Thursday 20 June 2013

Encouraging others to run

Not long after I ran Brighton marathon (in April), a friend of mine told me she was thinking of getting fit and taking up running. Her ultimate goal was to run a Half marathon and raise money for a charity close to her heart, but for now she just wanted to get started. So a few weeks ago we started running together.

As I'm not a personal trainer or running expert in any way, I googled some beginner training plans, and cast my mind back not that long ago to when I could only run 2 minutes, walk 5 minutes and repeat. We started one Sunday morning with a stroll to the start of the local trail, then alternated 3 minutes of running with 2 minutes of walking, over about 2.5 miles.

As she works and I work, and she has 3 kids and I have 2, we only managed to squeeze in one run per week together, but she did also do the occasional run on her own in the week. About 3 weeks in to our training, another school Mum said she'd like to join us.

So we've been running together as a group of 3 for the last 4 weekends, and it's been good. Although I have sometimes felt that I'd rather just go at my own pace, overall it's been fun to pass on my enthusiasm for running! One time when I wanted to increase my mileage, I just ran a few miles on my own before we met up and another week I ran 5x in total instead of my usual 4x, to make up my mileage, so it's been ok.

I must admit, it's quite nice to think that my running has inspired others to think they can do it too. I certainly think that almost anyone is capable of becoming a runner - if you want it enough, you can always find time, and it's something than can be learnt and trained for from nothing.

Meanwhile I hope I can encourage my kids to run and do other sports. So far they are both keen and confident swimmers and both love being active in general. They're not really interested in running yet though, and I don't want to push it on them and put them off.

I hope that by seeing me exercising, they will assume that it's just a normal part of life, and that by attending running events and races, they might be inspired to take part. They have participated in a few children's races - some they enjoyed, others not so much - and they have marshalled at parkrun 3 or 4 times. Last week, I volunteered and they accompanied me as I handed out position tokens at the finish. It was good fun, and I hope that these experiences will help promote the idea that exercise can be fun and normal!

Little angels...


  1. I'm sure you are making quite an impression on your children and how important being fit is. And how fun! Love the picture of them.

  2. That's great that you're inspiring other people. Sometimes it's almost like we're a cult and welcoming new members to out cult is something we all rejoice in. Good job Liz!

  3. It's always a great feeling to help another runner:)

    Thanks for the "netball" definition!

    My Running Shortz

  4. Really awesome! I always try to get people into running and I'm glad to say I've succeeded a few times. getting the kids into it is probably the hardest.