So I am VERY excited to announce I was chosen to become an ambassador for the Kilomathon 2019 event. The Kilomathon was one of my very first races 5 years ago and it has stuck with me as a favourite ever since. The route is different from the other races around Edinburgh, starting at Ocean Terminal, following the cycle path all the way to Murrayfield and finishing inside the Murrayfield Stadium, such an iconic finish line! Also with two distances to choose from, 13.1k and 6.5k, it’s the perfect race for anyone and even a mini kilomathon for the kiddies.
Fast forward to 2018 and here I am training for the full 13.1km again, however this time its different. So much has changed since the last time I ran it in 2015. (Check it out on Garmin). I am currently in my fourth year of BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science at Edinburgh Napier University a full time degree course, plus a mother of two, a wife and working part time running my own fitness business. I take fitness classes most nights and twice a week I have my very own run club Edinburgh All Runners.
Photo: Wednesday night improvers after a hill rep session.
I just don’t have as much free time as I used to for running. Now I have to fit in a run at any spare minute, which is usually when I take my daughter to one of her many activities. I can drop her off, go for a run and pick up again, sometimes I have an hour or more to kill so its great, however sometimes I just can’t be bothered running, sometimes I just don’t want to run at 8.30am on a Saturday or I have to use that free time to do the food shopping instead (exciting stuff!)
I lost my “mojo” for running for a while, it became a chore rather than for enjoyment, when running becomes like that it’s no longer fun. I needed to do something to bring the excitement back. I got fed up of running races and putting pressure on myself to do well, always chasing that PB, so I took a step back from them for a while, running only 1 race in the past year. It has done me the world of good and now I’m ready to get back in the game again! However I have a new drive behind me for attending races, its not so much about me, but my running club, Edinburgh All Runners. I started this in August 2017, it took of really quickly with so many people interested in running, I had around 15-20 people turning up weekly, then the winter months drew in and people started to lose motivation, it was cold and dark, most of the time raining. I understood why, but I was determined to keep it going, I turned up every week in the fond hope even 1 person would show, and they always did!!!
Photo: Edinburgh All Runners in the beginning.
Now I have a good core group who attend regularly, most people on a weekly basis. The group started to develop and improve at a fair pace, by doing weekly speed or endurance sessions it helped everyones running improve quickly, so much so that when new people wanted to join they felt intimidated as they felt the others were too fast, so in September I ran an 8 week beginners course. These runners had either never ran before at all or not run for a fair amount of time, some progressed quicker than others (naturally), but they all got there in the end, every one of them stuck to it and are now running in excess of 5K and attending either the beginners or improvers group, I couldn’t be more proud. My next group of beginners starts in January, I can’t wait to see the results.
So now it’s me, my improvers group on a Wednesday and beginners (ish) on a Friday, the mojo is back, the enthusiasm for running is back and I am on a mission to get more and more people running in 2019. Running through winter can be hard, especially when you leave for work and its dark, then you come home and its dark, the last thing most people want to do is go back out again for a run, however that’s where having a group of friends who meet can help, when you know that they will all be meeting and if you don’t go then you miss out on all the fun! I try to make our sessions fun as well as beneficial, we have strava segments we try to beat and we dress up at any excuse (halloween, xmas, easter, just about anything).
Photo: Our halloween themed run club.
Running in the dark can be dangerous if you’re not sensible but wearing bright colours and even a head torch can solve that, plus running with someone or a group gives you a sense of security that can help you training all through winter. The xmas period makes it harder, so many things to and attend, xmas party nights and lunches, kids choirs and concerts! Like I said before, making the most of any time I have is the answer for me, even if I only have 20 – 30 mins, squeeze in a short run, don’t be hard on yourself, any run is better than no run.
I’m looking forward to what the next few months bring, I’ve had a few good runs in the past few weeks, I would love to beat my time from my 2015 Kilomathon, but I was running well back then and doing lots of miles so it will be a challenge, however with my group to keep me going and helping them train for the Kilomathon 2019 we can get through the festive period with at least some running! 4 months to go and counting!
Check Edinburgh All Runners out on social media – Facebook: Search Edinburgh All Runners – Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/edinburghallrunners
Check out my blog too Audrey Duff Fitness.