Here's Sam's story of how she started running

WHAT MADE YOU JOIN RUN VERITY?

I first fell in love with running about 10 years ago but stopped when I met my husband and we started a family. I’d tried several times to get back into it, tagging along with friends who ran regularly but I could never keep up so just gave up again each time. 

Early last year one of my closest friends signed up to RunVerity Beginners course and I saw my opportunity to tag along and get back into running again. We completed the beginners course together and graduated at the end of April 2017.

 April 2017 Graduation parkrun

April 2017 Graduation parkrun

WHAT DIFFERENCE HAS JOINING RV MADE TO YOUR RUNNING?

During the beginners course my confidence grew as we gradually increased our distance and length of time running each week. When I had tried previously to run with my friends, I would beat myself up for not being as quick or as fit as them and if I’m honest I was too embarrassed to go out again. During the course with Verity I never felt like that and if I did have a wobble or a doubt, Verity already had the answers and could assure me that all these feelings were normal and lots of the others in the group were probably feeling the same. Quite often Verity would answer my questions or squash by doubts before I had even started to voice them myself - she just seemed to know at what stage I was at and what I needed to know or hear.

We had homework each week to do outside of the beginners session and I was really motivated to complete these runs, even when it was cold and dark or wet. I could feel the difference each week in my fitness and my confidence so I just wanted to do more and more! When I signed up to beginners I thought I had a pretty good running style - surely you just put one foot in front of the other, right? How wrong I was! Verity has taught me the correct running techniques to run efficiently and safely, avoiding injury. I still use the same drills we learnt in beginners every week before my runs. They have become second nature now.

During beginners we ran every Tuesday evening regardless of weather and we really bonded as a group. I wasn’t looking to make friends when I signed up, I just wanted help with motivation and confidence. 1 year on and I’ve met so many amazing people through RV sessions who I can genuinely call friends. What a bonus that was!

HOW HAS A COACHED GROUP IMPROVED YOUR RUNNING?

Once I had finished my beginners course i knew I wanted to continue with RunVerity, so I started running with one of the evening groups. I was a little nervous on the first night but I needn't have been - everyone was so friendly and welcoming and with the looping system we had been introduced too, I wasn’t worried about being left behind or not being able to run at my pace. Its coming up to 1 year since my beginners graduations and I haven’t looked back. I love the community aspect of RunVerity, I feel running with others is so much more fun and its definitely good for your soul. I work hard in my career and bringing up two little ladies isn’t easy so I really value my running time to clear my head. Its my ‘Me’ time and I LOVE it.

Not long after completing beginners I saw other members from group taking part in local races and I was inspired by their stories (and medals!) to enter a race myself. I entered a local 10k in July and used Veritys knowledge and training plans to get myself ready. Lots of other members from RV were doing it too and were very supportive of my training leading up to the big day. The support on race day was exceptional - We made sure that every member of RV were supported over the line and even looped back to run other member of our group over the finish line in the summer heat. I enjoyed the event so much with RV that I started asking everyone what else they had entered so I could enter too! Before I knew it I was building up to the Great South Run and my first half marathon in November. My dream of completing a marathon one day was starting to feel achievable...

 Finish of GSR 2017

Finish of GSR 2017

I achieved that Marathon dream on Sunday - I ran an actual Marathon! in Paris! With 4 other members of RV. I have no doubt that I’ve achieved that because of Verity and the fantastic supportive community that she has created and continues to nurture. Marathon training was the toughest thing I have ever attempted but I was supported throughout by Verity and the group. I didn’t run a single training mile on my own and thats saying something out of 341 miles! I literally had someone from group with me every step of the way. During the Marathon on Sunday when I was finding it tough I used my phone to Facebook Live back to our RV group as I knew they would be supporting us and would help me find strength for those last few miles in the heat. I can’t thank Verity and everyone in RV enough for helping me achieve my Marathon dream. Hopefully in return I've inspired a few others to think about their next running challenge, no matter what the distance or the pace. I can’t wait for my next run with RunVerity.

 Finish Paris 2018

Finish Paris 2018

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO ANYONE WHO WAS THINKING OF JOINING THE RV BEGINNER'S RUNNING COURSE

DO IT!!! I'm so pleased with what I’ve achieved personally since joining RunVerity and can’t recommend RV enough. You will be made to feel welcome, you’ll be supported, you’ll really learn how to run and you’ll meet lots of lovely people along the way. You don’t have to aim for a marathon or a half marathon or a 10k - you just have to lace up your trainers and turn up. I guarantee you won’t regret it.