‘So are you a runner?’

I’m at a running workshop, you’d think that answer would be ‘Yes’. I used to run. I tried REALLY hard to be a runner. To LOVE running. But the bug just didn’t get me. Countless 10ks and three half marathons later, I’ve finally decided to hang up my running gear and pick up heavy weights instead. So why am I at a running workshop? Because fellow Forcer Kim wanted to go.

I don’t know if you are all aware, but our Kim is doing her first triathlon this year. Having been previously incapable of running for a bus, the This Mum Runs group she joined got her capable of running for 30 mins. But running 5k after first swimming and cycling, she felt she needed more help. So, when Amy from the Warrior Programme told us about the running workshop she was holding, Kim knew she wanted in. Why did I agree to it? Well, when Kim told us she’d secured a meeting and interview with Amy for this post, I was gutted that my actual-pays-the-bills-job meant I couldn’t tag along. I love meeting fellow women who are as passionate about exercise as I am and I’m always keen to learn as much as I can from them. This running workshop was a chance to see the gym, meet Amy and learn some new stuff. And I was reassured the day before that it’d be mainly strength-based and not so much running!

When the day rolled round it had been raining all day (you’d think you’d be guaranteed sun in August, right?) and Kim, unfortunately, was sick. So, I rocked up on my own and admitted that while I used to run, I’m not much of a runner these days. Thankfully, Amy didn’t seem to mind.

We kicked off with some warm-up stretches and exercises to ensure our glutes were firing. We used resistance bands, weights and steps. We took our class outside to do walking high-leg lunges, there was even some walking backwards on tiptoes (strategically placing our hands on our butts so we could feel the glutes in action).

The other members of the class were of varying levels of fitness and exercises were adapted to suit abilities. Of the group, two of whom were actual bona fide runners, meant there was plenty of questions. ‘Do I mid-foot strike on this or heal first?’, ‘What are the best warm-ups pre-race?’  Amy was only too happy to answer and demonstrate. Although I love exercising and gym frequently, there were exercises I hadn’t seen before, let alone done. Sometimes I don’t pick things up by just watching someone do it, and when I told Amy I was confused or didn’t understand what she wanted me to do, she smiled and patiently walked me through it. I’ve been in classes before where this aspect of my ability to learn (and surely I’m not the only one, right?!) seemed to frustrate the instructors. Some don’t seem to like having to stop mid-class to re-explain or demonstrate again.

So I’m not a runner. At least not one that enters races. Or runs miles and miles a week. Was this workshop useful for me? Well, my physio told me I had lazy glutes and that was probably contributing to my tendinitis so glute activation is probably a good thing. When I’m not suffering with a sore knee, running does tend to be on my cardio list. Sure, I only do cardio once a week most weeks (and sometimes that’s HIIT, sometimes it’s running, more recently it’s been swimming) and most likely I will complain about doing it. Yes, I learned a lot and really enjoyed it. I got a sweat on (granted I sweat walking up stairs), my heart rate was up, I was working on strength and aiding my rehabilitation. Turns out you don’t need to call yourself a runner to participate in a running workshop.

And Amy is a Rockstar.

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