Getting to know Run Wales Ambassador Matt Rees

So, Matt, when did you start running?

"In 2015, I started running at the start of the year as a new year’s resolution. A fresh start to try and help with my mental health"

And was there anyone / anything that inspired you to take up running?

"I took up running to help try and deal with my anxiety. I had been going through some really difficult patches and had been regularly advised running as a way of controlling the overwhelming anxiety that would build up. It’s not a cure but it really does make a huge difference and really changed me as a person."

What motivates you to keep getting out the door for a run?

"I have two main motivations. My first motivation is my mental health. When I don’t run for a few days I don’t feel myself. I need the release of running to be at my best. It helps me clear my thoughts and release any pent-up anxiety or stress that life brings. My second motivation is to improve as a runner. I love the challenge of pushing myself and striving to be better than I was the week before."

What do you enjoy most about running?

 "I enjoy the way it makes me feel. Runner’s high is a fantastic feeling."

What goals have you set yourself this year?

"My goals are to run a sub 70 half and a sub 32 10K. Once I have achieved these times I will be ready to return to my favourite distance the marathon."


What would you say to someone thinking of trying running for the first time?

"Put on your trainers and get out of the door. That’s the hardest bit. Getting outside can be tough but once you’ve started you will fall in love with running gradually, and you won’t regret it."


And finally, any other words of advice or guidance for anyone wanting to get into running? 

"The best bit of advice I have for new runners is to find a friend or a group of similar ability to run with. Running with other people makes running easier and more enjoyable. You can take it slow and just chat whilst you run. Time and distance flies when you are with friends."


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