WHY I RUN - LYDIA OLDHAM
BY Ben Hooke
“Everytime I run, I’m thankful - thankful that I can run, thankful that my body and my mind will take me there.”
Why do you run?
I run because Iove running. But I also run to clear my mind - to know that my feet have the freedom to go anywhere. Everytime I run, I’m thankful - thankful that I can run, thankful that my body and my mind will take me there.
I run to know that I can achieve something - even the smallest run. Being able to accomplish that makes me want to accomplish more.
When do you run?
I only really run in the morning - I’m someone that loves to be able to beat everyone to the day. 5 to 5:30am is my prime time. I wake up, have a coffee, get my running kit on and go out the door. Being able to have those moments before anyone else is awake, still dark, street lights turning off - I like having that small edge on the day. Saying that, being busy I do have to squeeze in some lunchtime runs - but morning is preferred.
Where do you run?
I run through the city - I live in East London so I’m quite close to Epping Forest. That’s a place I like to explore in the summer. When it’s darker and gloomy, I like to be able to hop through the city - especially in the morning. I love that journey into work - running into work sort of feels like you’re able to cheat the system. Not taking the tube feels like you’ve accomplished something before you’ve even started.
Where’s your favourite place to run?
I don’t have a favourite - everywhere’s different. I love being able to go abroad and run in different places. As long as I’m not injured, and it feels like a good run - that’s my favourite place to run. Just the open road.
How far do you run a week?
I run about 70km a week currently - before Christmas, it was about 80-90km. As I progress through to June, I’ll be creeping that number up each week - I’m doing an ultra in June so hoping the increased mileage will make that a little bit easier.
What stops you going for a run?
Torrential rain when it’s cold. I’m not good with the cold. When I go out in the cold, I always have huge mittens and hand warmers inside them! Yeah, not good with the cold. The other thing is my forever ongoing knee injury. I feel when I don’t run, I’m like a puppy that needs to be walked.
When did you start to run - at first?
I fell into running, really - in lockdown. I’ve always been a swimmer - I swam nationally but took a step back and didn’t swim for quite a while when I moved to London and got a job here. And I’d just got back into it, as lockdown hit and i thought how do I get out of the house and keep myself sane? I became one of the many 5k warriors running round Victoria Park - I’ve met loads of great people through that. Two years down the line, I’ve completed marathons and am completing an ultra this year.