Running tips: Diss and District Athletic Club’s Steph Callen on how setting yourself goals will keep you on the road

Steph Callen, from Diss and District Athletics Club. Picture: STEPH CALLEN

Steph Callen, from Diss and District Athletics Club. Picture: STEPH CALLEN - Credit: Archant

I became a runner after I was lucky enough to gain a place in the London Marathon in 2013.

I'd never given road running a proper go before and entered the ballot on a whim. But having my name drawn out finally spurred me into strapping on my long-forgotten trainers.

Today, going for a run has become part of my norm but, if I'm being honest, I still need a goal to get out there and hit the pavements.

Entering myself into a few races every year gives me the nudge to keep pushing myself and I'd recommend anyone getting into running or returning to the sport to commit to an event as an incentive.

You don't need to be competitive – many sporting events are open to all levels of experience and simply aim to inspire you to do your best.

They're also fantastic opportunities to raise money for charities close to your heart, and the support you'll receive from fellow runners and spectators on the day will make you want to do it again and again.

A quick Google search and you'll be amazed at how many races, from 5ks to marathons, you can enter in this area alone.

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This month I completed my first major event of the year, the Silverstone Half Marathon. The race involved a 13.1-mile course which twisted in, out and around the iconic track.

While I'm not a big Formula One fan, as I ran down the starting straight with Fleetwood Mac's The Chain blasting from the circuit's sound system, I had to admit this was a pretty cool start to the day.

It was an example of how races can be memory-making, bucket list-ticking events in their own right. With so many events available to enter nationwide, organisers try to offer unique experiences to attract competitors.

Over the years, I've jogged along the pitch at Wembley, sprinted down The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace and now overtaken someone on Silverstone's Copse Corner (even if a car wasn't involved).

So find an event that speaks to your interests for added motivation and, importantly, fun!

Steph Callen is a member of Diss and District Athletics Club