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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Training sessions step up a gear

JO DAVIES took part in the latest Energy for Life Walney Family Fun Run training session to find out how the training is helping those aiming to improve their fitness

THE Walney Family Fun Run training leaders want you to get the most from your training sessions and are there to help you every step of the way.

With the added challenge of a 10.2k run this year, to celebrate the completion of Walney 2, the training leaders have upped the ante accordingly and have added two extra training sessions each week to help runners prepare for the event.

Including Saturday’s Barrow Parkrun there are now five free training sessions at various locations around Barrow for people to attend.

Training as part of a group is a key way to stay motivated.

You’ll find plenty of encouragement and many people feel less self-conscious running as part of a group.

Often people don’t want to run because they think that it’s going to be hard work. The progression element of the training programme has been crucial in getting participants to the stage where they can jog for 14 minutes before a break.

“I’ve had people moaning to me that they don’t feel they’re getting fitter,” said training leader Ian Jones.

“You might not think you’re fitter but cast your mind back to when we started and many people struggled to run to the Round House. Now you can do that and more, no problem.”

This should in no way discourage beginners.

Participants have one week left to enter this year’s event (register online www.sientries.co.uk) and the training sessions remain open to all abilities.

As Ian reminded runners at Monday’s session: “This isn’t the army. You can walk if you want.”

The high temperatures, even at 6pm, didn’t deter 46 runners from completing three 14-minute runs along Biggar Bank.

Among the group were five first timers who coped admirably, as we covered the event’s 5.1k course for the first time.

“The first timers showed that people can come and join us and still do it,” added Ian.

There are other motivating factors to continue running.

Friends Fern Johnson and Ellie Graham are running to hone their “bikini bodies” ahead of Fern’s hen party in Magaluf next month.

Fern marries her fiancé Dan Hayes in July and the whole family has taken up running to look their best come the big day.

“The whole family were running, apart from me, so they bribed me into doing it,” said the 22-year-old, of Barrow.

“My mum wanted to do the Walney Run and I wanted to support her so we’re doing it together.”

Since she started training Fern has re-discovered her love of running.

“I used to run a lot and then I got a knee injury,” said Fern.

“It hurt for the first few weeks but it’s been a lot better since I’ve become more active.”

Fern and her mother, Donna Johnson, have been putting in extra training sessions by joining Barrow Parkrun, and the extra activity is obviously paying off.

They both achieved personal best times on Saturday.

Fern said: “The first one was horrendous but once I knew what it was like it’s been a lot better. I thought it would be really competitive but it’s not.”

The training leaders are keen to continue the Walney training sessions after the event on June 17.

Last year, people struggled to continue running after the September event, put off by bad weather and dark nights.

“This year we hope there will definitely be more of a legacy and we can start the sessions off again straight after the event,” said Ian.

See the Walney Family Fun Run newsletter (right) for more details.

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