What made me join run verity?
I had seen a post the previous year about RV and I had considered joining, but dismissed it. Then on impulse one evening I commented on the Facebook post about the beginners course and to my horror/delight you still had places. From the offset I had the mindset that was setting me up to fail - it didn't matter if I couldn't make every evening, I might get injured, etc etc. I hadn't exercised regularly for a few years and was pretty unfit and out of shape.
What difference has joining RV made you to my running?
Firstly I've learn how to run - posture, technique, correct warm-up/cool down. This has ensured I've run correctly, which in turn has minimised the changes of injury. I can now comfortably run distances I never dreamed possible. For me, it's made a huge difference. Physically I'm feeling stronger and firmer and it's the first step to returning to fitness and shedding weight I've piled on.
Mentally is the biggie for me. Socially I have struggled, suffered anxiety and found it so hard to do things, I've developed crippling shyness (all down to the menopause). Anyway, I saw this happening and I decided that whilst it would be an uncomfortable step, it really was one I owed to my "old" self to take. Now I feel brilliant during and after a run and I feel alive again. I feel proud of my achievement and (this is the biggie for me) I walk differently - I hold my held up, shoulders back and I look forward (not down). I haven't changed overnight, but a great start since March.
Also the voice that used to come into my head encouraging me to walk during a run has disappeared - that happened about 3 weeks in.
How has a coached group improved your running?
Being part of the group helps because you realise that not everyone is an elite athlete, we're all different, have our own goals and abilities, but we're all in it together. We can encourage each other and the lopping ensures no-one ever feels embarrassed or left behind. It's also pushed me to improve, keep going when I would've walked and achieve goals (10k) without stopping once.
Mostly I think it's ensured that I've kept running since March, give or take a few blips! It would've been easy to slip through the net and stop.
What would you say to anyone who was thinking of joining RV?
Just do it!!! Take the plunge because you have nothing to lose. Get off the sofa, leave the house and do something for yourself. The benefits far outweigh the fear and you'll be so well supported you can't fail.