Sunday, 23 December 2018

We'd rather turn to no-one than the church.


If you’re feeling like you want to die, Get Help Now

Yesterday while out for a run with a client we were talking about church. I laughed and told her I wasn’t allowed to go to mine. I told her my story and how it lead, in part, to my suicide attempt. I don’t think I spoke badly about the church except to say that they were mistaken in how they handled things. I recounted that when I trained for my ASIST suicide prevention certificate, I had broken down in tears, how when the trainer asked if I had any support I broke down even further because I had lost my church family.

Of the many things I’ve learned about suicide, a real big one is that isolation is dangerous.

Also on the ASIST course I had a revelation - that rather than stay bitterly hurt and angry at the church for not listening to my screams, the solution was in education. They had acted in love, but in ignorance, and I have spoken to too many others who’ve had a similar experience.

That photo above shouts out the problem and this same pattern is repeated hundreds of times over - people who are struggling to cope with suicidal thoughts do not turn to the church. In fact, they would prefer to tell no-one. 

If the church really is God’s solution, and I believe it is, then something is terribly wrong, but what can we do about it? Well, we've stared by launching RunningSpace
At RunningSpace we are returning to that original goal of Running to beat suicide. How? By educating communities in
Walk2Run 
safeTALK, focusing on Christians (who are the church, I don’t give a crap about denominations or buildings) and by
Running in the Gap adventures.


I’ve been guilty of watering down the RunningSpace message in order to be ‘inclusive’ – but really, there are more Christians in the world that I could possibly run with or educate!

2018 has been a huge learning curve and there have been many successes. More importantly, lives have been saved and changed.

In 2019, we need your help. Would you please pray for doors to open for us so that we can educate and train churches, communities and individuals in Walk2Run and safeTALK
Please help us pray and intercede for anyone affected by suicide as we run our first Running in the Gap adventure from Bexhill to Canterbury in the spring.

Here’s to Running to beat Suicide and to trusting God with that original vision

Come and run with us, it might just change your life...


Thursday, 13 December 2018

How to shine while running in the dark


I read this today
…let your light shine before men so that they can see your good deeds…”.

Well that’s not very British is it? Sounds a lot like ‘blowing your own trumpet’ to me. It could descend into boasting, it could lead to jealousy and envy, even vandalism! Yikes!  
                     
Ok so I was kind of cheating there, taking that phrase out of its context, which helped me see something I’d never seen before – that your good deeds are brilliant and it’s fun to let other people see them.

Here’s the whole paragraph.

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men so that they can see your good deeds and glorify God

Results
It’s the results that are important isn't it? We let our good deeds shine out and everybody benefits Letting our own lights shine gives light to everyone so that they can see. And then other people will glorify God. That’s a win for me, a win for other people and a win for God.  

A little example
Here’s a little example from when I was on the till yesterday at The Pelham, and 2 customers came in for the first time.

Me: You’re very welcome here, we make the best coffee in the world [smile], how can I help?
Customer: Really? What coffee is it?
Me: It’s Kingdom Coffee, but it’s also that we let our coffee brew for 28 seconds which brings out the sweetness of the bean, we use the best locally produced whole frothy milk, and we have Allen, who is the best barista in the world.
Customer: Wow, that’s a perfect storm! We’ll have a latte and a cappuccino please.
After drinking the coffee…
Customer: That was the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life
Me: Told ya! Thank you, glad you enjoyed it
Customer: Not only that, there’s something different about this place, a different feel somehow. Thank you for your friendly welcome, we’ll see you next week.

A tiny running sermon
Final thought. Early morning running at this time of year requires a head torch to see and be seen, and mine is lovely and bright. Not to be outshone, a client bought himself a brand new extra bright head torch. Now we run shoulder to shoulder with twice the light, twice the safety, twice the visibility.

Let’s allow our collective good deeds to shine, and we’ll produce many times the light, many times the safety, and many times the visibility.

Come and run with us, it might just change your life...

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

I'm grateful for running because...


Why do I run? I run to beat suicide, I run to keep healthy, I run to donate money to suicide prevention charities and I run because I am in faith that in running together we will beat suicide.

If you’d like to know how to join us, or how to get started learning to Walk2Run for FREE, please contact me on Jacky@Walk2Run.org

I love running with other people. The ‘power of the appointment’ gets me out of the door at 6 am every day and keeps me as motivated as the people I run with. Today I’ve run in the frosty dark countryside along lakesides and cow fields, closely followed by beach running under a full blazing December sun. I love running with other people. 

I also love running by myself. 
If you’ve never done it before, or it’s been a while, you should try it. 

Even on a short easy walk or run, you begin to hear yourself as the noise of a busy life fades away. It’s beautifully simple and not at all forced, you can hear your own breathing, the sounds of your own footfall, you start to pay attention to how hot or cold you are, you start to take notice of yourself. And then there are the thoughts and stresses of the week that seem to untangle themselves with every step. If you sat me in a room to ‘reflect’ for 30 minutes I’d fidget, I’d cough or sneeze, and my thoughts would turn to washing up, the next phone call, the school letter I should have returned. But in the process of running, even those thoughts just seem to effortlessly find their own place.

The mental health benefits of learning to run are well documented (google it), but you'll never really believe it until you try it. 

Come and run with us, it might just change your life. 






Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Walk2Run by prescription

If only we could bottle it...
In our house we talk about getting a bout of depression in the same way we talk about having a cold. 

Through no fault of your own, you catch a cold so you hide under a duvet with a Netflix box set of something recommended by facebook friends, you eat crap all day but nothing tastes of anything, and your body feels alternately hotter or colder than usual. It feels like you’ve always felt this bad and that it will never change. 

But suddenly, it passes and you’re back in the game.

So it is with depression
Mine at least. Through no fault of my own it came on Friday afternoon, at about 2.20pm. Since then my eyes have been heavy, all I want to do is sleep, despite being in bed hour after hour, and I’m ‘wasting’ time eating digestive biscuits, watching Outlander on Prime (no intelligence required).

The best advice I ever received was ‘don’t try to out-think depression’, and ‘nurture yourself until it passes.’ Just like a cold, it will pass.

Things I can do to help myself
As with any other illness, some things are out of my control, but there are other things I can do to help myself. Drinking lots of water is one, taking myself to bed when I don’t have other commitments is another, and then of course (you knew it was coming), there is Walk2Running.

Walk2Run works. 
There is overwhelming evidence that proves that all of these things we do at Walk2Run
  • exercise
  • outdoors
  • in a supportive group
  • 3 times a week 
help relieve the symptoms of depression. In fact it’s found to be more effective than medication for mild to moderate depression.

But how do you  get started when you feel so sh**? 
The key is usually getting out there with someone you know, either a friend or relative. Or you could simply email me at Jacky@walk2run.org or ‘meet’ me on facebook. This takes away loads of the anxiety, once you find a friendly face.

I wish you could bottle it
After a Walk2Run session last week, one lady who suffers with depression and anxiety said “I wish you could bottle it…” She didn't used to be a runner but enjoyed walking. You don’t have to be a runner either, we all start by walking before we can run.

Sitting here in my sick bed writing this, I wish I could bottle that euphoric feeling too. I for one believe that it should be available on prescription. So tonight I’ll be shoe-horning myself out of bed and getting myself out to Walk2Run where I know I will be welcomed by friendly faces and a workout which will relieve my symptoms.

See you there or drop me a line to get involved, we'd love to support you. 

Thank God for running and for Walk2Run!

Come and run with us, it might just change your life. 

Friday, 19 October 2018

Tracy's Story

Shiny happy people
I was honoured when asked to write a few words about my experience of Walk2Run. Thank you Jacky :)

Background

My partner is disabled, and I care for her daily. I do this with love and compassion. It requires me to have a reasonable level of physical fitness and emotional strength. The build-up of stress and limited time for myself had taken its toll, not only physically, it was also affecting my mental health. What I hadn't realised was that my state of mind was affecting my partner too. She had previously attempted suicide and I really was not prepared to let the way I was feeling affect her any longer.

I hadn't got any idea what to expect that first session. I was extremely anxious as I experience social anxiety and struggle in group activities BUT the thing that drew me in was Jacky’s promise to Teach me how to run.

Jacky’s coaching was just brilliant. She had an amazing ability to involve everyone even though we were all at different levels of fitness and dealing with different challenges in our lives. Encouragement and support came so naturally to her. No one was left out. The people I met that day were wonderful, so supportive, positive and welcoming. After 1 hour I came away exhilarated and positive about my onward journey.

Present

Walk2Run is having a huge impact on my life. I've lost 2 stone. I am fitter than I have ever been. I have gained confidence. My social anxiety has improved considerably and having time out for ME keeps my mind strong and able to face challenges in a more positive way. My partner and I have both attended the safeTALK suicide awareness course that jacky runs and not only do I feel more able to help my partner, but I also have the skills and resources to guide others in the direction of help. In addition to this my partner is more involved in the community and is enjoying life just that little bit more.

Joining Walk2Run honestly is one of the best decisions I have ever made and I can’t thank Jacky enough. :)

Come and run with us, it might just change your life...

Friday, 5 October 2018

Bright eyes 5k

Tuesday evening group

We don’t often do this at Walk2Run, but every now and then it’s good to know where you are so you can see how far you’ve come.

So this morning’s Walk2Runners completed a challenge, a 5k road run. For some, this was a first attempt, a time to have a go and see if they could go the distance either by walking it, running it, or a mixture of both. For others it was a chance to beat a previous time. The group was mixed, men and women aged between their 20’s and 70’s, all supporting each other and cheering each other on.
They aced it of course, and I loved watching each one of them finish with a final sprint. There’s no limping across the line at Walk2Run! You will learn that no matter how tired you are, you can always finish strong, there is always more in you. A life lesson there.

I know how I felt watching them finish, but how about the Walk2Runners themselves?

“I’m so proud of myself, I can’t believe I’ve done it! Awesome, absolutely amazing” – first time running 5k

“If I hadn’t recovered down the hill I would have got an even better time…” (it's good to have something to come back for, next time work hard down the hill, and recover AFTER the 5k 😉 ) – this Walk2Runner used to walk much of the time, but now runs the whole distance, and quickly

“I had coach’s word in my head, ‘run tall’, ‘lift your legs high from your hip’, ‘use your arms’” – knocked 5 whole minutes off her time. 17 seconds faster to reach your new goal.

And my own personal favourite…
“I feel like my eyes are brighter, like everything is clearer” – a gentle young man with a mental health condition who’s learning to run (and is proper quick!)

Many of us, though by no means all, at Walk2Run have mental health conditions. I think that’s why this last one, and who it came from, really touched me. Running is good for your body but also for clearing your head and feeling brighter.

If ever there was a reason to get up and learn to Walk2Run, this is it.

Come and run with us, it might just change your life.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

PMSD

Post Marathon Stress Disorder,  (aka Post Traumatic Race Disorder).

You spend months training to reach your goal, whatever that is, and you smash it. But then what? You imagine you’ll carry on training exactly as before, up and out before the birds, determined and focussed. But actually, rarely is this the case, unless there’s some other reason to keep on running.  You start to cancel runs, you get put off by a little wind or rain, or sun, social engagements suddenly move up a place on the weekly agenda. 

It’s good to have a little slump time. Cheers to that!

But then it’s time to crack on. Like everyone else, I’d love to be fitter, healthier, thinner, but try as I might, those things on their own are simply not enough to get me to put my trainers on. After all, I can always start tomorrow.

I’m very lucky these days because I run with other people as my mission in life as well as my job. I hate to admit it, but other people are ‘what’ motivates me these days. This from the girl who’s live-by mantra used to be ‘I am a rock, I am an island’

I went out for a work social last night, a fantastic Indian meal, paid for by the company. 35 of us, all ages and backgrounds, volunteers, workers, friends partners and family.  I met a lady there, a retired PE teacher who made a flippant comment that’s made me think. She said that people (and government funding streams!) generally think that fitness comes first, then the social elements. But they’re wrong (she commented), actually the social element comes first.

By way of example:
On this morning’s school run (yes we ran, we were focussed on not being late!) I chatted to a very lovely self-confessed unhealthy lady who wants to lose a few pounds. She’d seen me training someone on the promenade last week, and suddenly she thought, hey, if he can do it, then maybe I can. So we chatted, and hopefully she’ll let me teach her and her daughter how to run.

Do you see what happened there? She knows damn well, like all of us, that we need to get up and out and fit and healthy. But was that enough? Nope. But the social element of seeing someone else out there, the social element of the chat on the school run, the social element of joining with her daughter…. These may be the things that get her up and running.

I’m smiling as I realise how motivating that little conversation was for me. I even rushed home to tell my partner , and I imagine messaging the bloke she’d seen training to also encourage him. I wanted to spread the word.

That’s how it’s done. Yes we can rave about obesity, we can count calories and read the warning on cigarette packets as we light up, and sugar content as we down the last square of chocolate.

But actually maybe it’s the social element that really works. It’s the people you’re with and the people you’re fighting for, or Walk2Running for. And maybe that’s the at least part of the solution to PMSD. Or PTRD. Or even, dare I say it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Come and run with us, it might just save your life

For information on safeTALK Suicide Alertness For Everyone, please click the dates below.
Or to arrange training for your organisation please contact me at Jacky @Walk2Run.org





Wednesday, 25 April 2018

A Trainer's Tale - the Final episode - Marathon Royalty

It was the supporters that got me through.  Standing at the edge of the road with the "Go Gerry Jogger!" placards: 

Nick, Kath, Kate, Bella, Ruben, Tony, Donny, Janet, Phoebe, David and, of course, my lovely wife, Lynne.

The kids, too, linking hands and squealing with delight when I sprayed them with water.  The Reggae music through Deptford in weird juxtaposition with a Northern Irish marching band.  A traditional jazz group; the melodious bongo players; the National Youth Jazz orchestra; the incredible, deafening,  synchronised drumming under the A2 fly over.  The joy and kindness in everyone's faces.  Even the drunks were lovely.  

I suspect that most of us couldn't have made it without the mist showers along the way and the wonderful firemen with their hoses.  I think I sprayed as much water to sooth my throbbing legs as I drank and it was fine to do that because I was so near the back of the pack.

In fact, there was tons of liquid but a lot of it was Lucozade and nobody seemed to want it.  The gutters were littered with thousands of discarded full and almost full bottles which had been tasted and thrown away.  The yellow flood in the gutters looked as though a herd of cows had gone by urinating as they went.

By the time we came to the Embankment I was hobbling but by then I had two beautiful young ladies, one on either side, carrying 'Go Gerry Jogger!" signs and the crowds went wild.  I think I'll have to change my name to Gerry just to please the fan club.

Everyone knows the Marathon is 26 miles but they forget the 385 yards.  I won't because when I started training with Jacqueline last September I could only run 385 yards.  

After 26 miles it's still a daunting prospect.  It's the distance from Buckingham Palace to the finishing line up towards Trafalgar Square along the Mall.  

As I turned the corner I could see the timer ticking round at seven hours 59 minutes and I just had to get there before it went to eight hours.  

I don't know where the energy came from but I managed to hobble, then heaved into a stumbling run and finally crossed the line at a reasonable sprint.  Talk about mind over matter!  

At the end it was 7 hours 59 minutes and 33 seconds and I'm as proud of those 33 seconds as I am of the whole race.

B.B. 

Continuing to fundraise for prostate cancer research having run the 2018 London Marathon.

Come and run with us, it might just save a life.



Friday, 6 April 2018

A Trainer’s Tale – Episode 4 – Reaching Your Peak


“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…” Theodore Roosevelt

A noble sentiment that I actually disagree with. After all, sitting in the sun-drenched conservatory drinking coffee with Brian this morning involved neither effort, pain, nor difficulty, but by crikey it was worth doing.

Nonetheless I get the point.

Feeling Peaky
With Marathon day on April 22nd just over 2 weeks away, most runners will have peaked by now – that is, they’ve completed their longest runs and are now into the Taper, that final 2 to 3  weeks of recovering from training. It's a time to rest and gather strength for the event itself.

Brian completed his 18 miler on Tuesday, and although successful, it was tough and he was left with some questions. This morning’s session was a chance to celebrate progress, address concerns, and review strategy and skills for race day.

Ultra running
In his 75th year (yes 75, it’s worth repeating), he was never going beat Mo Farrah. But let’s look at that for a moment. The IAAF world record for men is 2:02:57, set by Dennis Kimetto of Kenya on September 28, 2014 at the Berlin Marathon. When I run my marathons, they’re generally between 3 and 3.5 hours. Brian was on his feet for just over 6 hours, 3 times longer than Dennis Kimetto and twice as long as me. That’s a heck of a long time to be on your feet, and you need to apply some strategies to cope with that.

Repetitive Strain (without Injury)
6 hours (and more) of repetition of anything is going to make you seize up, so anything you can do to relieve that is good. This morning Brian and I revised some dynamic stretches that you can incorporate into walking breaks, like marching, walking on tip toes or heels, ‘tin solder’ and ‘opening and closing the gate’ to stretch out the hips. Actually my favourite things on long runs are weaving a path side to side round obstacles, and also running backwards. Please note, not advised for London Marathon day, your 36,000 competitors will not thank you.

Fuel and Hydration
Hydration of choice for Brian is flat coke with a pinch of salt, job done. 

However, a question still remained over nutrition. 

Brian told me that an endurance kyaker friend of his advised him to eat bars of Twix. Far be it from me to disagree with an experienced kyaker, but I have to say I was surprised. Brian’s explanation was that it had biscuit. Erm. Ok. 🤔 On further discussion it turned out he was talking about Snickers bars. OK NOW I’m on board. Especially since up until July 19, 1990 they were marketed as Marathons. 

Twix v. Marathon for the London Marathon? Come on Brian, it’s a no brainer.

Remember your Why? A comment from Brian himself...
"I am surprised to have reached 74 and saddened that so many friends haven’t. Too many have died of cancer and prostate cancer is one of the biggest killers of men, rivalling breast cancer for women but much less well funded in terms of research spend.

That’s why I’m trying to raise money for prostate cancer research.
It is a privilege to attempt to assist with the immensely valuable work carried out by Prostate Cancer UK and I hope that you will support my staggering (strictly in the physical sense) effort."

One thing remains…
I’m going to have to write another post focusing on the mental elements of the marathon and marathon training.

But for today, let me leave you with two thoughts. Firstly, trust your training. Whatever concerns or doubts you have today or tomorrow or at the start line, you can trust in your months of effort in training. And secondly, you will succeed if you do not quit. Simple. If you remember only one thing, let it be this.

Don’t quit.


Come and run with us, it might just change your life...

Thursday, 22 March 2018

A Trainer's Tale - Episode 3 - Falling with Style

Every little helps...
The Marathon is an exceptional event for many reasons, not least because behind that one day of eventing there lies many months of hard training.

This morning, with just over 4 weeks to go, and almost 7 months of training behind us, Brian suddenly piped up, “I think I’m being a bit cavalier about this”. Hmmm. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we get on so well. I used to share that same cavalier attitude about learning to drive, or giving birth. Millions of people do it every single day, how hard can it be? Quite hard as it turns out.

Running is a great leveller, and despite our very different lives and backgrounds, throughout those months of hard training we’ve had enormous fun.

There’s the time we were sprinting – 25 seconds hard running, followed by 3 minutes recovery, times 6 – and Brian tripped over a tussock (his word not mine). I tried to catch him (honestly) as we both fell in slow motion, Brian face-planting in the mud and me falling on top of him. After I’d checked Brian was still intact, I lay on my back in the mud laughing my head off. I love my job.

Then there’s the time I got sick myself. We’d completed a tempo run round a field with a club house and had just started post-run cool-down and stretching. All of a sudden, I couldn't hold myself together any longer and sprinted round the back of the club house to throw up. “You ok to carry on stretching Brian?”, I managed to yell, in between loud barfing and laughing. “Righty ho!” came the cheery reply.

We had great fun running through the woods not so long ago. Despite the recent snowfall and lots of rain, it never really occurred to me that the path might be a little muddy. I kept saying “it’ll be drier in a minute; there’ll be less mud, honestly”. Brian started calling me Theresa (May) for my groundless positivity. Theresa, please note, it never did get any dryer. On the upside, walking and running through deep mud trying to stay upright brought out Brian’s inner 5 year old and we laughed our way through that session.

I enjoy 1 to 1 coaching immensely, it’s so much fun spending time with and getting to know all kinds of people. On a serious note, Brian’s main reason for taking on The Marathon at 75 yrs old is to raise money for prostate cancer research which he believes is tragically underfunded. Please click here to donate to The Gerry Jogger. Last September we could measure Brian's run in inches. Now he's up to 16 miles. What he's achieved already is remarkable. 

If you’re inspired and want to learn to run, please contact me at Jacky@Walk2Run.org. It’s fun.

And it might just change your life.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

A Trainer's Tale - Episode 2 - First Steps


On an early morning in September we set out for our first coaching session. It was 6am, it was very dark and very cold, and Brian lives on a main road with no pavement. The idea was that at 6am there wouldn’t be much in the way of traffic, so we donned our reflective vests, luminous gloves, a light-up flashing water bottle, light-up flashing heel lights, and fully charged head torches.

Dressed up like fireflies, we set out.

Warm up
The best place to start is walking. I reckon that walking is underrated in the running world. Walking at the start of a session is a brilliantly simple way of getting the blood circulating to all those muscles it needs to get to, it raises your heart rate gradually, and your brain switches on too. Even on a cold morning, see how quickly you get warm and energised!

We followed the walk with some dynamic stretches in a wooded lay-by where we could catch up on any niggles and chat through the session, whilst watching the dawn break and listening to the countryside wake up. We never missed this. It turned out to be a successful little routine that really got everything feeling flexible, alive and good to go.  

Main session
Our first session was really to see what where our starting point was. Brian mentioned that he was already up to running 2 minutes, so that’s exactly where we started. “When you’re ready Brian, off you go!”

After 90 seconds he puffed out “Are we nearly there yet?”. (I’m not mocking, I think the same thing at some point in almost every run I do). We did of course get to the 2 minutes.

Here’s the thing. The real trick with endurance running and running for life is (mostly) to learn how to run more slowly. And the way to do THAT is to shorten your stride.

Try this at home…
Just try jogging gently up and down on the spot for a minute or two. When you’re ready, start to move forward, but keep that same gentle jogging motion. Easy.

And there you have it. My top tip for running a really long way. It’s tempting to break into a faster run, a different stride, and a pace which you can’t sustain for very long (just like being back on the school sports field). But if the aim is to keep going, this is a great tool you can use to reel yourself back in to that easy comfortable pace you can sustain and enjoy.

Don’t get me wrong, 20% of training will be quicker, harder effort, longer strides etc. But for building up those long miles, go easy.

Rubbish Cool-Down
Brian has many passions, and one of them is rubbish. Specifically rubbish where there should be no rubbish. So our cool down walk included bagging every piece of trash from the hedgerows that we could find.

As I write this post, I can tell you that Brian has just completed his first TWELVE mile run. From a humble 2 minutes, at the age of 74, please feel free to be as impressed as I am.

He’s running the London Marathon to raise money for prostate cancer research which he believes is tragically underfunded.Please help in any way you can.



Come and run with us, it might just change your life. 


Sunday, 25 February 2018

A Trainer's Tale - Episode 1 - Introductions

In early September 2017 I got an unexpected call from a man named Brian Basham. He’d seen my business card in a local running shop and needed someone to coach him to run the London Marathon in April 2018. After a short conversation, we agreed to meet.

As I sat opposite a white-haired slightly chubby old man reclining in a comfy armchair in his cottage in East Sussex, he explained that in his 75th year (he’ll be 75 in July), he wanted a new challenge. He also wanted to raise a load of money to support prostate cancer research Please donate here, many thanks for your support. He confessed that he was not a runner but did cycle a bit and occasionally ran to the lamppost down the road 90 seconds away! Oh, and there was also the small matter of his recent heart attack and the pneumonia he had suffered a few years ago that had floored him.


At no point did Brian ever ask “is this possible?”, or “do you think I can…?”, or even, which might have been the smart thing following a heart attack, “Do you think I should?”.

That’s the kind of man he is.

So we agreed to train together.

The Plan to reach the Goal
Brian was cleared by his heart doctor to go ahead and train, provided we kept his heart rate below a certain magic number. So step number one, invest in a smart watch with a heart rate monitor.

Having got that in the bag, it was time to plan the schedule.

Quality
If you’ve never trained for a marathon before, it’s easy to think that you need to run as far as possible, as often as possible. Brian was no different and assumed we’d set off on a rigorous 6 day a week schedule. This might be true for a Kenyan man in his mid to late 20s, but for the rest of us, it can be a recipe for fatigue and injury. In running, less is often more.

Recovery
Recovery from running sessions is vital and is even truer as we get older. So we settled on a plan of 3 good quality sessions per week with recovery days in between. Add in some cross training on the bike, a simple strength training routine to be done twice a week and we were good to go.

Variety
Another key element was to plan as much variety as possible. Mixing things up supports injury prevention, but just as important, variety is of course the spice of life. It's important in keeping interest and motivation up over the long training months ahead. This meant variety of shoes (Brian has two different pairs), variety of surface (road, trail, track, treadmill), variety of pace (easy, steady, quick) and variety of intensity (short fast hills, long easy flat). 

Armed with the plan, we set out for our first run.


                To be continued… 



Come and run with us, it might just change your life

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Do you ever measure your inches?

“Only when I’m auditioning for a porn movie” my client replied.

Note to self: engage brain before mouth and never EVER ask a male client about his inches J

So after he’d picked me up off the prom for laughing so hard, we of course talked about measuring weight loss and change in body shape by measuring inches rather than looking at the scales.

Obsessive measuring
The world seems obsessed with measuring and I for one quite enjoy it, when the measures are going in the right direction of course.

Last night I was chatting to Martyn, another walk2run coach, and he measures most of his runs in kilometres, using minutes per kilometre to measure pace. I usually work in miles. How many miles have I run, what was my minute mile pace. But I can also do kilometres per hour for treadmill runs, or minutes per kilometre for 5k runs. Then there are races and personal bests or records (PBs or PRs). What’s your 5k PB? How many hours minutes and seconds does it take you to run a marathon? Seconds are important. I once ran a 50k trail race in 5 hours, no minutes, and ONE SECOND! Hang on though, is that Chip time or Gun time? How many seconds did it take you to cross the start line?

By the way, who won? If you’re a non-runner or you’ve been to a few school sport’s days, you will assume this is a simple question to answer.

Well let me enlighten you. 
Firstly, are you male or female? If you’re very lucky and very quick, you could be the actual winner. I mean you actually came first. You could be a senior man in a mixed race who crossed the line before anyone else. Or you could be first female. Or you could be first male or female in your age group. If you’re a 78 year old lady who finishes an hour after that first senior male crosses the line, you may legitimately say that you beat him, (once your time is adjusted for your age gradings).

And so on.

Countless ways to win
There’s a real upside to all this measuring  because - depending what you’re measuring - in running, there are countless ways to win. You can even win by coming last.  Some of the drills we do in Walk2Run are like that, slowest is best. The first really will be last and the last will be first!

I enjoy it as much as the next runner, but I must admit that I enjoy running ‘naked’ even more.  That’s running with no watch, no time limit, and no regard for the miles, kilometres, minutes or seconds. I take food, money, water, my thoughts and my eyes and I simply enjoy a day out adventuring.

Measureless Joy. 


Come and run with us, it might just change your life