I wanted to give something back to the club, because I have gained so much from Benson Striders in the last year or so.
I'm here to help members get the most from the running club, so for example it might be to finish the Couch to 5K course where just being accountable to someone can make all the difference, or helping members think about what sort of goals and aims they want to achieve in the short, mid and longer term, perhaps they feel they've reached a plateau and need some inspiration.
We find most of our members enjoy Benson Striders for the social aspect, which is what we are all about, so we want to make sure we continue to offer that whether it be more opportunities to meet for a coffee after running or a drink in the pub on a non-running night.
We want to offer something for everyone and our Head Coach Emma can write tailored training programmes for individuals or groups to follow.
So don't wait to be asked, just get in touch with me!
How long have you been running?
I started running in 2009 to train for a charity run at Blenheim Palace.
What got you into running?
I have never exercised consistently and I generally prefer exercising in a group for motivation, but when a friend wanted to raise money for the Children’s Hospital in Oxford, as her daughter was due to have a life changing operation, I was up for that! She said it was 5k which I thought sounded achievable even if I had to walk it. Myself and 2 others starting training together in the winter and a few weeks in I found out that the OX5 run was actually 5 miles, which was a more daunting prospect. I did manage to get round in 1 hour 15 and I have never stopped exercising since!
Why do you run?
I stopped running in 2011, as I found I preferred gym classes (I also had a really good gym deal), and I hated running on my own. In 2012 I moved away from the village for a couple of years and returned in 2014. I wanted to improve my fitness and Anna Keith told me about the Couch to 5k starting in September 2014. I like the motivation of running with other people and I also wanted to meet some new people, so the social aspect of joining with the Couch to 5k group appealed to me.
What's your favourite running route?
I’m not a great one for big challenging hills, but I do really enjoy the Chiltern chase route and my favourite in the summer is running along the river ….I like it flat!
Do you take part in races?
I have done a few, 5k and 10k races. It’s a great motivator and good for running different routes. This year I plan to do a few more 10k races with the aim of finishing below an hour, and I may possibly do some longer distances, but I don’t have a great urge to run a half marathon. I just enjoy the sense of achievement generally of being fit enough to run any distance!!
What's your greatest running achievement?
I ran the Chiltern Chase 5k a few years ago and I found it really tough, and before I joined Benson Striders I had never run more than a couple of miles without having to stop and walk. So when I completed the Chiltern Chase 10k in 1 hour 1minute last year I was pretty chuffed with that, and no stopping for a stroll to take in the view.
How long have you been at Benson Striders and how has it helped you and your running?
I joined Benson Striders in September 2014, and being part of the group has kept my motivation going. If I don’t turn up on a Saturday morning I feel really cross with myself and that I am letting others down. In terms of my running, I have never run regularly and for the distance that I now do consistently and as I said before running without stopping for a breather is my greatest achievement.
Do you use any apps to record your running and if so which ones?
My husband bought me a Garmin watch for Christmas in 2014, I am a bit of techy geek I like to see how far I’ve been and whether my speeds are improving. I also link this in to Strava so you can share routes and achievements with others. I have just treated myself to a Fitbit Charge as my job is quite sedentary and I like to be able to keep a check on what I’ve done during the day. I will no doubt wear both when I run now!
What advice would you give to someone new to running?
Find other people to run with as this really helps motivation, the most difficult part about any exercise regime at the start is getting yourself out of the front door. If you feel that your motivation is flagging or if you are struggling then talk to others, you’ll find that everyone has been through something similar at some point.
What's your favourite motivational motto?
I do often think to myself as I sometimes feel slower than a slow thing, that whatever I do it’s faster than if I was sitting on the sofa!! That and I can enjoy that glass of prosecco without worrying too much about the calorie content, because I have earnt it!!