Meet Sarah and Simon.
They have been part of the Accelerate Community for many years now. Both started by attending Accelerate’s Woodrun group, which then developed into both of them completing the Leadership in Running Fitness Course (LiRF). This then lead them into leading their own group on a Friday morning. We’ve asked Sarah and Simon a few questions about their coaching Journey, so carry on reading to find out how they got involved.
How did you get involved with the Accelerate community?
Sarah – About 10 years ago I used to go to Accelerate’ s breakfast run which used to be held on Thursday mornings from the shop. It was fab- a run followed by croissants and coffee and a chinwag after!! That sort of came to a natural end when wood run began on Thursday mornings in Ecclesall woods. I went to the first wood run probably around 2014/15 and religiously went every week ever since (until Covid struck!!). Everything really progressed from those mornings in the woods!!
Simon – I was looking for something different to do after I’d been running for a few years and came across a group on Facebook organising a run up a hill in The Park District. I went along, enjoyed myself and they were very friendly so when they mentioned a running group that had just started on a Thursday morning in Ecclesall Woods, I thought I’d go along. That was the start of WoodRun and I’ve been with the Accelerate community ever since.
How did you start with RP50?
Sarah – RP 50 was Stu’s idea, I think. I was sat in the shop one Friday morning after S&C and he said he wanted to start a group for more mature people(!) who were new to running or were getting back in to running or have always run but wanted a group of similarly aged people who weren’t going to leave them for dust. The OLP had just been developed with the 100m track there and it seemed like the perfect spot. So it was born in June 2018.
Simon – During lockdown, whilst WoodRun was shut down, I moved house from west Sheffield across to north Rotherham. Once things began to open up again, the trek across to WoodRun wasn’t really going to be practical but I wanted to commit to running regularly again. I knew Sarah was doing RP50 this side of Sheffield and as we’d ‘grown up’ together at WoodRun, it seemed like a good fit for me to join the coaching team with her. Thankfully Sarah felt the same way!
How did you get into coaching?
Sarah – As for coaching…there was a handful of us that always went to woodrun and a few years into it, Stu asked us regulars if we wanted to do the Lirf run leader course so off we all went and completed that.
Simon – There were a core group of about half a dozen of us at WoodRun who’d been going along for a few years. Stu wanted to try and make WoodRun a bit more self-sustaining, so he asked if we’d consider training up to lead/coach the bigger group. We went off and did the LiRF and then Stu mentored us over the following months until we were able to manage on our own. It’s all Stu’s fault really… isn’t it always!!!
Why did you get into coaching?
Sarah – As for why I got into it, I just thought it would be fun and would be another string to my bow. I loved running and was excited to learn more about it and if I could pass what I learnt on to other people then that’s a bonus.
Simon – As I said above, I got into it because I wanted to make sure WoodRun continued… selfish really! Why do I keep coaching… well that’s the next answer!
What’s your favourite aspect of coaching?
Sarah – The best thing about coaching RP50 is seeing the progress that they all make. It really is remarkable how far a lot of them have come. If we can encourage them to keep moving and ward off injuries and ailments for as long as possible then I hope they will all still be coming when they are 100!!! Not only do we see their physical fitness improve but their confidence does too! They really are a lovely bunch who are game for anything myself and Simon throw at them.
Simon – I just get a kick out of helping people achieve something. There are plenty of voices in this world telling us what we can’t do, what we aren’t good enough at, what we shouldn’t even attempt… and sometimes, sadly, that voice is in our own head. To be a different voice, one which says, it isn’t silly to take a chance or to have a go at something new, and that offers help and support and encouragement… that is a real privilege.
What’s your favourite drill to coach and why?
Sarah – We tend to concentrate on different aspects of the running cycle each week with a focus on the drills that tie in with that specific part. I quite like reminding them of cadence and the different fast feet drills that help with that. They can move their feet rather fast when they are reminded!!!
Simon – My favourite drill?? The one we’ve just done and the one we are about to do next. I just love helping people, get a bit better so I don’t really care which drill, I love them all (except C skips). Given that’s a bit of a cop out answer, if you really forced me to give a favourite drill it would be hopping up the short, steep slope at the WoodRun triangle, with the original group, on a blustery March morning whilst Stu tries to keep us under control and fails. We had such fun, and my calves became enormous!!
If you want to find out more about Running Past 50, click here or give us a call on 0114 242 2569.
Also, Running Past 50 will be at the Big Running Weekend!! This is a great opportunity to try the session to get a feel of what its like. Click here to find the timetable for the weekend and click here to purchase a Big Running Weekend ticket.
See you there!