“I just love how accessible running is. All you really need is a pair of running shoes and you’re good to go.”
Owain Williams was born on the beautiful Isle of Tiree and, not surprisingly, grew up with a love for the outdoors. Here he explains how the simple act of running brings so much joy.
Hey Owain, tell everybody where are you based and what you do!
Hey, I live in Edinburgh and during the day I’m a web developer and in my spare time I’m a runner.
How long has the outdoors been a part of your life?
Growing up on the Isle of Tiree (the most westerly isle in the Inner Hebrides. At just 10 miles long and five miles wide, it has a population of around 650 and is surrounded by white sandy beaches – Ed), the outdoors have always been part of my life but more recently in 2008, I started running and I’ve been running ever since.
What has been your favourite trip or adventure?
My favourite adventure is usually the last unplanned trail run. Recently I was up in Aviemore and I took a random path and it turned in to a great run along the River Spey on some single track trails. It was amazing. Just what I needed to unwind and relax.
How do you find a balance between being active and life’s other responsibilities i.e. work and family?
It’s tough at times. I find having a routine helps. I try and get my week day runs in before I start work. That way it has less impact on my day-to-day tasks. It also means it’s done and if I have a busy day at work then I don’t need to worry about running when I’m mentally tired.
I also try and listen to my body and if I feel drained and have been training hard for an extended period of time, I’ll take the day off. It’s important to know when you’ve overcooked things. Having a coach who looks after my training schedule is also one less thing I need to worry about or try and set time aside to do myself.
Is there anyone who inspired your love of the outdoors?
My mum. She was always encouraging us to get outside, get out on my bike or go out on the kayak when I lived in Tiree. She was a fantastic swimmer and also a windsurfing instructor so she was always getting us outside.
Do you find that being outside has a positive impact on your wellbeing and mental health?
Absolutely. Even an easy walk is better than sitting at a computer all day without a break. The fresh air and sunshine really helps me get a balance. A bad run is better than no run. It’s very rare that a run will end with me being in a worse mood than when I started.
What is it about running specifically that you love?
I love how it’s accessible to all. All you really need is a pair of running shoes and you’re good to go. It’s also great for getting off the beaten paths. I’ve found some amazing places while running that I wouldn’t have found otherwise. When on holiday I can pack my trainers then go exploring, nothing else required.
When did you discover FINDRA?
I discovered FINDRA just over two years ago when I was looking for a Scottish based company that made outdoor clothing. I love wearing local brands and supporting smaller companies.
What do you feel is the key motivational or inspirational message you would like to highlight to our followers that would inspire them to get outdoors more?
The outdoors is free. It costs nothing to just go out into nature and appreciate what is around you. You don’t need to go far or on an epic adventure up a mountain. Go to your local park, take off your shoes and feel the grass between your toes. Watch the birds, watch the dogs running around without a care. Just get outside and smile.
I’m a bit of a Marvel Comic fan so do they count? I love the artwork from all the different artists and some of the storylines are great.
Bertha the Berlingo
Anywhere that our wee “Bertha” the Berlingo Campervan takes us. Throw some sleeping bags in the back and off we go. I love heading to the west coast to run there then having bacon rolls out the back while watching the sunrise. Bliss.
Limbo (SebastiAn Remix) by Royal Blood
It changes on a regular basis but currently I’m really enjoying the new remix single from Royal Blood – Limbo (SebastiAn Remix).
It’s a great running track with a good bass line and it really gets me in the mood for a good run.