It’s been just 2 and a half weeks since the half marathon and I’m still buzzing about it all. I still cant fully comprehend what we all achieved that day (and I’m not talking about turning the gin bar into an impromptu karaoke bar!!) I had the privilege to be part of 42 women’s training plans – 32 signed up to the specific half marathon club and I helped another 10 people on top of that via the Monday night sessions. That is just mind blowing – to be able to help that many women achieve their goals is genuinely wonderful.
The Half Marathon run club was the biggest and best yet (I mean, it was only my 2nd one but still…) We incorporated a lot alongside actually running – physio, pilates, foam rolling, nutrition, a post run brunch and obviously an epic post run party…and the feedback has been amazing. When asked how would you vote the group overall out of 10 the response was 9.6! Reading through the survey responses has made me so emotional so thanks to everyone who gave their feedback.
The most common theme from the feedback was the solidarity and impact of doing this as a group – the power of a bunch of women with a common goal is unsurpassable! Everyone gets added to a closed Facebook group and at the start of the 12 week training plan, I encouraged every member to introduce themselves and tell everyone about their running goal for the half – eg goal time, if it was their first one, etc and that was the start of their journey to 13.1 miles. Comments like “felt like a family”, “excellent support network” and “loved the team morale, motivation, advice and encouragement” were received when asked about what they found most useful about having Facebook as a tool.
When I asked the members what their favour part of the half marathon training club was, the answers blew me away. My personal favourite part of the training club was watching friendships between members grow and also to see people’s self-confidence build week on week. To lead a group of women to push themselves out of the comfort zone and achieve something like this is pretty special. These were some of the responses from the group on what their favourite part of the club was:
- “getting to know people and chatting during the long runs”
- “the sense of achievement after completing the Saturday long runs”
- “morale boost from the group, achieving a new PB and the prosecco afterwards”
- “everything – from the structure of the training through to the long runs”
- “loved it all – being part of a community”
- “spending time with an amazing group of women – the group training and friendship was brilliant”
- “reaching unchartered ground and loving it as well as knowing my limits and pushing them”
One of the comments which hit home most of all about what I had created was “realising I can do more than I ever thought possible and achieving my goal” – what an epic thing to lead up. Never in a million years did I think I’d be doing things like this when I started the business!
I asked various different questions in the survey – not only positives, but ideas for things which could enhance the group, changes which they think would have helped improve it and the answers were so constructive and helpful. The main requests for improvements were things like working on pace, getting extra advice on shoes/clothing, technical running advice to look at technique, form or style which I absolutely love and am definitely going to input into next years club where possible. I did the same for the group last year and that’s why this year I added in a nutrition, physio and pilates elements for this years training and these extras went down so well.
One of my highlights from analysing the survey results was the fact that 100% of the group would recommend it to a friend. Everyone – isn’t that just amazing! It just shows how much they came together as a team. The question was worded “Would you do the club again? If yes, why…if no, why?” and the responses were again mind blowing! Here’s a selection of the comments:
- “it builds self esteem, friendships, breaks barriers and pushes your comfort zones”
- “you achieve the unimaginable”
- “friendly, supportive and really really rewarding”
- “likeminded ladies, all abilities, not compeitive, very supportive and great post race gathering”
- “nutrition support and the after party is the best in town”
- “exceptional support from Becca and the group – the training plan was manageable even for the busiest of mums”
- “great club, lovely group and brilliant run leader”
- “feels like I’ve made friends for life”
It took me a while to actually fathom that last comment – “feels like I’ve made friends for life” – I absolutely love this. I myself have made some amazing friends from starting this business so the fact that my clients are now doing the same is unreal and so satisfying!
We trained together on this for 3 months but some of these women have actually been training with me for 2 years. 21 of the 42 people started in my Couch to 5k Beginners groups – so never ever think that it’s “just 5k” or anything like that – this lovely bunch have set targets and hit their own goals over the years and have now hit the half marathon goal. There was even a request on the survey for me to start a marathon training club…now that’s a bit keen, even for me!!
When I started writing this blog it was going to be about my half marathon – how I felt, how I found it, etc but as I was writing I realised that totally paled into insignificance for me. Yes it was a great half – I totally felt famous running through Sale. I hit my target time of 1hr 56 mins so was super chuffed with myself as that took 2 mins off my PB and I took 6 minutes off last years time. There were highs and lows during the 13.1 mile slog but that all meant nothing when I got to The Bridge and my runners started arriving and I could see how ecstatic they all were about smashing their goals! That was my real highlight – that and the post run steak frites and prosecco!!
I’m 100% doing another club next year and it will hopefully be even bigger and better than this years. 85% of the group have said they’d be up for doing the club again next year with another 12% undecided so I’ll take that as a challenge to convert them from a maybe to a hell yeah!!
So if you’re tempted to get started, don’t delay. I’ve got a new beginners running club starting in January so get in touch and get your name on the list. You never know where running will take you!