Posted: 15 February 2013

Why I'm running the Bupa 10,000

I am 51 years old and as a teenager I enjoyed success as a long distance runner. I've tried to keep running as part of a healthy and active lifestyle. Sometimes, though, the effort, and finding the time to actually go out and do it (usually on my own) means it doesn’t happen as often as it should.

I also love technology. This can result in a lot of time spent at my computer. Fitting in exercise is further hindered by the huge amount of travelling my job involves.

So, when my daughter, Michaela, asked, 'Mum, will you do the Bupa London 10,000 with me to raise money for The Children’s Society?' I knew this would be both a pleasure (getting to spend time with her and getting exercise), and a challenge (finding the time, getting race ready, and trying to encourage people to sponsor me).

However, now I have committed to the process, and I’m using some tech to help with the challenges, I am loving it!

My daughter Michaela works for The Children’s Society and the chance to raise money for the charity has become another motivating factor. This remarkable organisation works directly with individual children, up and down the country, who are suffering from neglect, abuse or isolation and face some of the most challenging times in their young lives.

Getting 10k ready - there’s an app for that 

Part of my job is finding useful online resources that can bring learning alive in many educational settings. Upon discovering the app RunKeeper, I recognised its power for school field trips and other outdoor activities. But, its actual design purpose is ideal for my 10k preparations.

You tell RunKeeper what activity you are doing, (running, cycling, skiing, etc), and it records your pace, distance, speed, elevation, calories burnt, and more. It is like having a personal trainer in my pocket, and it is free! It keeps me running, keeps me on track, providing feedback as I run, tells me how well I’m doing (with audio in time with my running stride!) and records my efforts on a map to share with others.

The app has workouts to choose from. I have chosen one aimed at achieving a 'Sub 55 mins 10k', or running the a 10k race in under 55 minutes. Michaela and I ran a 10k about 10 years ago. We finished in just under 60 minutes, so for us to improve to running it in under 55 minutes is really appealing. The app states it will take 61 sessions over 112 days, finishing our training perfectly just before 27th May – serendipity.

The RunKeeper website shows me other runners who have registered for the Bupa event, who are also using the workout, so I might even see some familiar faces there. With Michaela also training using the app, it means we can run together 'virtually' even though we live 200 miles apart. I love technology!

Raising money - Getting sponsors

I've set up a JustGiving webpage and posted it on my Facebook account – it was so easy. My first donation came from a friend in Holland!

The money raised will help The Children’s Society project workers to continue to be there to offer specialist, one-to-one support for children who are in desperate need of protection, care and a listening ear – those children who have no one else to turn to.

So using the web to get the message out there, an app to support my training, and JustGiving to collect the sponsorship, I am sorted and on my way. Tech has made my training even more terrific.


Get involved

Please visit our events and challenges page to learn about joining the Bupa London 10,000 or many other activities the country.

By Sarah Neild - Guest bloggers

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