Running is for life, inch forward making small improvements and enjoy the journey

When I first started running there were no couch to 5k and I didn’t feel confident enough to join a club. For a year or so I ran around with a friend and learnt a bit as I went along. Gradually I become more passionate ( obsessed !) with running and started reading everything I could to learn more. I was amazed how much information there was about the seemingly simple sport of running.

Over the years I joined a club, raced and enjoyed our fantastic sport, I loved long runs and the social aspect tremendously.  About 5 years ago I took my LIRF and started taking out groups. I started my CIRF course but then I got a horrible high hamstring injury and couldn’t think about anything bar getting it healed. My running gradually reduced until I was forced to stop completely. From being unable to  feel I could live without running I found after 2 years of the injury and then a period of not running that I found my interest had waned. My latter memories of pain, loss of strength and speed were all I could focus on. I had also been diagnosed health problems with an autoimmune and thyroid  condition.
A year ago a friend asked me for a favour, she had organised a 0-5 k running group and couldn’t cope with the 40 people who had turned up.  Agreed to help, thinking that maybe it could gently reintroduce me back to running without aggravating my injury. The beginners were on 4 mins on , 4 mins off. I struggled ! Initially I didn’t look forward to helping as I was finding it difficult but tenacity is one of my characteristics. Thank goodness !!!

Fast forward one year and we have now a fully fledged running club. Hazlemere Runners. We carried on doing beginners courses and gradually I started to re find  my love for running. By May I had decided to restart my CIRF course. I became Deputy Chairman and Club Coach. I realised how I loved helping new runners achieve their goals. The joy of helping beginners 0-5 k course is fabulous. The enthusiasm and positivity radiating through the group is always heartening. Once our beginners have passed their 5k course, they then have a pathway they can follow. They can stick at 5k and work on improving their speed or move to a 10k improvers group. Once  they have passed this there are 4 groups of varying pace to choose. We have daytime and evening runs and a Sunday long run which is open to any runners, other club members or solo runners. We believe that running is for everybody and want to welcome them into our running family. On Wednesdays we have sessions nights, hill repeats, Flying 30’s, pyramid sessions are all popular. We also have educational sessions from physiotherapists, pilates instructors, kit  and nutritional talks.

As our club is young and we have many new runners I feel privileged to be able to help them develop good running habits early on to help them have a long, injury free running career. Our ethos is that running is for life, inch forward making small improvements and enjoy the journey.

Im not going to rest on my laurels coaching wise, I am shortly going to complete the Endurance qualification and along the way I still read as much as I can to keep up to date with new developments and ideas. You really never stop learning about running. Who knew ?

Thanks for reading.

Beverley – Deputy Chairman and Club Coach at Hazlemere Runners