#MKruns262 update no. 4: Run Talk Run’s Jessica Robson, Big Half PB, and ONE month to go

Here’s the penultimate #MKruns262 update. It’s only four weeks until the London Marathon. For this edition of the series, I’m interviewing the inspirational founder of Run Talk Run, Jessica Robson, giving a summary of my training and fundraising efforts.

💡 Interview with Jessica Robson, founder of Run Talk Run

Exploring the ideas behind my challenge. 

One of the reasons why I run is to process my thoughts. Running gives me a platform to think and to reset. It most certainly helps me maintain a good mental health.

I’ve recently found out about Run Talk Run — a mental health support group which uses running as a way of helping others talk freely about their emotions and be open about their mental health. I decided to reach out to the group’s founder Jessica Robson to talk about this fantastic initiative and her running and mental health experiences.

MK: What does running mean to you?

JR: Running is something I see as “scheduled self care”. A routine part of my day where I give something back to myself. I approach running in two different ways, depending on what I need. On the one hand, running solo can be a means and method of “processing my sh*t” and really using it as an opportunity to work through my problems or current challenges. On the flipside, I also use running as a way to socialise and seek support. Making running a social hobby increases the psychological benefits tenfold. Not only are we moving our bodies, we are connecting and bringing back that feeling of belonging. Depression (and other mental ill health) can make us feel so lonely. Running with other people is a wonderful way of solving this.

You founded the Run Talk Run — a running mental health support community. What’s the story behind it? 

I’ve experienced struggles with my mental health since my early teens. This namely showed up for me as anxiety, depression and bulimia, and my latest prolonged depressive episode left me seeking solace in escaping London to run with my mum every weekend. Running with my mum proved to be more cathartic than I’d expected, I was opening up far more on our long ambles than I was sat indoors with a therapist in London. It was less intimidating, and far easier to be vulnerable outdoors in movement. So with some encouragement from my mum, I came back to London after one of these mini-retreats and decided to set up Run Talk Run.

What are the aims of RTR? Can anyone join the community?

The main goal with Run Talk Run is to reach as many people as possible who are struggling with their mental health. The primary intention with these organised runs is to make both running, and mental health support more accessible. Whatever pace you’re at, and wherever you are on the mental health spectrum… we should not be intimidated by running groups or support groups.

It can be hard to motivate yourself to go out for a run. How do you deal with it?

Reminding yourself of how much better you will feel when you are finished. You will never, ever, regret a run!

You’ve done a several marathons. Any tips for those facing this challenge for the first time?

Drop all expectations of times, drop all expectations of how it will look, drop all expectations of how it will feel! Running a marathon (and indeed, training for a marathon) is TOUGH. I think we add all of these unnecessary pressures for our training and race-day-plan to be perfect but reality doesn’t look like that. For those running their first ever marathon I would advise to go easy on yourself and just try and be laid-back about the process so that you don’t fall out of love with running before your true journey has even begun. This marathon will be YOUR experience that you get to carry with you for the rest of your life… enjoy it.

Many thanks to Jessica for her time. You can follow her on Instagram here. Do visit Run Talk Run’s webiste and their Facebook community, as well. 

🏃 Training

How much have I been running, racing, playlist, and favourite podcasts.

  • Runs in March: 23
  • Distance: 198 miles (~318 km)
  • Time spent running: ~30 hours
If the activities list doesn’t display correctly, see my Strava profile: strava.com/athletes/26048045
This month, I run more than I ever did. It’s only one month today until the London Marathon. I’m feeling confident and really proud of my legs that they’re keeping up. Two strength sessions at the gym and regular physio appointments definitely helped in the process.
Also, I think I should probably limit my usage of ‘rather’.  

On the 10 March, I run the legendary Big Half — one of the most famous half marathons in London. I managed to beat my last personal best by almost 20 minutes. I ended up running a 13.1-mile course within 1 hour and 33 minutes. That’s only 32 minutes behind Sir Mo Farah! 

What I’ve been listening to

If the playlist doesn’t display correctly, you can see it on Spotify: spoti.fi/2NFWd9A

Because I run over 5 hours each week, I tend to listen to music only on the harder runs. For any other types of workouts, I opt for podcasts. Everyday learning, and all that. Some of my favourite podcasts include:

💰 Fundraising

Update on what I’ve been doing to reach my fundraising goal.

At the time of writing, we’ve so far raised £1,500.16, which is 88 per cent of the goal. Here’s what I did:

  • Organised a curry sale for my Metia colleagues. Huge thanks to Atrayee for cooking delicious food and to everyone who’s joined us for the lunch and supported Sense with a donation. 

Thank you

I wouldn’t have been where I am without the below people. Thank you ever so much for your contribution to:

  • Chelsea Jobe
  • Richard Bailey
  • Pete and Ciara
  • Jake O’Neill
  • Ella Minty
  • Andreea Dascalu
  • Ivi
  • Kate
  • Mom and Dad
  • Grandma and Grandpa
  • The Wynnes
  • Mick
  • M. Bukowska
  • Good and Proper Tea
  • Claire Simpson
  • Mike
  • Darryl Sparey from Hotwire
  • The New Black Coffee
  • Stephen Waddington & Sarah Hall
  • Orsi
  • Henry Clatworthy
  • Mr Jaaames J.
  • Natascha Starr
  • Sarah Mason
  • Charlotte Dawson
  • Steve
  • Lizzie Quirke

You can still sponsor my run. Every penny counts and I’d much appreciate your help! Let’s do it together — for Sense: justgiving.com/fundraising/mkruns262


Picture in the header via Sportograf.

If you have any suggestions, would like to guest post or give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at] gmail.com, tweet me @marcelkl or connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!