Thomas started running roughly two years ago in what he describes as ‘a last-ditch’ attempt to help his mental health. Since lacing up his running shoes, Thomas has become an advocate for mental health and is passionate about breaking down the walls of mental health stigma.
Thomas uses social media (under the profile @mental_health_runner) as a platform of inspiration for those who may be struggling with their own mental health, has a website and has recently published a book entitled ‘Surviving the War Against Yourself.’ Thomas is also the Community Champion for RunTalkRun in Lincoln, an initiative which offers individuals the chance to run and discover mental health support in a safe and accessible environment.
Through participating in the Lincoln City Half Marathon Thomas hopes to help other people see physical activity as a means to help their mental health; ‘I run with no times in mind because I just want to enjoy what I do and show others how to run happy!’
Happiness is a key element of running for Thomas and he is currently enjoying his training in the lead up to the Lincoln City Half Marathon event. Thomas follows the mantra ‘there is no point in doing it if you are not having fun, whether that is slowing down longer runs, taking more breaks, it doesn’t matter, as long as its fun and happy that’s all that matters’
To keep motivation levels high Thomas recommends either listening to a running playlist or listening to different podcasts – he is currently enjoying Brain Cox’s ‘Infinite Monkey Cage’ to break out a mental sweat!
Have you experienced the benefits running can have on your mental wellbeing yet? Why not put on your trainers like Thomas did and see if running can help you to feel happier in yourself.