In August 2018, I woke up early to mission down to Sutcliffe Park Sports Centre, Eltham for a course on becoming a Run Leader. I attended the England Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness course with, I have to say an absolutely fantastic bunch of people. Having the Leadership in Running Fitness Qualification means I am licensed to take a group of mixed ability recreational runners for fun, safe, training sessions. Whether someone is an absolute beginner wanting to get started, or a more experienced runner wanting to improve their race time, I am armed with a whole toolkit of methods and ideas to make sessions fun, effective and valuable for all.
Why I decided to become a run leader
I wouldn’t call myself a fantastic runner but I do enjoy the buzz I get from throwing on my trainers and being free to go wherever I please. I have completed a few races, from 5k’s to a half marathon but I mainly run for me, for headspace, and that warm fuzzy feeling.
As a personal trainer, I come across many people who think they “can’t” do things, but it doesn’t take many sessions with me for them to realise that actually, they can. Running is a similar thing, people love the idea of running but for some reason think that it isn’t for them, that they’re not thin enough or fit enough. These thoughts are all barriers that I am able to help you overcome, there is no pressure for anyone to perform at a certain level, we take things at a pace appropriate to you but most of all, each and every session will be enjoyable.
I have to admit, I was slightly nervous attending the course, a lot of the people there were members of running clubs (therefore I automatically assumed they were really strong runners) so immediately I felt a little out of my comfort zone. Yes, I am a personal trainer, but I wouldn’t say that running is my strongest pursuit, it’s just something I enjoy.
I needn’t have felt that way, the course leaders practice what they preach and I don’t think I’d be too far wrong in assuming that each and every participant had the same initial hang-ups, as it turns out every one of us had different strengths, some had been running for years, some were very new to the sport, some loved ultramarathon distance trail routes, and others preferred flat weekend park runs… This was exactly the point, the runners training to become run leaders were all from different backgrounds with different abilities, just like the people we were learning to lead will be. We were each pushed out of our comfort zone a little but we had a fantastic, fun day and learnt so many techniques and ways to adapt them to achieve the most benefit for everyone.
The benefits of running
There are so many benefits to running, more than just fat loss. Running is fantastic at improving your lung capacity, heart health and circulation. Although you may have heard that “running is bad for your knees” it can actually have the opposite effect. If there are any underlying niggles then of course have a chat with your GP before taking up running (or any exercise program for that matter) otherwise, running can actually help to strengthen your joints and bones.
Possibly the reason I hear most from runners as to why they run is that it provides stress relief, the way your mind can just wander as you take in the fresh air and get your body moving, releasing all the stresses and strains of the day.
So, how about it? Fancy running your first 5k? Or want to take your running to the next level?
Drop me a message and together we can start the journey to a stronger, happier, healthier you.
One-to-one personal training and group running sessions available.