MAY 2018: Although not a complete beginner, Sue Adair had been forced to take a long period out of running, owing to injury, and had to effectively start back from scratch.
Our Introduction to Running course was formed to accommodate not just beginners, but anyone doing minimal running and wanting to progress, as well as ‘ex runners’ returning after a long spell of illness or injury.
Perfect for Sue!
Sue, what was the extent of your running, prior to joining RunBrighton?
I used to be a sprinter in my school days and represented Brighton, Hove and Portslade in the Sussex Championships for the 100m and 200m sprints, and the 400m relay, but didn’t pursue it as a hobby after that. Into my 20s, I mainly concentrated on various exercise classes and didn’t get into longer distance running until several years later. Over the last 20 years or so, my running has been very sporadic and I have never maintained a regular running programme. This has meant that my fitness has been up and down.
I’ve managed to complete the London Vitality 10k, four times, as well as a few local 5ks in the last six or seven years, but the 10ks, in particular, were hard work, as my training was not great and always on my own.
Then, in 2014, I had a knee operation, which meant I was unable to run for about a year.
How did you hear about RunBrighton?
It was through my closest friend, one of your ambassadors, Ruth Maughan, who joined you in the summer of 2015.
So, what prompted you to sign up to our Spring Introduction to Running course and what did you hope to gain from it?
Ruth inspired me to get back to running, particularly as she has always professed to not be a runner, yet still each week she has come back from a run saying how much she loved it. I realised that I was missing it more than I thought.
I needed something more structured and organised to make me commit to go out for a run on a regular basis. Also, I didn’t want to go straight into RunBrighton’s summer training, as that would have meant having to start out doing too much walking! The Spring Introduction to Running course has met both those challenges and I’m loving the routines every week.
What would you say you were most anxious about before we started, and have those concerns been overcome?
I was concerned that I might not ‘get back into running’ enough to want to keep going and commit to a regular routine.
Yes, those concerns have definitely been overcome, and I have now signed up for RunBrighton’s summer training!
What aspect of the course would you say you’re enjoying the most?
I really enjoy the variation of the three days training each week, and especially the challenge of the extra five minutes that we extend each Sunday run by.
Also, it’s great meeting such lovely people in the group.
And how have you found running in a group, as opposed to running on your own?
It’s much more motivational and fun! I always used to prefer running on my own, so that I could listen to my music… that was my distraction from checking the time and struggling with breathing. However, running in a group has been great, and I don’t miss the music at all.
As regards the strength & conditioning classes every Monday at Riptide, do you feel this is a useful session for us to have included within the course?
Absolutely! Matt’s training has been so enjoyable – I feel I’m getting a little stronger, I remember to stretch more and it’s another opportunity to get together with the group of people I started the course with. In fact, I’m going to continue with Riptide after his sessions for this course have finished.
What has surprised you most, so far?
That I can run and talk! I used to tell my husband, Colin, not to ask me questions whenever we ran together, as I just couldn’t string a sentence together because of the panting! From day one, we have been told to make sure we can run at a pace that allows us to talk, and it has really worked. The first 10 minutes of each run are still the toughest for me, so I still grunt at the beginning of a run at the moment!
Do you have other goals, going forward?
I almost don’t want to say it out loud, let alone put it in writing… but maybe a half marathon next Spring? Only maybe! And possibly the Brighton 10k.
Sue, I’m delighted you’re enjoying the Intro course. And it’s great that you’ll also be sticking around with us over the summer. Keep building up sensibly, and not over-doing it, and there’s no reason why you can’t run a half marathon by next spring. Good luck! And enjoy the rest of the course!
By Mike Bannister