Little Runner Gal

Running, eating, sleeping and all the bits in between

A New RunningwithUs Coach

18 months ago, with only a handful of races under my belt (having taking up running only a year or so before) I turned up at a training day for charity runners to try and learn some more about how I was going to make it round the London Marathon a few months later (April 2014).

To cut a long story short, and jump straight to the cheesy bit, it changed my life.

The day was led by the amazing coaches from RunningwithUs, who were truly inspirational. So much so that the following week I picked up the phone to arrange some personal coaching with them.

A few weeks before the marathon I joined the coaches in Portugal for a warm weather training camp. As well as learning so much from the coaches and other athletes, I made a decision that coaching was what I wanted to do with my life.

I completed my England Athletics Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) course soon after and started leading running sessions at my club. Following that I was made Ladies’ Captain of the club, then started my Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) qualification, working with athletes on a one to one basis, as well as groups.

So, now comes the really exciting part for me…I’ve joined the RunningwithUs Coaching Team.

I’m so excited to be working with some of the best coaches and athletes in the country, and the people that have inspired, motivated and supported me to better my running and work in a field I am so passionate about.

I’m already getting stuck into writing bespoke running plans, delivering one to one and group coaching, and presenting to running groups (and loving it all) so if you’re after a structured training plan then please do get in touch.

And keep an eye out to see how it’s all progressing!

(Coach) LRG x

5 Comments »

Musings of the new cycle commuter

The various thoughts on my way to work, 4 weeks in to a twice weekly cycle commute.

Bike

  • I have never noticed how many drains there are along the side of the road. Or how much they dip in. That’s bad. I think I’ve done an extra mile already just avoiding drains.
  • This is much easier now I’ve pumped the tyres up again!
  • Weeeeeee!! Downhills are way much more fun on a bike. I’m never getting in my car again!
  • What’s that smell? Oh my God bin lorries on both sides of the road. On an incline. Holding breath, peddling faster, holding breath, peddling faster.
  • OK waving friendly cyclist. I like this. Waving back. WOAH, mind the drain. Less waving, more drain watching.
  • Why are you in such a hurry to get round me before the traffic island? The traffic island is like 5 foot long at most. If you miss your opportunity before the island I imagine we’ll both be passed it in milliseconds and then you can get round me with a lot less risk to me and your car….and the island!
  • It’s faster to run up this hill. Yep, I definitely run up here faster than this. I wonder if there’s any way of using my car solely for this hill. Where could I do a car/bike swap for this hill?
  • WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? DID SOMEONE GET SHOT? OK, just a car going over a drain. It’s fine. Heart rate will come down again soon.
  • Stay green, stay green, stay green. Damn. Red. At the front of the traffic light queue now and in the wrong gear.
  • Waving to cyclist. Oh, no waving back. Not even a cursory head nod. OK.
  • That’s at least 4 ‘S’s’ at the beginning of the word SLOW painted on the road that are upside down. Can it be that difficult to get the ‘S’ the right way round? It clearly looks wrong the other way up!
  • Legs have just stopped feeling the effects of negotiating those bin lorries.
  • Where are all the street sweepers at this time of year? How can this much crap accumulate at the side of the road?
  • What’s the etiquette when it comes to advising that cyclist coming in the opposite direction that he should be wearing a helmet?
  • I can’t believe how windy it is. Maybe I need to start listening to a shipping forecast. I wonder if there’s a cycling forecast. There must be a wind speed and direction app. Hmmmm.
  • I need a multi sport watch.

And that’s just on the way in!

LRG x

(or should that be LCG?!)

4 Comments »

Race Review: Yateley 10k – Race 2

OK so this was a couple of weeks ago now and I’ve been terrible at getting the write up down, sorry!

As with the first race, I arrived with my brother Jack. He was going for a PB, as was his friend. I’d decided I’d run a hard race but not aim for a PB as I was pacing the Women’s Running 10k that weekend and I didn’t want to turn up injured.


I’d seen a lot of club team mates collecting their numbers, and some twitter friends taking photos near the start. Everyone was in good spirits. The weather was quite ideal. It had been a nice day, with some rain the day before, and had cooled off for the Wednesday evening.

We set off for a short warm up then took our places in the 40-50 min finish area at the start.

And we were off! As I was planning on an easy one I wanted to focus on the effort and not the pace, so would only check my watch at the mile beeps. I thought I’d come in about 47 minutes.

It’s the same course every race so, as with last time, it’s up hill straight away. My pace was good though and felt good. It was cooler than last time and the first mile beeped at 7:09, quicker than I’d anticipated.

The second mile continued up hill, getting warmer. I closed in on some of the runners that had gone off a bit too fast. The watch beeped 7:06. It had felt harder than the first mile, so I was pleased with the time.

And finally the downhill came! A relaxing breather and a 6:57 for mile 3!

The next mile took us down to the straight and was pretty consistent at 7:08.

The straight mile should be easy. Everyone says tuck in behind someone and pick people off, but at 7:27 for that mile, I’m sure it was me being picked off! That and the number of people that passed me!

The final uphill mile was ok and I managed to get passed a few on the way. 7:33.

A nice coast downhill towards the end and I was surprised to see I came in at 44:48, 1 second slower than last time! It had felt a lot easier and more comfortable.

Jack and Adam got PBs, along with a lot of other friends.

Being the sad stats geek that I am, I’m really excited to compare the miles of the 2 races so far as I plan to smash out a good run in the final August race, so I want to see where I can make up the time!

The August race is a sell out. It’s such a popular event. Fingers crossed for good conditions and a PB!

LRG x

1 Comment »

Pacing at Women’s Running 10k Nottingham

Last weekend I had the immense pleasure of pacing one of the Women’s Running 10k events. A series of 10km races (also a 5km option) for women of all levels of running experience, sound the country.

As part of a fab race package, including technical t-shirt, medal, and packed goodie bag, the event offers 10k race pacers pacing 50, 55, 60 and 70 minute finishes.

I paced a 55 minute finish at the Nottingham event.

Despite a rainy start, the eager runners and families arrived in huge numbers with smiles and waterproofs! The race village was buzzing, and the warm up, led by 53 Marathons:53 Days legend Amy, had nearly everyone involved and the sun emerged to start the race. I was interviewed on stage to explain the role of the pacers, then we walked around the friendly crowd, displaying our huge time flags, so that people could come and ask us questions.

IMG_3799

The other pacers, Nicki, Annette, AJ, and I got positioned in the start area and the race got going. I saw Nicki’s flag disappear off into the distance and settled into a comfortable pace with my 55 minute group. We took a lovely route back and forth along the scenic Victoria Embankment, which made it not only a beautiful course, but a great atmosphere as we all kept passing each other so everyone could cheer each other on, and the pacers and groups around us got very vocal!

Some of the ladies around me wanted to talk more, others were happy just keeping up. I made it a point to cheer at every kilometre marker and let them know how well they were all doing.

As the race went on it became a bit quieter around us, but a core group of ladies stuck with me. Every time I congratulated them one lovely lady congratulated me back for the good pacing while being cheery and with a flag strapped to me!

As we came up to the final 200m I turned round and explained I was expecting sprint finishes from everyone. As we approach 50m I told them I’d be moving to the left and they were all to fly past me on the right, and sure enough they did!

I came in at 54:31, so a bit under 55 mins but pretty darn ideal.

Runners came to find me after to say thanks, which was lovely. To be part of so many people’s journey was amazing.

The event and the team behind it was fantastic. There were a lot of people running their first race and it was well organised to make it easy for them. The Women’s Running team and the volunteers made it a great day.

I continued to receive lovely feedback on social media afterwards.

IMG_3802

Loads of people have asked me since how you get in to pacing. These events, and the organisations that run them, are often looking for pacers. Just contact them and ask. settle on a pace that will be VERY comfortable for you (not too close to your PB or anything daft!) and make sure you get some practice runs in at that distance and pace. You’ll likely be carrying a flag. The ones I’ve used aren’t heavy but they can be a bit unwieldy, so take that in to account.

Well done to everyone involved in the event. Runners, organisers, volunteers, pacers and supporters.

And if you fancy it, HAPPY PACING!

LRG x

Leave a comment »