Tonight was running club, and I went along with a cunning plan to ensure that I only had to run 3 miles, rather than being forced into 4 miles or worse, 4 miles with hill sprints and bunny hops up the stairs in Kelvingrove Park (there are sadists in my club). In the end there were enough jog leaders for three groups and the three newbie jog leaders were each allocated a leader to shadow. I, thankfully, got the 5 ks.
There were a few new runners tonight, including 2 or 3 complete beginner runners. The club is about to start its first C25K programme, but until this new runners would just join the 5 k group (if there was one) and their experience would vary widely week to week depending on the size of the group, the range of paces within the group and the jog leader’s interest in ensuring the slower runners were ok.
It was clear early on tonight that a couple of the girls were going to need regular walk breaks, and rather than the rest of the group having to frequently loop back to meet us, I offered to do a shorter out and back route with the girls. In the end we covered 2.4 miles (approx 4k) alternating about a minute each of walking and running. The three of us survived the experience and the girls are talking of returning.
I have to admit that I enjoyed being a jog leader: I liked being able to answer their questions about how often and how fast they should be running, and also ensuring that they were having a good time and keen to return. I think that my preference will be to lead the newer runners on the short runs, rather than trying to keep track of the people who are twice as fast as me on the longer runs, though I do look forward to making others do bunny hops up those damn steps!
It is amazing to think how far I’ve come since I went along to the Glasgow Running Network’s Beginner’s 10 k group in January 2011 🙂
(In case you’re wondering, my cunning plan was to get to 3 miles then lie down in the middle of the road and howl like a toddler until someone offered to give me a piggy back ride home. Foolproof!)