Running on confidence and girl power

Published June 29 2022
4 minute read
How do you feel about running? Some people love it, some people hate it. Some people are naturals, some people feel like a 3-legged horse running around in circles!

As we move into Summer, and it feels like the world may be coming out of the “other side”, we don’t want to lose sight of taking care of our health and wellness - both physically and mentally. It has been scientifically proven that running helps to improve cardiovascular health. Studies have also shown that running releases endorphins and serotonin into your body which helps to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety.

Community and virtual running groups such as Badass Mother Runners and She Runs: Cardiff say that “running is for everyone”. But how so?

Back in 2019, pre-pandemic, Myfanwy Thomas and a group of friends set up a local running group in Roath with the main ambition of ‘not being fast or competitive’. They had wanted to start running, but the thought of joining a mixed sex running club was daunting so their running club, She Runs: Cardiff, was made exclusively for women.

“What started as just 30 of us has now grown to 2000 members!”

During the pandemic, a lot of women turned to running to relieve anxiety. This is where Myfanwy saw the huge boost in members, particularly online. Virtual challenges were set and women felt they could take part and celebrate their successes in this virtual community. She Runs: Cardiff has an ethos that it is all about the joy of running - pace isn’t important.

“There’s a real sense of belonging. We’ve seen people coming out of their shell, making new friends and having a newfound confidence. Some women had never run before but have since completed marathons! It makes me very proud to see what they have achieved.”

Marketing expert turned running club entrepreneur, Beverley Logan, set up Badass Mother Runners in Skewen near Swansea back in 2018 as a side hustle. Following a turbulent few years in her career, Bev had been pushed over the brink into depression where she felt she had completely lost herself.

“Running was my go-to for relieving stress. As a mum of 2 kids with a busy job, I needed to run to switch my brain off and have time to myself.”

Bev pledged to run 6 half-marathons for MIND charity as a tactic to pick herself back up. With very little training, she turned up and forced herself over the finish line of each event, even though she knew she had not given it her all.

A friend then said; “You’ve ran 6 half-marathons in a year. That’s pretty badass!”

And in that moment, Badass Mother Runners was born! Bev’s mission was that if she could help other women feel more badass, it’ll rub off on her. Bev began to believe in the world again. She built an online community of female runners who were each on their own running journey with no pressure. A space where they could feel safe, not feel embarrassed, and could avoid the competitive nature of running.

“Women don’t get as much support as they should. A lot of them suffer from mum guilt”

As a mother herself, Bev knows the importance of taking 30 minutes for yourself to switch your brain off and just be you. Making the time for yourself to run is so important for both physical and mental health.

With over 40,000 followers in the UK and all over the world, it’s clear to see the importance of running and how integral it is to feel part of a community.

She Runs: Cardiff now has several women only running groups every Wednesday evening and Sunday morning across Cardiff. To join, head to sherunscardiff.org

Join the Badass Mother Runners virtual community at badassmotherrunners.co.uk