Why did you choose to do the RunVerity Beginner's Running course?

Franks’ Story

What prompted you to join the RunVerity beginner's course?

I really wanted to start running again, I Knew that I would not self-start, especially in a cold Jan 18,  and that I needed a structured approach if I was to really commit to running. Through a friend I leant about RV. I was told its not competitive, but fun and supportive and having seen how well my friend was doing I could see it produced real results. So I put any embarrassment and trepidation behind me, bit the bullet and joined the beginners class. I am very glad I did!

What difference has joining this course made to you and your running?

The difference is that I can say ‘I am a runner’! it was about two thirds of the way through the beginners class when Verity stopped everybody and asked us all “what did we see”. We sort of looked at each other until somebody said “runners, I see runners” and that was true. In a matter of weeks we had gone from being able to run very little to confidently running around Whiteley. It was a small step but it was a transformational moment that I will not forget.

Since that time I have run a minimum of 2-3 times a week. I have improved upon Personal Best (PB) times, which incidentally, and importantly are secondary to enjoying the running experience! I can now run 9-10 miles and am on target to run the Great South Run and Gosport Half Marathon before Christmas 18. Both of which I will enter with confidence. In between these two events I am also going over to Palma Majorca with the RV Team to run the Palma 10k event, I cant wait.

 So the difference to me is I am fitter, weigh less and really look forward to running with my many new friends in the RV team. I want to say something about being proud as well. It’s a fantastic feeling joining the team at an organised event, be it a Park Run or 10k event such as Southampton, Eastleigh or Lymington. The enormous confidence and joy I get when I turn the corner onto the last couple of hundred metres in an event and hear the noisy roar of the RV team members and support crew cheering me home over the line. Its unforgettable, genuine and what this club and its members are all about!

How has being coached improved your running?

I must admit I thought I knew how to run being an ex-footballer. I could not have been more wrong! I have since leant to run properly, efficiently and strongly. The coaching I have had from Verity and her team has been excellent, be it part of the group class or when out on a run having a few quiet encouraging words in my ear “pockets to sockets”. As I run today I don’t worry about capability anymore, I know I can do it. That means I can take in the atmosphere of a race or my surrounding, Lymington 10k along the sea wall was amazing.


What would you say to anyone who was thinking of joining the RunVerity Beginner's running course?

If you are thinking about joining I would say do it! It will be one of the best investments in your health and well bearing that you will ever make. You will also find new friends with a common interest and they will support you. In time you will look back on the decision and smile 

 Frank on a Saturday morning RunVerity run

Frank on a Saturday morning RunVerity run

Liz’s Story

What prompted you to join the RunVerity beginner's course?

Like many people I’d run a couple of Race for Life 5k’s as a complete beginner but didn’t have the confidence to go out on my own. I’d reached my mid-fifties and knew that I needed to take some action to slow down the weight gain and get fitter – definitely time to use it or lose it. And I liked the idea of learning how to do it properly, learning the techniques to run safely and become stronger so I consulted Google and RunVerity sounded as though it would be the key to get started.

What difference has joining this course made to you and your running?

Just a few weeks at the beginners course was enough to get me hooked – the change from being a non-runner to running three times a week regularly, in all weathers and covering many miles, has been incredible. I love my running and the RV family, have met some wonderful people to train with and have become fitter and stronger than I have ever felt. The motivation and camaraderie in the group is very special and I would never have become a runner without it.

How has being coached improved your running?

Running sounds simple – you can just put on your trainers and head off. But learning the techniques to run safely, build up slowly and avoid injury takes expertise and coaching provides invaluable guidance and reassurance. We have access to a range of training plans and information to support our training, and individual guidance whenever needed. Coaching has got me from a struggling beginner, walk/running a slow 5k, to someone looking forward to the next half-marathons to come.


What would you say to anyone who was thinking of joining the RunVerity Beginner's running course?

Don’t hesitate any longer – you will not be surrounded by super-fit athletes. Everyone is starting out feeling apprehensive but you will surprise yourself with what you can achieve and will have a fantastic time doing it!

 Liz completing the Great South run in October 2017

Liz completing the Great South run in October 2017

Anne’s Story

What prompted me to join the RV beginners course

Two things. I was working with someone who having recently split from her partner was exercising madly. She kept encouraging me to exercise with her and at first I tried aqua aerobics. My enthusiasm however soon waned but I knew that it was doing me good and I should continue some form of exercise.  Next up she asked me to do a park run to which I replied that I couldn't run down the road let alone a park run. Something must have struck a achord though and I decided to register. That same week at a family gathering following a recent bereavement , I mentioned to a couple of family members that I had indeed registered for Park run. I was encouraged by my brother-in-law, a keen athlete who has New York and London marathons under his belt, to complete the park run with him in Southampton. I was quick to decline knowing that I couldn't run and not wanting to affect his performance. As coincidence would have it that same weekend at the end of April 2018 I saw an advert for Run Verity. Feeling it was meant to be , I contacted Verity who answered all my concerns and worries and the rest as they say is history.

What difference has this course made to you and your running?

Before joining the course I couldn't run to the proverbial bus stop. For the first couple of weeks I thought I was going to die but Verity assured me that I wouldn't. Every Tuesday I turned up for beginners and I can honestly say that not once did I think 'I don't want to go tonight' or come up with some excuse as I have done with every other exercise I've tried. Why? I felt great afterwards. It wasn't easy, but we were all in the same boat, all with our doubts and insecurities thinking we weren't cut out for running. Little by little it became easier, the time spent walking between bursts of running became shorter and I even began to enjoy it. Soon all I talked about was running and "Verity said..." . I was thrilled at the end of 8 weeks to complete 5k and both emotional and overwhelmed at the RV Graduation Park Run when so many members turned out to cheer and encourage us to the finish line. I wanted to be part of this amazing running club.I am now looking forward to my first 10k at The Ageas Bowl in September just 5 months after joining RV..who would have thought it?

I feel fitter than I've felt in years, I have lost weight, gained confidence and running helps me de-stress at the end of a busy day.

How has coaching improved my running?

Without coaching,  running would be just another thing added to a long list of exercise that I have tried but given up on. Someone said to me 'why do you need to go to a running club, you just run'. How wrong  is that. Verity slows everything right down, teaching you to breathe properly and build up aerobic capacity, then letting the legs catch up. I find it difficult to run on my own but with coaching I have learned the importance of pacing and that it is ok to walk. 

What would I say to anyone thinking about joining the Run Verity beginners course?

What is stopping you? There is a runner inside everyone.

 Anne in her colourful RunVerity top

Anne in her colourful RunVerity top