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James Middleton

Q&A with James Middleton

Former sportsman James Middleton is now a health and lifestyle coach who helps thousands of people to achieve their fitness goals and lead healthier, happier lives.

Why did you start running?
I usually train inside a gym, so running enables me to get outside into the fresh air. It gives me a different feeling of freedom. I like changing things up and doing different things for my fitness, both physically and mentally, and running gives my training that other dynamic.

What motivates you to run?
Knowing that when I’m running, I feel so free and I can escape from anything that’s going on in my life – just for that brief moment in my day. And knowing that afterwards I’ll always feel better for doing it.

How often do you go out running?
Not actually that much, probably one to two times a week. I have a very busy training schedule so running is more of a luxury at the moment.

Celebrate You is all about running for your head and your heart. How has running helped improve your mental health and wellbeing?
Whenever I want to escape from anything, or give myself thinking time, I’ll go for a run. Whether it’s with music on or without music, it’s that period where it’s just you, your thoughts and your body. And there’s something very special about that. That really helps me deal with stress and anxiety and always leaves me feeling better.

Why is it so important for people take care of their mental health as much as their physical health?
Our minds are with us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There’s no escaping our minds. It’s so important that we do everything we can to ensure we are in the best possible headspace and form habits that contribute positively to our mental health.

What would advice would you give to a first-time runner or someone considering taking up running/exercise?
Start off slow and go at your own pace. There’s no competition, there’s no pressure, it’s a chance to just get outside and celebrate what your body can do.

You’re running the first-ever virtual Vitality London 10,000 this month – why should other people sign up and join you?
We’ve faced, and continue to face, really difficult times and this is a chance to come together as a community and go out and do something that will have such a positive effect in so many ways. You can do it in your own time, and it’s an opportunity to commit to make a positive impact this year, not just for yourself but for others around you.