Run In Wirral
Get active across wirral
Run Together – Wirral Beginners running group – All ages and abilities welcome. No challenge too big or too small!
Run Together is a project run by England Athletics. The project was set up to get beginners to come along to groups regardless of shape, size, age and ability and get running with like minded people. We also cater for intermediates and advanced runners in a number of our groups.
Each session cost £4 for adults and £2.00 for ages 12-17yrs. If you have a current Wirral Invigor8 gym pass – Plus, Corporate or Inclusive then your sessions are free. If you have an Invigor8 Standard and are running on a Tuesday or Thursday morning, then your sessions are FREE to. Just bring along your membership card so we can take your number.
Session Times and Venues
|Monday||Run in Wirral||West Kirby Concourse||6.30pm - 7.30pm||Fiona H/Jen J/Jay/Mike|
|Tuesday||Run in Wirral||West Kirby Concourse||9.30am - 10.30am||Lynne C/Pat W, Gaynor/Jan|
|Wednesday||Run in Wirral||Oval Leisure Centre|
West Kirby Concourse
|6.15pm - 7.15pm|
6.30pm - 7.30pm
|Fiona H/Zoe C/Anna/Sara/Rich
|Thursday||Run in Wirral||West Kirby Concourse|
|9.30am - 10.30am|
5.30pm - 6.30pm
|Lynne C/Ann C/Gaynor/Jan
Fiona H/Jane C/Kim G
|Saturday||Run in Wirral||Birkenhead Park||9.45am - 10.45am||Fiona H/Jane C/Trish R/Debbie/Kim|
|Sunday||Run in Wirral||West Kirby Concourse||8.30am - 10.30am||Pat W|
If you would like any more information or would like a chat about any of the sessions, please ring Fiona on 0776 967 4718 or 0151 929 7823
*Absolute Beginners. Please ring 07769674718 where you will be given the exact location.
Years Running: Fiona set the Run in Wirral groups up 10 years ago
I was 53; a smoker with asthma and type 2 diabetes and my blood pressure was too high. My diabetic medication had been increased recently and I was being told I needed medication to control my blood pressure. I was sluggish and unfit and although I had always been a party animal I was finding myself avoiding going out. I had recently been in hospital because of asthma attacks and could not even climb stairs without huffing and puffing. I had two teenage children and knew that if I wanted to see any Grandchildren I needed a drastic life change. I wanted to give up smoking but knew I would use food to replace it so I looked around for something else to do to help me become the healthy person I needed to be.
A woman at work had recently begun to run with a group on the Wirral. Okay, she was 20 years younger than me but she was not your usual runner type and she began to talk about the people she ran with who also did not seem the usual types to be runners. I had always dreamt of running and tried it unsuccessfully when I was younger so now thought I had missed the boat. I questioned this woman about how I would be received at this group and whether or not they would welcome or indeed cope with such a physical wreck. Eventually I decided to give it a go and although very, very nervous, I turned up for a Monday night session at West Kirby. I was surprised to find people there of all shapes, sizes and ages and was introduced to Fiona, one of the leaders. She assured me that I would be ok and chatted for a few minutes to put me at my ease. I told her that I had given up smoking the day before and that I had not done any exercise for a long time. She said we would take it easy and I could intersperse small runs with walking.
I felt like a fish out of water when I began to run and was glad it was dark so nobody could see me. I was asking myself what on earth I was thinking of to even attempt this. I managed to run only for 30 seconds at a time with 3 minutes walks in between. At one point we went up a steep hill, which I walked up. I had to stop a few times and I felt faint when I reached the top. Fiona kept saying how well I was doing and by the end of it I almost believed her. I did it though and felt a real sense of achievement. I had not felt the humiliation I had expected and just felt a great sense of acceptance and empathy from everyone there.
It was really difficult but I knew that I could only improve; I certainly couldn’t get much worse. To Fiona’s surprise (and mine) I turned up again for the Wednesday session and had another go when I managed to run for a minute and walk for 2 minutes. This is how it went on for week after week with small improvements and I eventually replaced my addiction to cigarettes with a real desire to get fit. I remember the first time I ran around the Marine Lake without stopping when I almost cried with happiness. I began to remember what it felt like to feel well and healthy. I stopped relying upon my inhaler and people commented on how well I looked. I added a Saturday morning session to my itinerary and a few lunchtime swimming sessions. My Doctor began to notice the difference and no longer felt that I needed medication for high blood pressure and my diabetic medication was halved as my blood sugar became much more stable.
I have been running for 8 years now and to say my life has changed would be an understatement. As an added bonus, I have also met some wonderful people from all walks of life and, I believe, some will be lifelong friends. We all have a story to tell and some of our runners have and do overcome immense obstacles to run. This alone is enough to keep you motivated and we all help each other, never judging. Now two years later I am still not Paula Radcliffe and never will be. I do the occasional 10k and still need to stop a few times during it but that is fine. I have recently had a problem with my heart which will need further treatment as I get older, and all I could think about during recovery was how frustrated it was not to be able to do my running. I have now been a Run in Wirral run leader for 6 years plus and I get so much satisfaction seeing people who think they can’t run starting their journeys. I used bore the pants off all of my friends and work colleagues about how wonderful running is and when someone says, “ I can’t run”. I reply – “ I am a 55 year old, overweight, asthmatic, diabetic with a heart condition, if I can run, so can you”.
Kim’s sayings that anyone who has run with her knows are:-
“Never waste a downhill”
“Just bob along”
Andrea’s Story – From Absolute Beginner to Runner
I started running In June 2014, I had been thinking about it for a while but always been put off as I thought it would put too much strain on my Joints before that, however I had upped my level of walking and thought I would give the running a go. I had never run before apart from the odd attempt on a treadmill but my friend was training for the marathon and had suggested a few times I take it up as it might help with weight loss. I had lost 3 stone previously but was slowly putting it back on and having suffered with anxiety and a lot going on personally I decided I needed to do something.
I went along to some of the health walks run by the rangers in Birkenhead park during the walking festival in May and got to going walking round Birkenhead park and saw people running. I also saw the group advertised and noticed that it appealed to beginners of all sizes and abilities and thought that might be me!. I decided to try out doing the couch to 5k app on my phone and gave it a go for a few weeks but just found it tough on my own and gave in too easily and couldn’t motivate myself enough and was doing more walking than running. I invested in a pair of decent trainers and knew I was serious about it as and wanted to commit to my own health and losing weight as it was my 40th in the February.
I went to my first ‘Run in Wirral’ absolute beginners group at the end of June and really enjoyed it, I thought I might be able to do that and the c25k together but soon realised I was getting more out of the group support than I could on my own . I kept going just once a week for a few weeks though as well as occasional solo runs and saw how much it was helping my weight loss. I completed the Race for Life at the end of July and decided that although it went well I wanted to up the level of running and be able to eventually do it without stopping . I was undergoing physio for my knee at the time and when I spoke to her about it she was really supportive and put my mind at rest about the damage to my knees.
In September, encouraged by other people in the absolute beginners group I went along on a Saturday morning and really enjoyed running round the park with the support of a group and then the catch up over a cup of tea and toast afterwards. Going from absolute beginners to beginners felt like a big step and I worried about holding people back but soon found that everyone was really supportive and encouraging and I wasn’t that far back. I’ve kept going with the Saturday group as much as possible as the achievement of me getting up on a Saturday to go running is massive, let alone the running itself.
At the end of September knowing I was going to miss a week of runs due to holidays, I went to the Monday night group in West Kirby persuaded by one of the leaders who said there was going to be “no hills”. She lied ! Actually despite feeling like I couldn’t make it all the way, I enjoyed the sense of achievement and also the downhills are fab – “Never waste a downhill” is now our mantra. Running even just two lampposts at a time and then a bit of a walk was a great way to break it down and focusing on a point to aim for has got me through.
Going a few times a week has really helped and going into the winter months I was worried about giving it up but I’ve kept going as much as possible , even running in the rain doesn’t faze me now. I’ve met some lovely people who go to the groups and have started to going along to Pilates with one of them as we hope it might work well with the running too. For any new members it’s good to realise that everyone remembers what it was like to start running and is really supportive and when you are struggling and need to walk a bit there is a leader at the back for support.
I ran the Santa dash in December with a friend from the running group and even did runs during Christmas and New Year when usually I’d be sitting in eating chocolates. I think the key for me has been getting into a routine and knowing when I’m going to go running. I do love the idea of being able to go out on my own too sometimes but definitely in the winter, having it planned in gets me out and running. I love the feeling of getting fresh air and chatting to people and it has been great for that. It’s also a great way of switching off other thoughts as the focus goes on moving your legs and breathing and focusing on keeping going.
When I started running in June I also started to properly do Weightwatchers again after messing round for a while and with the combination of the two the weight is coming off and I have come down in dress sizes too. Since June till now I’ve lost 36.5 lbs. (2 stone 8.5) and in total over the last 4 years since I joined WW I’ve lost 66 lbs. in total ( 4 stone 10). It’s the lowest weight I’ve been for about 15 years . Exercise and healthy eating is the key and also seeing the weight come off has really inspired me to stick to the eating plan and running. I love getting compliments now although I’m not very good at accepting them and feeling the difference in clothes sizes is great. I’ve come down about 3 jeans sizes and 2 dress sizes and am enjoying shopping for clothes now.
I always struggled in the past for keeping up with things and keeping it going but setting little goals and plans is a great way to do it. I’m hoping soon to be able to run things like a mile without stopping and eventually a 5 k without walking but for now it’s about doing what I can and am seeing improvements and benefits to it. Psychologically it has been great as after some runs I’ve felt like I could conquer the world and I’ve tried to keep that feeling in my head as long as possible. Seeing before and after photos and almost not recognising myself in the new shape is great and even on weeks when I don’t lose weight I’m not bothered as I know It’s now a part of my life and I can keep it up.
The run leaders are such a support as is the rest of the group and I’ve been encouraging friends to join as I know how much its helped me. Even when its tiring or you question why am I doing this , remembering the feeling of achievement and going just a little bit further is a way round it. I’ve definitely found that even if I’m running slowly, I’m still moving forward and finding your own pace rather than tiring out too quickly has been a great lesson I’ve been taught.
The Pics below are at the very beginning when I first started running and did race for life with the group from weight watchers and the run we did at Christmas. There is also a couple of pics before and after too. and one at Christmas party feeling fab in a new dress. There is also a very old pic of me walking race for life in my jeans which is before I lost any weight.
Since writing this case study Andrea has had an accident and has not been able to join us for 12 months but we are hoping for her return very soon.