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"I'll never pay to run!"

There are many positive responses I get when people enquire about Running Circles, I like to respond that I can help with personal and interactive coaching, or group running sessions, or just give a bit of advice; yet there are also those who can't believe that I don't offer all my guidance and time for free!

"Oh - you charge per half term? I'll never pay to run!" or "I'll find a running group where it's free to join" or "I'll just download a free training plan from the internet" are just a few.

Now, when I first started as a run leader then coach, these types of comments used to really take me aback. I was never upset by them, but just couldn't quite fathom why getting help and support to run should be such a surprise.

After all, you wouldn't expect to go to yoga classes or the local boot-camp for free, so what's the difference with running?

For the group runs, you get access to a qualified coach who plans enjoyable(?) and varied sessions each week. You are guided with knowledge and advice about all aspects of running - as well as being shown the interesting sights of the local area! Despite being part of a group, you can train as an individual with differentiated goals (that's still the PE teacher in me!) but you get the added bonus of having other members and a leader to help you along.

Yes, there are many local running groups where it is free to just rock up and run - and I always direct enquires to these groups if paying to run is not for them. But by paying for a membership to a club, or by signing up for the half term, you are more likely to honour that payment and get your backside there week in and week out!

I realised during lockdown that I am rarely motivated to do yoga unless I'm in a class. Now I love yoga. I've practiced for about 25 years - I've tried online videos, I know exactly which online teacher I like, but after a few days - the motivation waivers. The time is never right, there's always something else that needs doing and before you know it, I'm out of the routine until I'm reminded to try again.

Signing up to a class, however, is a different matter. Yes, I can do yoga for free - but when I pay to practice, I rarely miss a class. By parting with my cash, it becomes non-negotiable. It's in the diary and that's where I'll be on a Tuesday morning at 9am.

So yes, you can run for free. You may be one of those who are motivated to get out the door and crack on - and that's great. Yes, you can find all the information you need about running online and from various websites. Yes, you can download training plans - I have no issue with these for guidance.

But what you won't get, is the personal touch; the advice that is suited to YOU. The guidance that you aren't over-doing it, or the push you need to do a bit more. You may not get the instruction to try something new and the reasons behind doing it. You may not realise that there are different ways to train or have the support that it's okay to walk.

And if your past response has been "I'll never pay to run!"

When was the last time you did?

Andrea x

Check out the website for ways I can help you (there is plenty of free advice in the blogs) and the prices to join Running Circles group runs and Personalised Coaching are there for you to see.

Thanks for reading. x

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