Thank you to every member of RV for creating an amazing, supportive running team☺️ This is a very special running group and I feel so proud to be a part of it 😍 xxxx
— Kelly after completing Brighton Marathon 2018

Kerry’s Story

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

After years of trying to find an exercise I could fit in with two small boys and a demanding job I started ‘jogging’ with a friend after work.  We had no idea what pace to run at or even knew there was a technique.  There was no warm up or cool down going on, we just went slow so that we could chat the whole way round and be back in time for kids bath time.  In fact it wasn’t even jogging, it was an up tempo walk! 

A few months later (after I’d given up the ‘jogging’ as it wasn’t really doing anything - no surprise there then!), I saw a friend running through the park near me and she said she’d just signed up for a beginners running course at Whiteley and suggested I give it a go. 

It was November, I had 10 months of ineffective exercise and poor eating habits behind me and Christmas was looming, something had to change there and then.  I came straight home and googled Run Verity, the website sounded too good to be true - these were normal people doing fantastic things and reaping the benefits of doing it together.  I signed my twin Brother up at the same time, so that he had a reason to leave work on time and to get to know new people.  We started in January 2017 and cannot believe the improvement we’ve made, but better still we’ve made some fab friends who genuinely support each other every step of the way.  

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

My Tuesday evenings are now sacrosanct, no matter how tired I am after work I make sure I’m there because I know how great (and even a little bit smug in the office the next day!)  I feel afterwards.  The group sessions accommodate everyone’s stage in their running journey, there are nights when I’m happy to go faster and do more miles and other nights when I’m happy running along chatting to all the new people, encouraging them as others did with me in those early days.  Since I joined RV I’ve regularly run at the Fareham Park Run - my Husband and oldest Son have got the bug too and come along, a number of 10k runs, the Great South Run and in October my Brother and I will be doing our first half marathon in Cardiff.  I used to look at the more experienced runners in the group and think a half marathon was just what ‘real runners’ could do, but now I’m about to.  Its daunting but the training runs and fantastic advice and encouragement from Verity has helped us to work towards this bucket list goal.  I am amazed by how much you can retrain your body to really push yourself, to have the stamina to do speed and hill training (its a work in progress for me) and see yourself getting stronger and faster, its a real feel good factor that is an added bonus of this running lark.

In addition to all of this I’ve lost some weight, toned up and have more energy which is always a bonus.  I constantly tell people at work that its the running that’s done it and I hope I can inspire some of them to just get out there, fight the fear and do it anyway.  What is there to lose, apart from a couple of quid on some decent trainers?

How has being coached improved your running?


None of us are born knowing how to run, well not how to run properly anyway.  Like many things in life we need a guide, someone who knows what they’re talking about, someone who has been there and done it, failed sometimes and got back up again.  Verity is someone who clearly takes their role as Coach seriously, she talks as though she’s privileged to have all of us but really its the other way round.   A good coach genuinely wants to see others achieve things even if that means stepping out of a comfort zone and doing things they never thought possible. They get to know how far you’re prepared to go in your journey, what obstacles you might be challenged by and work with you to find a way through.

Luckily I’ve not had any injuries so far, that might be sheer luck but I honestly believe its because I’ve been trained effectively to avoid it.  To this very day I always remember Verity’s words for an effective running technique - use your arms, breath and don't go out too fast, and above all have fun with it.   It’s certainly that! 

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

Get on and sign up! Don’t take our word for it come and give it a go!  You only have to see the ever increasing numbers of slightly apprehensive people arriving for their first beginner’s session to realise there’s a real buzz about RV.  Look at them again at the end of their 8wk course and they are estatic about what they’ve achieved.  There’s a session to suit even the busiest of people, with classes during the day and evening, so if even if you’re just a little bit intrigued come along and see what an hour can do for you.  You’ll be very welcome.

 Kerry at Fareham parkrun 2018

Kerry at Fareham parkrun 2018


Claire’s Story

I joined the beginners course as I have always wanted to run . I tried many times - completing the race for life 4 times. I couldn't get my breathing right and struggled with motivation.  Joining the club was a last attempt to get it right . 

Since joining the club I have fallen in love with running and the way it makes me feel. Running with the group is great - I dont realise how far we have run and I recover a lot quicker compared to when we started. 

Being coached has helped so much .  The support and motivation from Verity and the group is fantastic. There is always someone to advise and help with any questions . Learning the correct posture  and running technique has helped prevent injury and helped me feel stronger , and able to run further. 

I would certainly recommend the running course to anyone.  The course is great , social and informative. If you have ever wanted to run but feel you can't do it this is the course for you.  I'm so pleased I did it ! 

Being part of Run Verity has been an amazing experience. When I was younger I loved sports but as I got older I felt self conscious and gave up sport completely. I tried going to gym and fitness classes but people didn't talk very much and I never felt like I fitted in.  I never feel like that at RV. Everyone is so chatty and make you feel included - not matter how long you have been going.  I have finally found a sport I love - and I look forward to meeting up with everyone at the sessions . I never thought I would be able to say this but - I'm a runner 

 Claire running the RunVerity 5k

Claire running the RunVerity 5k


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.


Frank’s 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, pictured at the back, after a weekend long run

Frank, pictured at the back, after a weekend long 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 running the GSR 2017

Liz running the GSR 2017

Verity has become one of my inspirations, because she’s the person who taught me the importance of warming up properly.
— Alan Bullock - Fareham parkrun 2018

Jenni’s Story

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

I wanted a new challenge and thought running was something Id never be able to do. I saw the advert for RunVerity so thought I would give it a go. I kept it a secret from my 'running' friends and then surprised them when I graduated.

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

I am now more active, lost a little weight and can say I can run. This has motivated me into training for the Great South Run.

How has being coached improved your running?

  • Starting the pre-beginners with Emily was great - she made us laugh and we all found it enjoyable. Being able to run for just 1 minute felt like such an achievement. The encouragement meant the group all moved into the beginners course.

  • Coaching in the beginners was really informative. Not only did I learn about my running style, using my arms etc. but the articles were also really helpful.

  • Since graduating the beginners, the coaching has helped me to run faster, further and about looping. Its a fantastic support.


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

Join! I never thought I could achieve what I have done and also enjoy it at the same time! I've even made some friends along the way.

Verity, Emily, Dee, Helen & Charlie - are great. Very supportive, answer any questions and always there to motivate and encourage.


Never underestimate what you and a good coach can achieve, oh, and the support of the best running group!
— Graham Hoskins 2018

Jaime’s Story

I joined Run Verity in January 2018, I decided that I need to get out of the house more and meet new people! The first night I turned up I remember being very unsure about being taught how to run but I stuck with it and listened to all the tips that were shared. I started to enjoy running with the group, and I kept going even in the rain!!
The atmosphere at Run Verity is amazing, everyone is friendly and welcoming - I really feel like part of a family.
I always thought running was running until I met Verity - with coaching and practise runs I have learned that there is so much more to it. Its a stress release, its time to catch up with people you have seen for a week or so, it's time to perfect your technique and ask the experts questions to help you continue to grow.
With the support of Run Verity I have so far managed to complete a 10k and a half marathon this year and am currently training for the Great South in October - this is something that never would have happened with the support of my new family and he incredible coaches.
If you have been thinking about running or want to start running again the beginners group is fantastic, the amount of time and effort that Run Verity provides is outstanding - if you have a goal that you are working towards let the team help you to achieve it and be proud of what you can accomplish 

 Jaime after Eastleigh 10k 2018

Jaime after Eastleigh 10k 2018


Sam's Journey with RunVerity

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.

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...

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.

 Sam at the finish of Paris Marathon 2018

Sam at the finish of Paris Marathon 2018

 

Evie's Journery 

Thank you so much Verity for all your help and virtual training, I could not of done it without you! When I spoke to you last year I was aiming for a sub 2 hour half marathon and 16 weeks later I’ve managed 1.46 at Brighton Half marathon!!!! Sooo chuffed...there is no limits! 

 Evie at the finish of Brighton Half Marathon 2018

Evie at the finish of Brighton Half Marathon 2018

 

What I love about our RV is that we run at our own personal, individual capability. We celebrate that! No one is left behind. Verity's coaching means we all get individual workouts to suit our stage of running. We don't feel dejected because we're trying to keep up with the fast ones but can't. One year ago, coming back from having a baby, I joined the Monday evening session. I was terrified that I would be last again. That those bullying, talented, faster runners that still haunt me from my school days would be trying to get me out of the way. It obviously wasn't like that at all! I felt so comfortable and supported by everyone and that hasn't changed. Because I enjoyed coming I came to a second group and gradually my speed, strength and confidence improved. I'm running my second half marathon next month and in October I ran my first marathon, I loved it so much I'm running my second marathon next May.

My 10 year old self would be amazed!

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EMILY


 

 

I started running 5 months ago. My first Park run, pre RV, I ran/walked in 36 minutes and felt like I was going to be sick when I crossed the finish line! 3 months since graduating from RV beginners and I have now run (all the way) a 10K and 8 mile race and knocked 7 minutes off my Park run time and now when I cross the finish line I feel Ok! If you would have told me 5 months ago that I would have achieved all of that in that amount of time, I wouldn't have believed you! It isn't ever easy but with the help from RV I now feel I can do it. Since joining I feel fitter, more confident and happier and have also met some lovely people.

RACHEAL


I have always envied people who can run, never understanding why my attempts ended either in injury or motivation failure! So when I read about Verity's approach to teaching I was intrigued. Joining this group has become one of the best things I have ever done. In the beginning I could only manage to run a few paces and minutes but with Verity's instruction and the groups encouragement I slowly got stronger and fitter. Five months ago I couldn't run for a bus, now I just run - who needs a bus!

Fiona

Fiona 2015-2017.jpg

Before joining RunVerity, I always thought I knew how to run, well its just natural isn't it? But with Verity's expert advice and support, my running has improved more in a few weeks than in the previous 30 years! The format is relaxed and friendly, and we can run at our own improving pace, whilst still running together. I completed London marathon in 3 hours 27 minutes, something that I am very proud of.

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GRAHAM


I joined RunVerity as I had suffered a recent bereavement and was suffering with anxiety. I had always wanted to run and knew I needed a focus to help with my loss and anxiety. I chose to run through RunVerity rather then do it on my own as I know I needed an organised plan to start me running so I would keep running and I decided on RunVerity as it felt safe and supportive. The difference it has made is the motivation to run twice a week is there as I want to go with the group. It has helped build my confidence with running but also to encourage me to put myself in situations such as going to parkrun on my own which I know does bring on my anxiety, once I have run parkrun on my own I feel amazing. Having the sessions coached makes a difference as Verity supports all the runners but also helps people improve as runners. I have been attending the speed sessions and I can feel and see the improvement going to these sessions have made. I would recommend anyone to go to RunVerity as it is a friendly, supportive group that encourages people to want to be part of a team, in the different races I have taken part since joking RunVerity it is the only running group where everyone waits and cheers the last RunVerity runner over the finish line, also physically help you over the line if you have hurt yourself. I couldn't recommend it more.

Angela


If anyone had told me in January that I would be running the GSR and raising over £3000 I wouldn’t have believed them !!! I couldn’t run for a minute let alone a mile on the first night of my RV beginners course on that dark cold January evening.

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LIZ


Last year I plucked up the courage to join Run Verity with the hope of being able to just complete a Park Run. I laughed when people started saying "you'll be signing up for 5k & 10k runs soon". Well, I was well and truly bitten by the running bug & I did start signing up for the bigger runs just to see if I could do it. It has been hard work increasing the distance, but achievable with the support of my running buddy & our running group. We have now signed up for a half marathon & the training is going well. For us, long training runs are best done early morning & as the distance has increased we have introduced sweets for energy & are learning to carry a drink. My friend is great at planning lots of different routes to make it interesting.
I've never felt proud of myself, until I started crossing finish lines. It's hard work, but the sense of achievement, happiness & more importantly the great friends that I've made has been worth every footstep"

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PETRA

I was unhealthy well over weight and not interested in running but still to support my wife in her endeavor to get fit I went to my first run. I remember asking on the way to the session how far the run was. When Nicola replied 3 miles I started to panic looking for excuses to return home. 

I made it round but something else happened on the route of that first session. For the first time since mum’s passing my brain paused. It paused because I was concentrating on breathing. The stillness which the run brought me inspired me to come back again. I trained not just to exercise my body but to relax my mind. I pushed myself and began to enjoy the sessions. Thinking I was a runner at this early stage I suffered the “terrible toos” (too much, too soon, too quickly) and I remember the frustration of not being able to run, as much because of the mental relief it gave me. 

Running became meditation, a change to stop all the noise which life was throwing at me. 5k became 10k at my first race in Eastleigh in March 2017. Something I know my mum would have chuckled at me doing. One 10k turned into two, then three and suddenly The Great South Run!! Training got more serious but still proved the mental pause from life. 

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GLEN


In March 2017 I ran my first Parkrun after finishing the RV Beginners course, and I experienced my first taste of the magic of running in a club. Since joining RV Beginners I had started running Parkruns whenever I could, and I had been gradually pushing out the distance I could run without dropping back to a walk. On the “graduation” Parkrun I was determined to use the extra boost of the sense of occasion and run the whole 5k, and I did. It took me about 40 minutes to do the run, but it was an awesome feeling.

It’s now the 2nd September 2017; roughly nine months since I pitched up at RV Beginners unable to run more than 2 minutes reliably without getting sore legs and feeling out of breath.  I have disscovered that, actually, the reason that I go running is because I enjoy it, and I enjoy the company of my fellow runners – particularly my fellow Run Verity pals. Only occasionally do I think about the health benefits, and when this comes to mind it hits me in the stomach like a swarm of supercharged butterflies; I’m doing something that I enjoy, and its bloody good for me! Almost without exception, all of my previous hobbies, the things I’ve done to treat myself, have been harmful in one way or another. Running is now primarily for fun, the health benefits both incredible and incidental, and that’s beyond awesome for someone who was taught as a youngster that running was simply pain in the rain.

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ALAN