Running group makes great strides

Colleagues put through their paces on a recent training programme are celebrating success after they all crossed the finish line in their first 5k run.

Colleagues who successfully completed the Couch to 5k training programme

University colleagues who took part in the Couch to 5k run. March 2019

In advance of the inaugural Brownlee Centre Festival of Running earlier this month, Suzzi Garnett, Sports Volunteering Officer from Sport and Physical Activity, set up an eight-week Couch to 5k (C25K) training programme.

Several colleagues signed up, walking, jogging, running and building up their stamina during their lunch breaks around Woodhouse Moor, situated right next to campus.

And the group was soon celebrating success after all the members completed the 5k run, with one of their number – Anna Thompson – winning the event in a time of 24 minutes and 54 seconds.

She said: “Crossing the finish line, the sense of achievement was incredible. 

“The C25K programme led by Suzzi has introduced me to a new hobby, amazing people and the feeling that I can achieve my goals and exceed my own expectations.

“Having a group to run with every week made getting into running so much easier. We got to know each other and supported each other during the eight-week programme, so even braving the freezing cold on a Wednesday lunchtime didn’t feel like a chore! The convenience of having access to changing facilities and a park on campus made it lots easier. Suzzi did an amazing job of encouraging us and gradually training us up to run 5K – something which, in the beginning, felt near impossible, but we did it!”

Anna Thompson, who crossed the line in first place. March 2019Anna Thompson, who crossed the line in first place

Colleague Victoria Hesketh said: “When I saw the course I literally filled in and exited the form about five times. I was really nervous. I felt I wouldn’t be able to do it. But then I just went for it and it was the best decision I made.

“I am starting to fall back in love with exercise and definitely am now more motivated to go out for a run or a swim.” 

Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport, is thrilled the programme has been such a success and is keen to encourage more colleagues to get active as part of their working day.

She said: “We are really keen to provide as many opportunities as we can, directly or indirectly, for staff to think about their wellbeing and if they can be active whilst on campus, so that they feel positive about their work, their colleagues and themselves.

“Getting a daily active break in the fresh air away from the office or lecture theatre we believe is good for your wellbeing and provides a boost to your productivity post-exercise.”

Email the Sport and Physical Activity team for further information about the C25K programme.

Alternatively, if you want to get into running or reignite your motivation to start again, why not get involved with our Get Out, Get Active Programme? We offer two wellbeing run sessions each week, on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes. All runs are in groups of similar ability.  

If running isn’t your thing, Sport and Physical Activity also offers an entire Social Sport Programme full of opportunities for staff and students alike.

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