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Running for Mental Health: We sat down with Daniel Lucchini

PUBLISHED18 October 2021
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Running for Mental Health: We sat down with Daniel Lucchini

“As a young person growing up in our modern society, I understand the pressures and challenges faced on a day to day basis and have witnessed many of my peers and friends working through the challenges of anxiety and depression. By supporting beyond blue I hope to contribute to their on going efforts to support the health and provide an environment for people to get help if they need.” – Daniel Lucchini 

Daniel Lucchini, a strength and conditioning coach and athlete, training for one of the biggest races of his lifetime that is coming up in November. His hardest mental health challenge will be a 24-hour run that he has coming up on the 6th November. The race is in support for Beyond Blue, an NGO that supports everyday Australians and provides care/support to those who need it the most.

We sit down with Daniel and discuss how (ironically) his biggest mental health challenge is the 200km race supporting an organisation that educates and counsels mental illness patients.

Q: HOW DID YOU GET INTO LONG DISTANCE RUNNING AND ADVENTURES?

D: I try to spend as much time out in nature as I can, whether it is in my local area or overseas. I find that it is something that helps me get in touch with my mental health and my mind to see where it is at the time. I definitely find a sense of peace in being out in the open land.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

Revel in the chaos” – It pretty much means go into every unknown moment and take as much from this experience as you can. Revel in what you have in the moment, whether it is positive or negative. No matter what there is always something that can be learned from each experience to grow as a person.

Q: HOW DO YOU THINK THIS 200KM RUN WILL HELP BEYOND BLUE?

D: My main motivation supporting mental health and Beyond Blue was due to the circumstances that we have gone through this past year and a lot of individuals around me have struggled, it is obviously something that is quite prevalent at the moment. So any support and donations that we give to Beyond Blue and this race will help educate and support those who are currently suffering with mental illness.

One of the biggest things for me though is the amount of awareness that we have been able to raise for this amazing cause such as starting those difficult conversations with family members, friends and the online community.

“Just take it one step at a time and focus on your foot hitting the ground and breathing and repeat the process”  

Q: YOUR INSTAGRAM PROFILE MENTIONS YOUR MINDFUL EATING PLAN, CAN YOU GIVE US SOME TIPS ON HOW TO EAT MINDFULLY AND WHAT IT IS?

D: Whether you are a student or someone that is training really hard, stress can influence our eating habits in many ways. Start to pay attention to how different foods make you feel and the easiest way to do this is to slow down, put down your fork in between bites and check in with yourself to see how you are feeling.

Q: WHAT IS ONE TIP YOU WOULD GIVE SOMEONE STARTING OUT WITH LONG DISTANCE/RUNNING?

D: If you want to get into running yourself, it is important that you start slow. To begin, start with 3 x 3 minute efforts with a 90 second break in between and eventually build up from there. This is what I started to do and coach all my students this way.

“I faced [my fears] them head-on, I moved ahead and continued with the task at hand. I also reached out for support from those I could rely on and loved to speak to. At the end of the day though, I had to be there for myself and unfortunately lean into the discomforts and challenges. Now I am learning to grow from my failures and handle things better to improve on myself everyday.”

If you want to follow Daniel on his journey to the 200km run, click the link to follow his Instagram profile here.

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