I never liked running, in fact I used to hate it. Then the first Coronavirus lockdown happened and as many of us, I put on quite a bit of weight and by early summer, I felt like I really needed to do something to lose the extra pounds and get fitter. When a friend told me about Justin’s Couch to 5km coaching group in Woodford Park, I decided to give it a go and just turned up one evening. Justin was very welcoming and the other ladies in the group were also all very friendly and supportive. I realised quickly that training in a group was fun – even if it involved running.
A few weeks later, I ran my first 5km without stopping and graduated from the Couch to 5k program. At this point, the running bug had truly gotten hold of me and I continued my running journey with Justin. Justin organised some group training sessions where we did some hill and interval training and some out runs. Those were great fun, but then unfortunately, lockdown hit again in autumn. I kept running, thanks to Justin keeping me motivated. Eventually I decided that my next goal would be to run 10 miles. Justin wrote a training plan for me and at the beginning of March after a few months of training, I completed that distance.
For me, having the support of a group in the early days and then the continuous support of Justin as running coach has been invaluable. If you are wondering whether having a running coach or training in a group is worth it, I can only recommend you give it a go.