post she explains what she has learnt from reading the Run Mummy Run book as an intermediate level runner with three years of running experience.
So many women have contributed to the writing of this book and for me, as a reasonably inexperienced runner, I can find examples of ‘me’ in every chapter. From needing to find time to exercise while sorting out a busy family to having the amazing experience of running my first marathon. None of these things would have happened if I had not been part of this wonderful community, gaining encouragement and support all the way.
Specifically, the book is more than a self-help guide to running; it is a pocket community. I can read it in one sitting; if I feel inclined, but increasingly I find that I can turn to a specific chapter and compare my experience with others. It’s like a yard stick or barometer, just so I can check what may or may not be ‘normal’ for my running experience. I can dip into the experiences of others, look at case studies and spot where I need to change or alter my own practice, or simply gain inspiration.
This has undoubtedly helped me develop, in just the last few weeks I have acted on advice and started to see a positive improvement in my running. For an intermediate and sometimes isolated runner, the book allows me to pick up on tips and seek out answers that I wouldn’t have found in a general running guide. Even though I’m not a total newbie runner, I still don’t know all the jargon. This book has gone some way to de-mystifying a hobby that is littered with acronyms, trainers and phrases that the uninitiated would struggle to comprehend!
Moreover, I know some of the women who have contributed. Their down to earth, no-nonsense contributions mean I know that what they have shared works and can be true for me also. I trust their stories more than an impersonal guide.
Other running guides have had to tread the awkward ground between being authoritative and knowledgeable without sounding patronising. This book has a different, more relaxed and friendly tone altogether. It’s inclusive. I imagine that if you have a story to tell about your running experience it would fit within the pages and not look out of place. Because this book has grown out of the community, it reflects the ethos of the community, never condescending, never patronising, always positive.