New running group to boost mental health in Portsmouth
A NEW running group in Portsmouth is set to boost people’s mental health while encouraging them to get fit.
Run Talk Run will launch its first city session on Tuesday, July 20 with participants taking part in a 5k run or walk, with the opportunity to chat to each other before or after.
The free weekly meet-up comes as part of an international movement that aims to promote ‘judgement free’ exercise.
The session’s founder, Sam Foreman, said exercise helped him with his own mental health issues.
Southsea resident Sam, 39, said: ‘Four years ago I was always stressed and had a lot of anxiety but I didn’t really know what it was and why it was happening.
‘It all changed when I joined a sports group. It was a bit of a challenge as I have never done anything like that before but just having a group of people to talk to made such a difference. I then joined a gym and this helped my fitness and my mental health.
‘I realised what a positive thing exercise was.’
Sam, who works as a communications project lead in Whiteley, first heard about Run Talk Run through a friend who had set up one in Southampton.
‘I really struggled during lockdown,’ he said.
‘I had just moved to Portsmouth and didn’t know anyone and was living alone. With everything shut I had no way of talking to people.
‘So as lockdown as eased I’ve been organising our own Run Talk Run group in Portsmouth.’
The run will take place at 6pm every Tuesday with participants meeting at the car park next to the Thatched House pub in Southsea. The circular loop will take runners and walkers up part of Eastern Road.
Sam added: ‘The important thing is to give people a space to talk if they need and help them exercise.
‘Going on your first run or joining a new group can be very scary but this will be a supportive environment.
‘And there’s no prior running experience needed. If you want to walk the whole thing or just run part of it that’s fine - there will be people to accompany you.’
To find out more visit runtalkrun.com or download the myCrew app on your phone, and find Portsmouth Run Talk Run.