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Spring 2015

the jogscotland magazine

The jogscotland Challenge Series 2015 Inspiration: My toddler grandson got me running Cross training – Gyrokinesis Getting active after breast cancer – Janet’s story plus… the best spring running events for your diary

0131 539 7341

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jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

contents Warm-Up: Stephen Bruce


Men’s Running


News and Events


Scottish Slimmers


From Member to Jog Leader


Christmas Cracker!


Inspiration - Rona Perkins


Race Directory


jogscotland Challenge Series 2015


Mums on the Run


Run for SAMH


Cross Training - Gyrokinesis


Getting Active After Breast Cancer 20

David Syme - Jogging Along


From A to Z - in Half Marathons


From Beer to Running Gear


Women’s Running


Cool Down


sponsors and funders Designed and Printed by

Meet the Jog Crew  05

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

Meet the Jog Crew

Billy Mitchell Head of jogscotland

Ann Davidson Programmes Co-ordinator (Tue-Thu)

Sue Gyford Digital Communications and Press Officer




07801 634198

0131 539 7341

0131 539 7350Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.

Jo Stevens Membership Development Officer

Jog Scotty The Jog Dog! Mascot of jogscotland


0131 539 7341

Stride – the jogscotland members’ magazine Editor: Sue Gyford Designer: Adrian Hallam, 3-56 Media Ltd Photographs: Front cover Kirkcaldy parkrun by Gordon Donnachie; p9 Jo Pavey by Gavin Pavey; p10 Eat Better Feel Better image with thanks to Pilton Community Health Project; p34 & 35 Gyrokinesis images by Richard Corner; p 41 & 42 with thanks to Chelmsford parkrun. Published four times a year by scottishathletics. Copyright©2015 Scottish Athletics Ltd.

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jogscotland magazine Spring 2015


Stephen Bruce, Peterhead Jogscotland In each edition of Stride, a guest contributor shares their love of running…

I’m pleased to be able to write this column as I see it as way of thanking all those who have helped make Peterhead Jogscotland a success since we started eight years ago. For a club to be a success you have to have everyone working as team and “running”(jogging in our case) in the same direction - if people start deviating from the route and doing their own thing then that’s when the problems can occur. Well, at Peterhead Jogscotland we have an amazing team of Jog Leaders who are all passionate about making a difference in our community. Our tagline, “Active in our Community, getting our community active” – sums up perfectly what we, like so many other jogscotland clubs around the country, are all about, and it’s something which we are proud to be a part of.

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Peterhead Jogscotland started on Monday 26th February 2007 - where has the time gone? I always say my older brother John is to blame for all this! He started as a jogscotland Leader at his work in Aberdeen and then started a local jogscotland in his community at Mintlaw near Peterhead. Like all big brothers he badgered me to come along to his group, which I really enjoyed. I work with an oil company in Aberdeen called Technip, and I was part of the Healthy Working Lives team on site which came up with initiatives to get the workforce force more healthy and active. After enjoying jogscotland with my brother I suggested we start a group at work, which was agreed with the committee. Therefore we were trained as Jog Leaders at work - I always say this is the one and only time I have been paid to be a Jog Leader (thanks to Technip)! I think we started jogscotland at work in August 2006, and I found it really enjoyable. In January 2007 I went along to help my friend Walter with his fundraising day at the Hexagon Boys Football Club and for some reason I just asked what time his groups met on a Monday night, and whether he thought anyone would be interested in attending jogscotland at the same time when the boys were playing football. Walter, not wanting to disappoint, said: “You would have to ask them”. So the very next week, bold as brass, (well sheepish really!) I went along to the Boys’ club. I gave out letters to all the mothers and fathers as they were leaving to ask if they would be interested in joining a jogscotland in Peterhead aligned with the Boys’ club, and meeting at the same times. To my amazement by the time I got home Roselyn my wife said there had been a few phone calls and people were really keen to join. One of the people that phoned was

Elaine Weir - a few months after we started Elaine became a Jog Leader and eight years on she is still with us, continuously encouraging everyone who comes along and also supporting me. So we started Peterhead Jogscotland, then known as Hexagon Jogscotland, with yours truly as they only trained Jog Leader, and with Roselyn and my cousins to help. We started a beginners group at 6.30pm, and then one again at 7.30pm to align with times the Boys’ club meet. To our amazement on that very first night about 60 people turned up, which we were thrilled about. Eight years on, literally thousands of people have came through our door and registered with us. Many have gone on to jog/run on their own as circumstances change (but we are still thrilled they are getting out and doing it), many came along and found they never like jogging in the first place but least they gave it a go. Some have had stopped as personal circumstances change, but they know they are welcome back to Peterhead Jogscotland at any time, and often return after a while which we are thrilled about. Today we still have over 200 members on our current register and our latest beginners group has over 20 members. We have 23 trained Jog Leaders, with the latest being Anne and Martin who recently attended Steve and Mellissa Walls’ great training course in Peterhead. We meet on Monday and Wednesday at 6.30pm, and have a Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced group, and on a Monday we have also Intermediate Track group which has also been a great success with 15-20 people attending regularly. We also have an informal session on Friday at 6.30pm called the Friday Fumble - so the saying for the night is

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jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

‘Always start weeked with a Fumble!’ which I know always raises a few eyebrows, but it’s quite fun don’t you think?! We also use the Friday night for training for specific events - for example on 20 April we start a 10 week programme, which starts at 10km and adds a km a week to take them up to 20km ready for Peterhead Half Marathon on 28 June. On the back of the success of Jogscotland we have also reformed Peterhead Athletic Club. Although I am not on the committee, I am proud to be a member, and we are working closely with the club to encourage youngsters and the more athletic types in our community to get more active. Just last week they had over 60 Junior members along which was brilliant. So why has our club been so successful? I definitely say it is down to the patience of my wife Roselyn! Just kidding - but it true she does have patience of a saint and I am sure all the Jog Leaders will agree. As

mentioned previously, we have a fantastic group of Leaders who work closely together, and have all become friends over time. The social side to our club is very important, and thanks must go to Valerie and Gail, two of our Jog Leaders’ wives (who also jog with us) who make sure the kettle is on for a cup of tea and coffee everytime we meet, which is just brilliant. So many new friendships have been made in that eight years, which is just amazing. Now I’m reaching the finishing line, I would also like to mention the great hard work jogscotland HQ does. Although a small team, they do great in helping all the jogscotland groups out in the “field”, I am sure you would agree, helping us all improve the health - and as a result the lives - of so many our community, and helping us remove the tag of ‘Scotland the Sickman of Europe’ for once and for all. I am proud to be part of the jogscotland team and long may it continue!

News and Events 09

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

News and Events Mums on the Run We’re thrilled that our Mums on the Run Programme has had the seal of approval from the UK’s most famous running mum, Jo Pavey! Mum-of-two Jo became European 10,000m champion last year at the age of 40, after winning Commonwealth bronze in Glasgow - inspiring mothers and forty-somethings everywhere to get active and stay active.

Jo took a look at our Mums on the Run pack, which helps Jog Leaders to establish classes for mums with buggies, and loved it – see what she had to say on page 33.

5x50 Challenge The 5x50 Challenge is back this year, with a mission to help people improve their health by being active for 50 days on the trot. The annual challenge enables anyone, regardless of age, health condition/disability or fitness level to experience the physical and psychological benefits that come from taking part. For 2015, the challenge has been made as inclusive as possible. Previous years have been based on completing 5k or 30 minutes of exercise each day for 50 days. This year, however, there are a whole range of challenges you can choose from. These include team targets, where the activity can be split between several people, and an individual challenge that builds from five minutes of activity at the start, up to 50 minutes by the end. This year’s 5x50 starts on March 29, with the £5 entry fee going to charity – to find out more visit

The Trails in Motion Film Festival is coming to Scotland with a collection of films for trail running fans. The global film tour showcases films about trail and ultra-trail running, ideal for those looking for inspiration for their own running adventures, or who just want to revel in the achievements of others. The Edinburgh stop on the tour is being organised by jogscotland Jog Leader Lucja Leonard and will take place at the Crowne Plaza on Royal Terrace on 13 June, from 3pm to 7.30pm. For more information, search Trails in Motion Film Festival Edinburgh on facebook or contact lucja@

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jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

Romantic run There was romance in the air in Balloch Country Park when the regular Run’n’Park event took on a Valentine’s Day theme on February 14th. Organiser Maurice Donohue said: “There were around 50 romantics - or should I say participants who took part, who all had a passion for walking , jogging or running. “Everyone at the end of the 5k received an energy boosting packet of Love Hearts for their efforts.”

Spreading the word We’ve been out and about at lots of events in recent weeks, encouraging more people to get active and join jogscotland. Membership development officer Jo Stevens has taken our information stand to lots of organisations, including the Golden Jubilee Hospital and Health Scotland, along with Heriot-Watt University students health week. We were also delighted to have an information stand (pictured) at the SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) Parliamentary reception, hosted by Malcolm Chisholm MSP on 15 January. With some powerful speakers and lots of interest in jogscotland, it was a great opportunity to spread the word and celebrate our partnership with SAMH – read more about it on page 18.

parkrun Kirkcaldy The parkrun success story continues apace! These free, timed 5Ks have grown rapidly since their launch 10 years ago in Bushy Park, and we were delighted to see Scotland’s 17th parkrun kick off in Kirkcaldy on February 14 (cover pic). The run in Beveridge Park saw 264 runners from 25 clubs – an impressive crowd for a launch event! Best of luck to the event team – for more info see

Eat better, feel better A new website has been launched to help make it easy to eat healthily without breaking the bank. www.eatbetterfeelbetter. was launched by the Scottish Government to help people improve their diet – ideal for joggers who want to fuel their active lives without going hungry! It features recipes, handy hints, cookalong videos, and lets you save your favourite recipes and shopping lists. The site was launched by Public Health Minister Maureen Watt at Pilton Community Health Project in Edinburgh (pictured above) - which also has its own jogscotland group. She said: “For many families across Scotland, buying, cooking and eating healthy food can be a real challenge. However, there are many quick and cheap changes that we can make which can lead to significant improvements in our daily diets. Eat Better Feel Better aims to address the various challenges faced by families by providing lots of practical hints, tips and recipes to help families eat more healthily.”

Official Merchandise 11

A great range of jogscotland Official Merchandise is available from our partners, Run 4 It. Everything in the range comes with jogscotland logos as standard, while T-shirts, vests, hoodies and jackets can all be customised, so you can add the name of your group. What’s more, as a jogscotland member you can use your 10 per cent member discount at run 4 It to unlock reductions on the entire range. Just visit jogscotland and order online using the code jog2015 to get your discount. You can also pop into your local Run 4 It shop to try samples.

Jog Leading  12

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

From member to Jog Leader… Without our Jog Leaders there would be no jogscotland, so Jog Leader training is a very important part of what we do. We’re always keen to recruit more Leaders, either to help with existing groups or to start new groups. If you’ve ever considered signing up for the training but not been too sure about it here’s some information about what’s involved in the one day course.

for part of the session. The sessions cover warm up exercises, short jogging activities and cool down stretching. The course also covers risk assessment so that jogscotland sessions are safe as well as fun. In addition to practical sessions there are classroom group exercises that look at how training can be used to help improve fitness. The course also covers how sessions can be adapted to accommodate joggers of different ability levels and how Jog Leaders can help individual members to progress. The course concludes with information about starting and developing a jogscotland group. At the end of the course the new Jog Leaders take home a comprehensive manual and their hi-vis ‘Jog Leader’ bib with a start-up kit of posters, forms and other resources. Just because the course has ended, that doesn’t mean you’re on your own. You’ll have support from head office who can provide you with advice as you need it, and more resources when your start-up kit runs out. You’ll also be able to join the Jog Leader facebook group, a very active members-only space where leaders new and old can chat about their experiences and share support and advice.

Prior to the course you receive an email with various attachments including background information about jogscotland, the benefits of physical activity and the course timetable. The course starts with a welcome from the two tutors. In groups you look at reasons why people are reluctant to take part in physical activity and how Jog Leaders can help them overcome these barriers. There are two practical sessions during the course, the first being led by the tutors and the second allowing everyone on the course to take a turn at leading a group

Courses take place all over Scotland throughout the year. Dates and venues are shown on the jogscotland web site The course fee is currently £75 and that has to be paid before the day of the course. You can either phone to pay by card or send a cheque, payable to ‘jogscotland’, to the jogscotland office at Scottish Athletics, Caledonia House, Redheughs Rigg, South Gyle, Edinburgh EH12 9DQ. Booking a place is really straightforward – just contact Ann on or phone the office on 0131 539 7341.

So what are you waiting for?

Inspiration - Rona Perkins  13

Inspiration Rona Perkins In June 2012 I’d taken redundancy from a job that had become very stressful. I was looking forward to having time to try and get fit and losing the three stone I had put on by comfort eating. Unfortunately life doesn’t always go to plan. The end of 2012 was a terrible time for our whole family. My mother died very suddenly, and then my two-yearold grandson Brody was diagnosed with leukemia. To be honest I can’t really remember much of that December – I was all over the place. A week after Brody started his three year treatment plan his mum, our daughter, gave birth to her third baby Fraser so we had wonderful news at one end of the hospital and horrendous life-changing news at the other. Our daughter and son-in-law have tried to keep life as normal as possible for Brody, his four year-old sister Jessie, and Fraser. In May 2013, Brody, Jessie and their dad took part in a one mile charity race for North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund (NECCR). Even though he’d had months of really intensive chemo, Brody did it with a big smile on his face, it was just incredible. But I couldn’t even run beside him because I was so overweight. I was so ashamed, I was just mortified. He turned to me and said “Why can’t you run, Grandma?” I promised him that I’d run it with him the next year. I never imagined how that promise would change my life.

For a long time I couldn’t get any energy, I was feeling so low and was back and forwards to Whitley Bay to help the family, so I didn’t have much time for anything else. Then one day I thought: “Stop feeling sorry for yourself, and just get on with it”. I went online, and found the Health Unlocked website. There was a forum there for people doing the NHS Couch to 5K programme and it was absolutely brilliant - the people there were just amazing.

You download the programme onto your phone, you do three runs a week and it tells you what to do each week. The first week it started with 30 seconds of running and I thought I was going to die!

Inspiration - Rona Perkins  14

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

When I started out, I was only doing it to run that one race with Brody, but I got hooked. The NHS programme was nine weeks long, and I liked it so much that when I finished it I just kept running three times a week. I still go on the NHS C25K forum where my name is ‘Fit for 60’ and keep in touch with people there. I try and encourage new people to give it a go – if they say they’re too fat or too old, I say “No, go for it!” I started doing parkrun on Saturdays and I love that with their grading system, because of my age, even if I’m last – I’m not last! I followed training programmes that I found online, and entered 5K events. As well as feeling fitter, my mood was improving and my outlook on life started to change. In February 2014 I turned 60. Just a few months before, I didn’t think I wanted to celebrate my 60th birthday, but I was feeling so much more positive I decided to have a party with a bouncy castle which was great hit with the grandchildren and the adults. Every one was very generous and sponsored me for the NECCR 1 mile race instead of buying a present. It was the best birthday I’ve ever had, it was fantastic. So when May came around again, I joined Brody and Jessie and as I promised him the year before, took part in the one mile run with them. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. In fact they had a five mile cross country afterwards which I ran on my own, and that was much easier – the mile was hard because it was just so emotional. I think running is so much of an emotional thing rather than just a physical one. Last summer I started thinking “I really like this running,” and wanted to improve my technique because I knew it wasn’t that great. I didn’t want anything that was too serious - I wanted to have a fun thing that would keep me going. I looked online and came across Corstorphine jogscotland, run by John Adams, just 10 minutes from my house. We had quite a few texts and emails backwards and forwards because I was so nervous and wasn’t sure I would be able to

keep up with everybody. John encouraged me to go along to a beginners group he was just about to start. I was really, really nervous when I turned up for the first session. It was quite a small group and I started off with them for 10 weeks and we have all just carried on. John is just amazing. He understands what you’re capable of but stretches you as well. I was probably the slowest but we all waited for each other, no one was left behind. John was so encouraging and nothing was too much bother. So although the first time I was really nervous, after that I was absolutely fine. As a group we did the Great Winter Run 5K in Edinburgh this January. The weather was wild, but when I’m running I don’t mind the weather at all, although the horizontal hailstones were so sore on my face! I’ve only missed one training session, ever, and that was a parkrun when it was icy and I thought I might fall over and hurt myself, and then not be able to run. To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining or snowing. I think: “I’m only going to get wet and my grandson’s fighting leukemia and getting daily chemotherapy and steroids pumped into him – getting wet or cold is nothing.” It just makes you appreciate that if he can do that, I can do this. I did the Women’s 10K in Glasgow in August. I was really nervous and I thought I’d be last, but John gave me lots of support and encouragement, and of course, I wasn’t last! Then one of the other girls in the group a few weeks ago said “Why don’t we do a half marathon?” I said: “No, it takes too much time, I’m too old…” but before I knew it I’d agreed - I thought “I can’t get left behind if the others are doing it.” The group meets officially on a Wednesday, and on Saturday and Monday we go out informally to train for the half marathon. Last Saturday I ran 8.8 miles – I couldn’t believe it. I definitely had a wobble once, thinking “Why am I so far behind?”, but again, John helped me with that.

I’ve achieved all of this because of Brody really. As well as being my inspiration he’s kind of my wee trainer - he was asking me if I’d been practising to get faster and asking if I want to borrow his dad’s trainers, because they’re go fast trainers! Part of my reason for getting fit was also that I felt if I wasn’t healthy I couldn’t help my daughter, and I’ve got more life and energy now than I’ve ever had. Although he gets tired, Brody is amazing, he just carries on. I did the Whitley Bay junior parkrun with him and we got halfway along the prom and I said: “We can just run back if you want,” and he said: “No, you’ve got to finish if you’ve started.” He’s just amazing. I’m hoping to do a big run when his three year course of treatment is completed in January 2016. Taking up running has totally changed the way I think about everything. I can’t believe how it’s changed me, even down to the fact that I find myself getting excited about shopping for running kit more than regular clothes! If I feel stressed or something bothers me, I would previously eat, and now I go for a run instead. I’ve managed to lose and keep off that extra three stone and now I ‘eat to run’. I can’t get over how supportive other runners are. I was always one of those people who thought running was bad for your knees and was boring - I wouldn’t have believed that I’d take to it.

I never thought when I made that promise to Brody how much running would change my life. It’s definitely one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Inspiration - Rona Perkins 15

Over the months more people have joined and now there are 15 of us of all ages and running experience. We have such a laugh and support and encourage each other both at our sessions and on our facebook page. John mixes up our sessions and routes so every week is different. Sometimes it’s just a run and other times it can include hill work or speed intervals. I really enjoy the variety. I am so pleased that I went along to that very first jogscotland session as it has completely changed my life.

Challenge Series 16

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

Challenge Series 2015

We're thrilled to announce the venues for this year's jogscotland Challenge Series! This year we have ten fun, friendly events across Scotland, guaranteed to be welcoming and achieveable for first-timers, as well as offering an enjoyable event for more experienced runners. Once again we’re working with event organisers to bring a little jogscotland magic to runs right across the country. Some are one-off events, others are the part of large running festivals. Some are organised especially for the Challenge Series, others are established events that we are partnering with. What they all have in common is that when you see an event is included in the jogscotland Challenge Series, you can be sure it’ll be a friendly, welcoming event suitable for beginners. From Inverness to Hawick, and Arran to Peterhead, you can walk, jog or run your way around these courses and be assured of a supportive atmosphere and a great sense of achievement. Each will be built on the reassuring jogscotland approach of celebrating the achievements of every jogger, whatever their speed, shape, size, age or ability. Head of jogscotland Billy Mitchell said: “We’re really pleased with the variety of events we’ve been able to include in the Challenge Series this year. With new events added to the series in locations as

diverse as Arran and Inverness, we hope to welcome more people than ever before to enjoy a little of what makes jogscotland so special. It doesn’t matter if its Highland trails or city parks that take your fancy – we hope to see you there!” Why not sign up with friends from your jogscotland group and set a jogscotland Challenge event as one of your 2015 goals? Meet other jogscotties and enjoy a great day out! Several of the events are already open for entries, others will open soon, so put the dates in your diary and keep an eye on for updates and links to entry pages for each event. The Challenge Series kicks off on 26 April with a welcome return for the three mile Wee Trail Race as part of the Run Balmoral weekend. It’s the perfect chance to try out trail running for the first time, with a course through the stunning grounds of the royal estate. The action moves to Monklands, Glasgow in May, where North Lanarkshire Leisure host their well-established 5k in Drumpellier Country Park. We’re delighted that for the first time this year, the jogscotland Challenge Series will move to the Isle of Arran for the Gate to Gate 5K on 20 June. This special event through the beautiful grounds of Brodick Castle was established last year by the organisers of jogscotland group RunArran and we’re delighted to have them on board as a Challenge Series event. Why not gather a few friends from your jogscotland group and make a weekend of it?

Challenge Series 17

The Peterhead MB Plant 5K is part of the hugely successful Peterhead Running Festival, organised by Peterhead Jogscotland. One of several events over a busy weekend of races, the festival is tremendously popular, and also features junior races and longer distances including the Shell School Fun Runs - a free track event for all primary school children. The Hawick 5K joined the Challenge Series last year, and proved a superb event for firsttimers. Organisers Teviotdale Harriers laid on a fantastic welcome, with a scenic route through Wilton Lodge Park. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Pitlochry 10K, organisers have decided to add a 5K race for the first time, as a part of the jogscotland series. The 5K will share a start and finish with the 10K, but with a shorter route in between. Delivered by Live Active Leisure, it will be called the jogscotland Challenge Pitlochry. A really special addition to the Challenge Series this year are two events in Inverness. As part of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running, the River Ness 5K and 10K events are already well-loved in the Inverness area, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with their organisers to make both distances part of the jogscotland Challenge Series. Both routes take in stretches of the River Ness, to finish at the event village in Bught Park, Inverness, where participants can enjoy a warm welcome over the finish line. The One Big Weekend 5K events have moved to later in the calendar for 2015 with their October dates giving a great opportunity for people who have taken up jogging through the summer to target their first event. This year’s One Big Weekend venues are Bellahouston Park in Glasgow and Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Event Coordinator Elaine Neill said: “We’re delighted to be working

alongside jogscotland for a third year to host this exciting weekend of events in Edinburgh & Glasgow. “One Big Weekend is open to all levels of running ability. It's great to see people from all over the country come together and celebrate their love of running while enjoying the different venues. We're looking forward to a fun weekend which will hopefully see many jogscotland runners beating their PB’s, marking PB’s or just generally soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying themselves!' The Challenge Series closes with our traditional jogscotland Christmas Cracker in Strathclyde Park, this year over a 6K course. With prizes for best festive fancy dress and a real family feel, it makes a great way to end the year.

Get the dates in your diary! Run Balmoral Wee Trail (3 miles) 26 April Monklands 5K 17 May Gate to Gate 5K Isle of Arran 20 June Peterhead MB Plant 5K Hawick 5K

28 June 30 August

The jogscotland Challenge Pitlochry 5K 20 September River Ness 5K & 10K - Inverness 27 September One Big Weekend Glasgow (5K) 10 October One Big Weekend Edinburgh (5K) 11 October Christmas Cracker 6K, Strathclyde Park 13 December


jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

jogscotland Run for 2014 SAMH Awards in 2015 Jogscotland is delighted to be partnering with SAMH (The Scottish Association for Mental Health) in 2015 to help promote and improve physical and mental health across the country. It’s no secret that physical activity can have a positive impact on our mental health, when incorporated into our daily lives. One of the best ways to keep yourself active regularly and give yourself a real glow of achievement - is to choose a target event and train towards it. You can also help the people who use SAMH’s services by running to raise money for the charity. If you sign up to run with SAMH they’ll provide distance-specific training plans, fundraising plans to help you reach your goal, specialised breathable SAMH running tops and a fundraising pack complete with sponsorship forms and ideas on how to smash your target. Every year SAMH recruits runners for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival (EMF), where races range in length and intensity. Sport enthusiasts Hope and John McHardy, both supporters of SAMH, took part as a father/ daughter duo in last year’s Edinburgh Marathon Festival, raising more than £650 for the charity. After the race, Hope said: “Mental illnesses are something very close to our hearts, as we have family and friends who have suffered with mental health issues. They are now either in recovery or have recovered and SAMH has played a large part in that.

“Running for SAMH has been one of the best experiences of our lives! The support the charity gave us was amazing; from the training plans right through to the finish line. We think everything the charity stands for deserves much more recognition and we really wanted to get involved in raising awareness of them.” SAMH is also recruiting runners for Tough Mudder (20-21 June) and the Great Scottish Run (4 October 2015). Tough Mudder is an annual running challenge, including an infamous assault course, which takes place in Scotland and across the UK. The Great Scottish Run is a hugely popular event in the Scotland’s running calendar, and its timing makes it a great one to aim for at the end of a summer’s training. The course record is 61 minutes and 9 seconds, but whatever your speed you could run for SAMH and make a difference to the people who use the charity’s services. Take part in the 10K or half marathon and join more than 30,000 people on the streets of Glasgow for one of the country’s biggest celebrations of running. Go to the SAMH website for a full list of running challenges and events this year; and truly test your limits: Sign up and you can support Scotland’s mental health by getting in touch with the team:


Mo’s Century Bravehearts in Peterhead Peterhead jogscotland were quick to offer their support when footballer David Cox spoke out in a newspaper article about his experience of mental health problems. The group joined with David’s club, Peterhead FC, to hold several fundraising runs in support of SAMH. The Braveheart Fun Runs, held on St Andrews Day, raised £4,182 for the charity. David himself attended and said he had been incredibly moved the way in which the town had united to show their support. Chairman of Peterhead jogscotland, Stephen Bruce, said: “Although the community wanted to show David their support by taking part, many people took part to show support to family and friends who have also suffered from mental health problems, which was really touching. “We as a club wanted to take part to show David our support, but we also wanted to get the message across about the benefits of keeping active when have you mental health problems. Since we started Peterhead jogscotland over seven years ago I have had lots of members come to me in confidence, and say that, by taking up jogging and by getting more active has helped them overcome depression, ease stress, anxiety, post natal depression etc. “It’s great to see the national network of jogscotland and SAMH working closely together and we hope that through this partnership that many more people throughout Scotland will be encouraged to get more active when mental health problems occur.”

Maurice Donohue completed an incredible challenge for SAMH in November, running his 100th half marathon in 100 weeks. Maurice took on the task to raise both money and awareness for the charity. During the course of the two years he was completing it, he also enjoyed a personal journey, moving from his previous role as the man behind West Dunbartonshire’s jogscotland network to become the head of SAMH’s Get Active Programme Manager - a fine case of leading by example! Maurice said: “When I set out this challenge initially it was only for 50 Half Marathons, but with the level of support locally and throughout the country it just seemed appropriate to target 100 in 100 weeks as we embraced and felt the feel good factor of the Commonwealth Games. With the generosity and good wishes bestowed upon myself towards raising funds and awareness of SAMH, it has been a very humbling experience too, for which I am eternally grateful. “I wasn’t quite sure how this challenge would develop or even for myself to be able to complete it on time, but it has been a wonderful experience travelling up and down the country taking part in half marathons and receiving support and good wishes from the network of clubs and runners.

“I may not be doing a half marathon every week any more, but I will ‘Keeeeeep on jogging!’”

Janet Brodie  20

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

Janet Brodie Janet Brodie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. Despite facing difficult treatment, within months she had decided to walk the Race for Life. It was so much fun she went on to take a beginners’ jogscotland class, and now has her sights set on a half marathon. Janet, 55, says getting active has helped her recover physically and emotionally – here she tells us her story… I was diagnosed in November 2012 and the cancer was quite advanced at that point so I immediately started chemotherapy. The following March, I saw that Race for Life was being advertised, and I said to my sister, Ruth: “I’m going to do that this year”. I’d done it many years ago when I was about 40, but I’d not done anything similar since then, so we decided that we’d get together a team, and walk it. There were eight of us in the team, me, my sister, my two nieces and a few good pals. We got T-shirts made up and we raised about £2,500 between us. I’d had my surgery a couple of months before, and because of the chemo, I didn’t have any hair and I decided I was going to do it without my wig, because I thought it would just be a bit of an insult to people who were going through treatment not to – and I got such a momentous reception. It was a really, really good day. I started my radiotherapy in the July. I’d had two lots of surgery by then – a lumpectomy, and then lymph nodes removed under my arm. The difficulty with the lymph node surgery is that if you don’t get moving you can develop lymphodema and lose your mobility, so it’s really hammered home to you by the nurses and physios that you must do your exercises. So I joined the gym at The Club at Edinburgh College, which is near where I live, and thought: “I’ll just go and do a bit of pilates and a bit of swimming”. I hadn’t been a member of a gym for years but off I went to do my pilates

and before I knew it I’d got myself a gym programme as well, and it escalated! I’d always fancied running but I was always too scared to try it myself. Then a notice went up at the gym saying a beginners’ running group was starting and I thought “This is it, I’m going to try this”. Gemma Hopewell, who works in the gym, had completed the jogscotland Jog Leader course, and was leading the group. I couldn’t run for toffee, but Gemma was fantastic. She said: “People think you just put on your trainers and walk out the door and just run, but it’s not like that, you have to build up gradually”. For the first session, she put a few cones out in the park and we ran around them, and that was hard enough. Then we progressed and she had us running for a minute and walking for three minutes and I thought “I’m going to die!”, but she just built it up gradually from there. We decided to make the jogscotland One Big Weekend 5K at Cramond the goal for our group, and it was absolutely brilliant. There were about six or seven of us I think, I ran/walked it, and we just had such a great time. After that, none of us wanted to pack it in, so we decided to keep it going. Lots of people have joined us of all different standards, and we’ve kept it going through the winter, because none of us wants to run alone in the dark. At the moment Gemma can’t fit it around her

Janet Brodie  21

shifts, but one of the chaps, Mark Fry, at the gym is with Portobello Running Club and he said he’d take us, so we’ve been able to carry on. Gemma still comes along when she’s able and she’s just been absolutely brilliant. She still continues to be a big motivator for me. She’s got a good approach and she knows what she’s doing - I text her on a Friday or a Sunday and tell her what I’ve been up to. After One Big Weekend, I went on to do the Movember run in Holyrood Park with Gemma and my running buddy Tracy and in January, Gemma and I did the Great Winter Run. I’m now running all the way rather than run/walking, and my next aim is to do the Great Edinburgh Run – I’ve printed off the training schedule for that and I’m following it. Then in September I want to do the Scottish Half Marathon. I’m doing my events this year to raise money for Macmillan, because they were marvellous to me when I wasn’t well. I can’t tell you how much the exercise has helped me. There was no bigger couch potato than me, I can assure you, but it

makes so much difference when you’ve been ill. Even people starting with a bit of pilates or a bit of Zumba will find it helps them. Even just doing gentle jogging gets you out, and even if it’s windy, or you’ve got the rain in your face - it’s good fun! Exercise gets you out there socialising, I’ve made lots of new friends through the group and it gives you your confidence back - when you’ve had a cancer diagnosis you lose faith in your body, so I think it’s really important to give yourself that boost.

From A to Z 22

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

From A to Z – in half marathons Three years ago, Rachel Hodson was sure she would never be able to run. Now she’s taking on a full A to Z of half marathons! She tells us all about it… I was always one of those people who said they could never run. I had always walked - when we were kids our parents would take us out hillwalking - but I always said I couldn’t run. Then, three years ago two friends of mine entered me into the relay at Edinburgh Marathon. We’d done a walking marathon prior to that and my friends just entered us into this relay race. It coincided with me moving to Arran in January 2012 to start a job as a staff nurse in the hospital there, and at work there was a poster up for a new jogscotland group, RunArran, being set up by Laura Aitcheson, so I was one of the first in the group when it started. I really was a beginner – I was very much doing the jog 30 seconds, walk 30 seconds programme. I thought I was rubbish, but curiosity drove me to see if I could really do it. I’ve always liked a bit of a challenge, and once you start running, you think “Can I go a bit further? Can I go a bit faster?” I said at the beginning I’d do the shorter leg of the relay, but then one of the team injured himself so I ended up doing 5.6 miles. It was hard! That was in May and I’d only started running in January so I wasn’t ready for it, really. I’d tried a 10K as a test and strugged, I run-walked it. But having completed the relay, I automatically thought “What’s my next target?” I decided I wanted to do a 10K without stopping, and I managed it at a Movember event in Heaton Park in Manchester, which I did with my sister. Then I was trying to do 10K in under

an hour, and I managed that, and of course, thought “What can I do next?” I saw Aberfeldy half marathon – officially called the Highland Perthshire Half Marathon – advertised, so I signed up for that, and completed it in September 2013. While I was training for it, my niece was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of just two and a half, so some of us ran a 5K at Salford Quays in aid of CLIC Sargent, calling ourselves Team Anna Fund. I didn’t really run that much after that, because I was travelling back and forth to see my family a lot and didn’t have much time, but then my sister’s friend told me that they’d entered Blackpool half marathon around April 2014 and I knew I’d be visiting family nearby then, so I entered that. I thought “I’ve done Aberfeldy, I’m going to do Blackpool….” and I actually can’t remember who came up with it, but before I knew it I was wondering if it would be possible to do an A to Z! I was on my break at work, tapping away at the computer thinking “What begins with a B, what begins with an F?”

There are lots of reasons for doing it. I’m asking people to sponsor me and raise more money for CLIC Sargent, which is a great charity. I’m also using it as an excuse to go to lots of places I’ve never been before and have some interesting weekends away.

I’ve done 11 so far, and they’ve been really varied. Rosedale, which was part of the Hard Moors Series, was a ridiculous course, I should have looked at it more carefully – it was much hillier than I was expecting, and I got lost so I ended up running 15 miles! My most recent was Vale of Clywd, and it was my fastest, which I was really pleased about. When I did Glasgow, I really struggled - I only got to about 7K and my legs were gone, so after that I chatted to Laura and Marion McNicol at RunArran and they suggested I start riding a bike as a bit of cross training, so I’m crediting the bike with my fast speed in Vale of Clywd. My favourite so far was Coniston. The course was beautiful with stunning scenery, the weather was beautiful, and there was a great atmosphere. The World Cup was on at the time, so was Wimbledon, and I stayed in a Youth Hostel where just about everyone there was doing the race, so there was a great atmosphere. I’m looking forward to lots more adventures over the next year as I complete the A-Z. Laura and Marion have been fantastic. You can ask them anything and they’re so helpful and supportive. They even put up with us wingeing about running up hills! If you’d asked me three years ago, I really wouldn’t have believed I could even run a 5K, let alone a half – let alone 26 halfs! But it just goes to show - you just need to put the training in and you’ll get there.

Rachel’s A to Z: Aberfeldy Blackpool Coniston Dundee Edinburgh Fleetwood Glasgow Hadrian’s Wall Inskip Jedburgh Kintyre Leeds Macclesfield

Northumbria Oldham Paris Indian Queens Rosedale Skye Tiree Uist Vale of Clywd Warrington eXeter York Zurich

From A to Z 23

Eventually I managed to work out a whole alphabet, albeit with a couple of cheats - if anyone knows of a race beginning with X, let me know! Short of going to China I didn’t think I could find one – I looked for an Xmas event, but most of them are shorter – so I’m doing Exeter, which is a bit of a cheat. For Q I’m doing Indian Queens Half Marathon in Newquay, Cornwall. I won’t be able to do them all in order, but I am hoping to finish off with Z as my last, by doing Zurich in February 2016.

Womens Running  24

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

The April cover-dated issue of Women’s Running is on sale on 26 February and features interviews and advice on a range of topics, including getting started, different types of races and how to prevent injuries. Here’s a rundown of some of the key highlights of the issue… When you first start running, it’s easy to lack confidence in your running ability, but you can bolster your self-belief. Having a consistent training routine, building mileage gradually, choosing kit that makes you feel good and running at your own pace are all good ways to build confidence gradually. You can beat those initial race-day nerves by being fully prepared. Know where the start line is and how you’re getting to the race and make sure you’ve checked out the course route and know where the hills and fuel stations are (as well as the toilets!). That way, you will have the confidence that comes with being prepared. Obstacle and mud races are increasingly popular with runners looking for a new challenge. They involve climbing over obstacles, getting very muddy and challenging your fitness in a new way. Lots of the obstacles involve a reasonable amount of upper body strength, so it’s important to prepare – we’ll help you customise your training. Want to prevent injuries? Sometimes, even

Women’s Running helps women of all ages and abilities to improve their running ’s Women g Runnin ur o y r e Ord y p o c free today

the most simple things like warming up properly can have a huge effect on your ability to run pain and injury-free. We reveal our best moves to make sure your body is ready to go the distance. A positive mindset is key for running, yet many of us are quite negative and declare that we’re ‘not real runners’. Having a positive mental attitude will translate into being a better runner – it’s not necessarily always about how fit you feel or how long you can run for. Read our feature on how to get your mind in gear for running. We run for many reasons, often to relax and clear our heads or sometimes for health and fitness reasons. However, some of us run to broaden our experiences in life. In this issue, read the fascinating stories of two women, Laura Wallis and Kate Jayden, who both try to cram in as many experiences in running as they can, ranging from running multiple marathons to racing abroad. For more information on Women’s Running, or to subscribe, visit www. or visit our Facebook page to keep in touch.

Every issue includes training plans, workouts, nutrition advice and health information to help you become a better runner, lose weight, improve your health and take care of yourself.

Try Women’s Running totally FREE. Go to to claim your FREE copy today or call 0845 286 3067 and quote ‘Runner’

Mens Running  25

With marathon season approaching faster than you can say “Wilson Kipsang”, the April issue of Men’s Running looks at what you can do to run your best 26.2 miles. To this end, we speak with endurance legend Dean Karnazes, a man who declares that “on a good morning, I knock out a marathon before breakfast”. Speaking of breakfast, we also look at some of the best food to power your running and ask whether energy gels are really the best option for fuelling your marathon. Six men who’ll be paying particular interest to the marathon advice are Men’s Running’s 26.2 recruits. Selected from the magazine’s wide range of readers, each of the guys will be running a marathon in the spring and this issue they share the details of their training.

Never ones to turn down a challenge, Men’s Running have put together a team to take on the mother of all tower running challenges: Shelter’s Vertical Rush. Among their number is recent running convert Gordon Woodlands, 83, a shining example of why you’re never too old to lace up your trainers.

Elsewhere, regular columnist Steve Way – holder of the UK over-40s marathon record – looks at how to get the most from your training while up-and-coming ultra-runner Robbie Britton explains the importance of taking a rest day.

But as you get older, should you race and train differently? That’s the question Michael Donlevy answers in his illuminating piece on age-based training. Continuing the theme of training, resident running guru Martin Yelling explains why good running requires a strong upper body as well as muscular legs, while trail titan Ceri Rees shares his off-road running secrets.

The issue also explores two growing phenomena: buggy running and tower running. The former sees fathers pushing their offspring around parkruns in prams; the latter sees people racing up skyscrapers in the name of fun.

There's also the chance to take a sneak peak at the latest shoes, gadgets and clobber that no runners should be without. Packed full of thought-provoking features and practical advice, the April issue of the magazine is a must for all men on the move.

If you are just starting out or a regular runner the newlook Men’s Running will help you run better! Every issue includes training plans and workouts, product tests by real runners, running gadget reviews and features events you must enter.

Try Men’s Running totally FREE. Go to to claim your FREE copy today or call 0845 286 3067 and quote ‘Runner’

Men’s Running helps men become better runners and achieve their goals Men’s Runnin g – NEW L OOK! Order y o free cop ur y today

Scottish Slimmers   26

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

Daredevil Lesley slimmed down to backpack across Australia and throw herself out of a plane! Lesley Ker Before Class Manager: Jayne Taylor Weight: 18stone 3½lbs Height: 5’ 7” Dress Size: 20/22

Now Weight: 10stone 13½lbs Dress Size: 10

Lesley Ker had always dreamed of a more active life where she could fulfil her lifelong goals of backpacking across Australia and throwing herself out of a plane! Sadly Lesley’s dreams were quashed when she was told she was simply too heavy to take part in a sky dive. Full of determination Lesley decided she was not going to let her weight dictate her life, “The sad realisation that my weight could ever stop me from living my life exactly how I wanted just made me even more determined.” In order to meet safety regulations Lesley had to lose just over 2 stone to bring her under the 16 stone mark. She joined Scottish Slimmers and ended up far exceeding her own expectations shedding more than 7 stone to make her dream come true! “I had always wanted to backpack around Australia and New Zealand after I graduated, so in May 2012 I got on a plane 2 stone lighter feeling so much better about myself. “I knew what I needed to do so I took Scottish Slimmers to Australia! I ate balanced meals even on a backpacker’s budget and made good food choices.” Lesley ended up achieving her dream in January 2013 and continued to come on leaps and bounds in her weight loss journey, and she hasn’t stopped there! Today Lesley loves using all of her newfound energy and is hooked on her local gym and their classes and she even goes running 3-4 times a week, “which is amazing considering I couldn’t run the length of myself before!” “If I could share one thing with people it would be to give them courage to take that first step towards the best decision they will ever make. I wish I could tell the old me to do it sooner!”

For more information about Scottish Slimmers call FREE on 0800 36 26 36 or log on to

Checks 8 Fat Grams 5

Enjoy this flavour filled citrus stir fry without the guilt. Packed full of vegetables and lean protein this dish is sure to keep you going through your day.

Serves 2 Ingredients 250g Chicken breast, cut into strips ½ tsp sesame oil ½ tsp sesame seeds Juice of 1 lemon 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce 1 tbsp soy sauce 60g rice Spray oil 115g broccoli 115g sugar snap peas, trimmed 4 spring onions, sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 tbsp chopped ginger 1 red chilli, chopped

Directions 1. Put the strips of chicken in a bowl with the sesame oil and seeds. Stir well to coat the chicken lightly. 2. Mix the lemon juice, sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce in a small bowl and set aside. 3. Boil the rice according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or by your favourite method. 4. H  eat a wok or deep frying pan and stir-fry the chicken for 4-5 minutes, until cooked through and golden. Remove and keep warm. 5. Spray a pan with oil and tip in the broccoli florets, sugar snaps, spring onions, garlic, ginger and chilli. Stir fry for about 2-3 minutes, and then stir in the lemon sauce and 2 tablespoons of hot water. Cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the broccoli and sugar snaps are just tender. 6. Add the cooked chicken to the pan and heat through for about 1 minute. Serve the stir-friend chicken with the cooked rice and vegetables.

Scottish Slimmers  27

Stir Fried Lemon Chicken

Christmas Cracker!  28

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

Christmas Cracker! There was a festive mood at Strathclyde Country Park on December 14 for the annual jogscotland Christmas Cracker 5K. With a whole range of events arranged for the day by North Lanarkshire Leisure, joggers of all ages put on their best Christmas outfits and took part. It was a particularly special day for some members of the Huggy Bears jogscotland group (pictured right), based at nearby Hogganfield Loch. The group’s Liz Kelly completed her first ever 5K event with lots of support from fellow members, while fellow Huggy Bear Angela Gibb was achieving a first of her own - her first 5K since finding out she is expecting a baby!

Race Directory

There’s an event for everyone, go to www. for full details.

Events in pink are part of the jogscotland Challenge Series 2015 7 March Cupar 5 mile road race, Cupar 8 March Balloch to Clydebank half marathon, Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch Gartmorn 6, Carsebridge, Sauchie, Alloa 29 March Kilomathon 13.1k race and 2.62 junior race, Edinburgh Moray Road Runners 10k and 5k, Cooper Park, Elgin 4 April Dunbar 10k road race, Hallhill, Dunbar 5 April Tay Ten, George Duncan Athletics Track, Perth Tom Scott Memorial 10 mile race and 6k Round the Loch race, Strathclyde Park 12 April Round the Houses/Jim Dingwall Memorial 10k road race, Grangemouth Glenlivet 10k, Glenlivet Distillery 19 April Morrisons Great Edinburgh Run, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh Buckie 10k and Junior 3k, Buckie 26 April Run Balmoral Wee Trail Race (3 miles), Balmoral Castle Estate

Race Directory  29

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

Race Directory 30

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

Race Directory cont’d 2 May Mud Run Mayhem, Craufurdland Estate 9 May Penicuik Harriers 10k road race, Bog Road, Penicuik 10 May Monikie 5k and 10k, Monikie Country Park 17 May City of Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10k, Aberdeen Monklands 5k, Drumpelier Park, Coatbridge Morrisons Great Women’s 10k, Glasgow 24 May Castle of Mey 10k, Thurso Fraserburgh10k, James Ramsay Park, Fraserburgh 30/31 May Edinburgh Marathon Festival – 5k, 10k half marathon and marathon 2 June Gairloch 10k, Gairloch 7 June Livingston 10k and 5k Fun Run, St Margaret’s Academy, Livingstonk 13 June Isle of Skye half marathon and fun run, Fingal Centre, Portree 20 June Gate to Gate 5k, Isle of Arran 20 June Peterhead MB Plant 5k, Peterhead

Free parkrun events (5k) every Saturday at 9.30am at: Aberdeen Ayr Camperdown Edinburgh Eglinton Falkirk Greenock Hazlehead Inverness

Kirkcaldy Perth Pollok Springburn St Andrews Strathclyde Tollcross Victoria

Junior parkrun events (2k)

for four to 14-year-olds Every Sunday at 9.30am at: Falkirk – Stirling – Glasgow – Helix King’s Victoria Park Park

Find out more at

Mums on the Run  32

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

Mums on the Run Our Mums on the Run programme has been building momentum this year with more groups springing up all over Scotland. Women who are looking to become pregnant, are pregnant or are a new mum are feeling the health benefits of including jogging in their routine. Physical activity offers a huge range of health benefits to mums, from helping to get your body back into shape after having a baby, to controlling excess weight gain during pregnancy, to helping reduce cramps and swelling, expanding your social circle and boosting your mood and confidence. Our Mums on the Run programme is currently being redesigned and will relaunch later in the year. The new programme promises to have the needs of mums at the very heart of it. It offers guidance and support from a trained Jog Leader and promotes physical, mental and social wellbeing to new mums and mums to be. Montserrat Capellas, a mum of two and Jog Leader based in Edinburgh who has her own Mums on the Run group shares her story: “Before having my children I would sometimes lack motivation to exercise but

now time is the key. As soon as I have an hour, I rush out and run and if I don't feel motivated, I realise that I don't know when I'll next have another hour to spare. So I just go! I started running a couple of years before having the kids, basically to improve my fitness and lose some weight. I think becoming pregnant with a good level of fitness was a great help and it encouraged me keep active until the later stages of pregnancy, when you feel (and actually look!) like a balloon. “After having my child I encountered all the obstacles that mums find when they consider getting back into running: sleepless nights and breastfeeding drained me completely. However, I still did the 10k Race for Life with my child in his buggy when he was four months old. “Now that I have two children, I go out runs with the buggy but I find it hard and sometimes frustrating because I don't progress as fast as when I go without it. One piece of advice I got from a fellow runner mum was that if you need to go to places, instead of taking the bus, it is a good idea to get your gear on and jog/walk quickly with the buggy wherever you go. My kids love it! Montserrat Capellas

Above and below: Jogger Baby Thurso Mums on the Run group

Jo Stevens, our membership development officer also has her own Mums on the Run group. She says: “I started my own Mums on the Run group as lot of my close friends and family have all had children in a short space of time. My sister now has two young children and I saw how difficult it was for her to fit in some time for herself. She was very active before having the kids and now struggled to find time to go to the gym or to classes. So Mums on the Run was the perfect solution. It allows me to catch up with all my friends and spend time with my niece and nephew as I also push them round in the buggy. Running and pushing a buggy is hard work but we follow the jogscotland beginners programme so we build up gradually. The new members that have joined my group have said how nice it is to get some ‘me time’ also enjoy not having to worry about leaving the baby or feeling guilty about looking for a regular babysitter. It also gives the group a chance to share experiences and have a good blether about issues like breastfeeding and teething while getting fit and being outdoors at the same time.” If you would like to know more about becoming a Mums on the Run leader or are looking for a group in your area contact Jo Stevens, Membership Development Officer on or 0131 539 7341.

Mums on the Run  33

“I’m now a trained Jog Leader and have started my own Mums on the Run group and to help other mums to get active with their babies.”

Our Mums on the Run programme has received the seal of approval from none other than running mum extraordinare, Jo Pavey! Jo, a mum-of-two who won both Commonwealth Bronze and European Gold last year at the age of 40, said she definitely recommended jogging to other mums, and you don’t have to be in line for a medal for it to be worthwhile. She says: “Mums on the Run is a fantastic thing to do after you’ve had a baby. “Becoming a mum is an amazing experience, but it’s tiring and leaves you without much time for yourself. After weeks of sleepless nights, the last thing on your mind is exercise. But you know it always leaves you feeling better if you can get out and do something. “Mums on the Run lets you exercise at your own level, whether you’re an experienced runner or a complete beginner. You bring your little one along in the buggy, so there’s no need to arrange childcare, and they might even have a nap while you're working out. Even if they don't, at least you'll both get some fresh air! “It also gives you the chance to spend time with other mums who also like to keep fit. “The Jog Leaders know all about the demands that pregnancy and motherhood make on your body, and they make sure sessions are flexible so you won’t get left behind if your baby needs a feed, a change or a quick cuddle!”

Jo (back right) with her group in Penicuik

Cross Training  34

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

Cross Training - Gyrokinesis by Sue Gyford As a runner, it’s easy to get into the habit of thinking that if exercise hasn’t made you hot, sweaty and breathless, you’ve not done yourself any good. Fans of Gyrokinesis would beg to differ. It’s a very gentle class designed to stretch and strengthen – so gentle that most of the class is done sitting on stools. But that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. It was devised by Juliu Horvath, a Hungarian-Romanian ballet dancer whose career was ended by injury. As he recuperated, he taught himself yoga and meditation, and developed a programme of movement which he taught to dancers in New York. He started out with a system called Gyrotonic, which uses a speciallydesigned set of equipment and is often taught one-to-one, so can be expensive. Then he developed Gyrokinesis, which just uses a stool and mat, so is much more accessible and can be taught in classes. Lisa Robertson, who teaches Gyrokinesis classes in Edinburgh, first tried Gyrotonic because she hoped it would help with the chronic pain condition, fibromyalgia – and found it had tremendous benefits. She said: “My body was all messed up, and it was the only thing that I could do. When I started doing Gyrotonic it just felt fantastic - it stretches you out, and

I started to build up my strength and flexibility. It can happen quite quickly - I can have a really sore day and then go to Gyrotonic and I feel amazing.” Lisa decided to train as a Gyrokinesis teacher to try and spread the benefits of the exercises. Her class is held in a church hall, and she starts by setting up a small semi-circle of cushioned wooden stools, each with a yoga mat in front. We each sit on a stool and start the class by giving ourselves a gentle massage – we rub our palms together to warm them up, then give our scalps a good rub with our fingertips, rub our ears, faces, necks and shoulders, and so on, down to our toes. Lisa then asks us to pause and notice the tingling of our bodies. I’m amazed how different I feel, as if the blood’s really coursing through me. Anyone who’s tried yoga or Tai Chi will recognise the emphasis that Gyrokinesis places on feeling energy within the body. Still seated, we work our way gradually through a series of gentle stretches and movements. When we start working with the arms, I find I’m warm enough to take my fleece off and work in a T-shirt, but generally it’s not a hot-and-sweaty cardio class. It’s a bit like doing the kind of stretches you do after a run, but for an hour-long class, rather than the hurried five minutes that many of us squeeze in when our jog is done and we want to get away home.

Some movements are tiny, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy. At one point we’re asked to lift one side of our hips up so that the “sitting bone” lifts slightly from the stool, and then the other, alternating sides - Lisa tells me that one man looked at her bewildered at this point in his first class and said: “I didn’t know you could move your hips like that!” Over the weeks, though, he began to find the movement became easier each week as he increased his strength and flexibility. Towards the end of the class we put the stools aside and move onto the floor, where again, the movement is gentle as we work through a series of stretches. There are plenty of times that a stretch reaches a particular muscle or corner of my body that I hadn’t realised was tight until that moment and I wish I could stay there all day. We have a brief pause for relaxation, and then come up to standing position. Lisa repeats an exercise that we did sitting down – keeping our feet still, we imagine that we’re a pencil with the point facing upwards, drawing a figure of eight on the ceiling. We gradually reduce the size of the movement to the point where we’re not actually moving, but can still sense the movement. I’m amazed to find I know exactly what Lisa means when she tells us to try this – it’s as if my mind is still thinking the movement, though my body is still.

Cross Training  contents 35 35

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

It’s an example of the way Gyrokinesis encourages us to notice our body and mind working together - a good reminder for those of us who like to just go out and mindlessly tick off running sessions on a schedule, without noticing how good or bad our body feels on any given day (I’m putting my own hand up here…!) There are still only a handful of Gyrokinesis teachers in Scotland, but the classes are gradually growing in popularity, so it’s likely that more people will take the opportunity to train. Lisa says several members of her class are people who do exercise regularly but have been injured and are coming to help them recover: “A lot of runners seem to come to classes, and for them the hip stuff is really good, and the back stretches. “It’s quite good for injury - it’s really gentle, and is all about creating strength and flexibility. The stools mean you don’t have to stretch that far, and I watch people’s bodies in class, and think how can I adapt it if they’re finding it challenging. You can do it anywhere, you don’t need a special stool, you can use a chair. Although it’s gentle, it’s amazing how quickly you can start to see people improve.” For more information on Lisa’s classes, see or email

Jogging Along  36

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

Jogging Along by David Syme

Injured? Avoid Runners! On a long run recently my left calf started to twinge, so I walked back to my car and stopped running for a few days. After some gentle trial jogging all seemed well, so I set off on another run. No problems for 5k, then the twinges recurred. Once again I walked home, concluding that I had indeed picked up a minor running injury. I could still walk, and so walking became my replacement form of exercise. The mistake I made, however, was to walk on paths popular with runners. As runners approached I would look over to their eyes, hoping that my eyes would convey this message: “I am a runner, too, just like you. I would like to be running today, like you, but I am injured. Just a wee calf injury, soon I’ll be out there with you.... Mind how you go and enjoy your run!” The frustration of watching others run could easily drive me to go out – just for a quiet 30 minutes jogging or so – before whatever it is with my calf has fully recovered. So my advice to any runner trying to rest an injury is to avoid parks, towpaths, trails or any place where runners do their thing; that is like browsing in a cake shop when you are on a diet. Avert the eyes from runners in the street, and keep clear of running your pals and their facebook race exploits. Read a book about running, plan races later in the year, even go shopping, but don’t expose yourself to temptation. If you do, you will persuade yourself: “Och, it’ll be OK.” But it won’t.

Preparing for the first Marathon This is the time of year when running magazines are awash with advice for running a spring marathon. Training regimes, how to achieve a PB, diets, injury avoidance... good stuff for those runners who are disciplined and dedicated, but hard for the novices signed up to raise money and just wanting to get round. My own approach is rather more relaxed: Eight weeks before the race, I take transport to a point 12 miles from home and run/walk back. I don’t concern myself about the time taken. One week later I choose a different route for a 15 mile run/walk home, then 18 and 21 miles, with progressively more run than walk. I then do another 18, then 15 and rest the last week. I feel that if I can do a 21 miles run in training, 26 miles with adrenalin assistance on the day will be a doddle! Above all, I make sure to enjoy these training runs and then I know I will enjoy the race.

David has produced two collections of short stories about running world-wide: “Running Away From Home” and “Runing Home and Away”. All proceeds from sales go to support Tong-Len UK, a charity for street children in Northern India.

From beer to running gear  38

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

From beer to running gear by Paul Udall aka ‘Stig’ I would like to tell you all about my fantastic journey over the last two years. I’m certainly not trying to brag, be sensationalist or show off, I thought that this may encourage people try new avenues, as I did. Starting around Christmas 2012, and for the previous 12 years before that, I was just a bloke, as I still am, that went to work, came home, dealt with life. This would normally be started off at the closing of the door and opening a beer. I’d go about my usual routine, walking the dogs, making dinner and drinking more beer. In fact at least 12 to 18 beers a night Monday to Thursday, maybe 24 on a Friday, and up to 30 on a Saturday and 30 to 35 on a Sunday. I was always seen with a can in my hand but despite all the beer I never missed my work. I didn’t go to the pub, I had my own world of jobs to do. I’d still be gardening at 1 in the morning, not able to put a nut in a monkey’s

mouth. I would wake up the following morning and things had been done as if by magic, I couldn’t even remember doing them! New Year’s Day in 2013 brought the usual celebrations but this time it brought something different as well – I had to borrow a kilt for a wedding. I had a kilt of my own but it didn’t fit me anymore, though I was sure it would some day. I measured it and it was a 32" kilt. I tried it on and snug was an understatement! I couldn’t get it tied or fastened. There were guffaws and jeers by all parties who witnessed my attempt. This generated a challenge! Fit into it by next New Year. Piece of cake, I thought! I was a 40 waist - which means not only did I not fit my

Life resumed as normal as the first three weeks of January romped by with me still paying the brewers’ salaries. So I decided I would accompany a pal to a class – a step class. A man going to a step class! A fat, bleary eyed man, in a step class... yeah, right! But I did it. Sheona McHale the instructor came and introduced herself and explained the basics, then the room filled up with ladies - lots of ladies. And then there was me. I was totally out of my comfort zone, way out. I was so embarrassed but no-one really noticed me, it was remarkable. A stranger, a big sweaty, puffing fatty - absolutely anonymous. I was surprised. I was sore and stiff afterwards, and I got a right ribbing from colleagues work. I work in construction so it was a right hard ribbing! The feeling of wellbeing that came from that one class made me want to do more, to go again, so I did. I started feeling better after the first week, and really good after the second week. The passion was born. I tried a different class,

on a different night. Superb. People actually talked to me. They didn’t laugh at me, but genuinely talked. Interested… in a fat bloke! People talked a foreign language, about diet, muscle groups and the like - eh?! Then someone said to me, “You should try aerobics”. A bloke at aerobics! So I did. What a buzz. This class was run by Sheona, who again welcomed me to the class and explained the basics. It was brilliant. Embarrassingly, I was the only guy there too. Again I felt very self-conscious but once the music started it didn’t matter. I had a blast. Then another class - TRX (a total body workout using suspension equipment). Oooh was I sore, but I persisted and started to feel incredible. Then I set a target. I needed a goal so I could achieve something – I chose Tough Mudder. I wasn’t sure if my goal was realistic or achievable but I wanted to try. I put the training in and race day finally came round. I did it! It was really tough but there’s no better feeling that crossing the finish line after months of hard work. After Tough Mudder came boot camp, a fantastic way to start a weekend. A great reason to get up and enjoy outdoor exercise.

InverarayFrom jogscotland beer to running photoshoot  gear  39

kilt, I was already at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease, increased blood pressure and diabetes. Just 8 inches stood between me and this kilt.

as many as I can to come and join in at every level. We are a free group, so numbers are irrelevant, it’s the enjoyment factor that’s more important. I now have an amazing array of close friends that I have met through exercise, far too many to mention, but people that genuinely care and you can talk to. The community around fitness is incredible. I had a few knocks later in the year and all my friends were there for me. That’s when you know they care.

I then tried classes with different instructors, more recently a conditioning class, which is a fantastic mix of aerobics and interval training. A weights course to gain a bit of strength and to walk with a straight back and with straight shoulders again. All of the instructors are fantastic people. They give so much enthusiasm and more importantly, they keep you right, so you don’t get hurt. I wholeheartedly thank them for the support they have given me on my journey. My diet has changed too, but only slightly. I never was a particularly bad eater but the science of nutrition intrigued me, so I had a wee look at that too. I was enjoying all of the exercise I had done so far and it wasn’t long before the urge to run was sparked again. I hadn’t run for years, apart from to avoid traffic. So I tried running by myself at first. It was not much fun and it didn’t last long. Then I met up with an old friend who had been running for all the time I knew her. She invited me out to run with her. What a buzz! I managed a wee three mile run/walk on the first night. Brilliant! I needed more. So I did it again. Then we decided to setup a running group called the Duloch Daunders. It’s a group just for people to come and run, walk or jog. I’ve enjoyed it so that I have done the Jog Leader course with jogscotland. I now run about 25 to 40 miles a week on top of all the other exercise and thoroughly enjoy every step. I try to encourage

So my aim in this story was to show how someone’s life CAN change for the better through exercise. And I’m not bragging. I’m still a smelly man, but with a sense of excitement in the mornings now and enthusiasm for life, instead of being a dreary old, hazy, plodder. I’m not teetotal, but I am reformed! I didn’t get help with my drinking, I was too embarrassed. Exercise and running have helped me turn my health around for the better. So slowly I reduced my alcohol intake to a level I’m rather proud of at present. When you start, it’s the start that makes the difference. When you keep going it makes you feel so much better. What are you waiting for? I now fit into my kilt!

Cool Down

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jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

by Sue Gyford

Pictured: Runners socialising at Chelmsford parkrun (see over)

So who else is a round number runner? I am, and if you are too, you’ll know exactly what I mean: The inability to stop a run on anything other than a round number – a whole mile, kilometre, or minute. It’s a blessing and an affliction all at once. You put on the running app or the GPS and set off, knowing roughly where you want to go. All goes fine until you’re nearly home, when you look at your device, only to discover that you’ve just run 2.67 miles. Or 3.34 kilometres. Or 23 minutes and 17 seconds. It doesn’t matter what the distance, but there are some of us that cannot stop between full units. No matter how tired we are, we’ll somehow find the strength within us to carry on until we see that satisfying .00 on our electronic display. It doesn’t matter if we’re left slogging up and down the street outside our house for five minutes until the neighbours are peering out the curtains at us, we can’t stop until we’re done. If your device also has audio, it’s even worse – there’s no satisfaction in finishing until you hear the electronic man or woman make the next announcement “You. Have. Run. Five. Miles. Point. Zero. Zero.” – the happiest

words of the run, that make it all worthwhile! Sometimes this kind of obstinacy can be helpful – it pushes you that little bit further than intended, and of such small extra distances training gains are made.

Where did that .01 come from?

But sometimes it’s just painful. I’ve had runs where I look down to see I’m – say - 4.35 miles in, and decide I definitely want to do five. I jog a bit more, look down at my phone. 4.46 miles. Keep going, look down. 4.65 miles. RIGHT! I resolve that I will NOT look at my phone again, until I hear the lady announce I’ve hit five miles. Those final metres are the longest distance I’ve ever run. Must keep going, mustn’t look down, soon be there, must keep going, mustn’t look down, soon be there, must keep – oh my God I must be done soon – DON’T LOOK DOWN! Must keep going… and so on, until I’m finally put out of my misery by the sound of a woman who doesn’t even exist (and who by this time I’ve renamed the Voice of Doom).

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jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

This craziness reached its peak when I did a long run last week during my half marathon training. I decided to run home from the jogscotland offices – about eight miles - and add in a wee loop at the end to try and reach nine miles. It’s the furthest I’ve been for a while, and was going to be a challenge, but I wasn’t too fussed about my speed, and when every step is a step nearer home, it’s always a bit easier. Nonetheless, the last few miles were tough. I passed the end of my street at about 8 miles, determined to add that extra loop and make it to 9. Toiling away, I looked at the phone again at 8.65 miles, but rather than torture myself by constantly checking it, decided I would NOT look again until I heard the Voice of Doom tell me I’d hit 9 miles. I ran, and I ran, and I ran. Oh, it hurt! I was tired, and sore, and near home, but I wasn’t going to stop until I hit nine miles. I rounded the corner of my street again. Still no announcement. I was sure I must have hit my target by now – I’d been going for ages. I finally granted myself a look down – 9.45 miles! You’d think I’d be delighted – I’d smashed my target! But instead my shoulders slumped… not only had I somehow missed the joy of hearing her tell me I’d run 9 miles, NOW I was going to have to keep going until I hit 10! So off I went, round in circles near the flat, phone held aloft in my hand, volume right

up, determined not to miss it. At last, of course, the big 1-0 came and I could finally relax. Except of course by then I was both tired and grumpy. It’s only as I write this down that I realise quite how ridiculous it sounds. But whether you’re a round-number runner or not, I think many of us find ourselves going a little bit running crazy at times, one way or another. It happens especially when we’re too focussed on a particular goal, and forget that the whole point of jogging is to enjoy yourself. Fortunately, running with others – be it your jogscotland group or just a pal – is a good way to escape the trap. Other people are very good at reminding you to step back from the crazies, put your training in perspective and enjoy the ride! I had another good reminder recently of the way that other people can return you to the sheer fun and friendliness of running. While visiting family, I tried the parkrun in Chelmsford, Essex, for the first time. I knew not a soul, but quickly found myself chatting to folk both before and after the run. It felt like a home from home, and a great reminder of the fact that runners everywhere are a happy family of folk, whatever our size, shape or speed. Now if I can just complete a parkrun in exactly 30 minutes, I’ll be really content!

jogscotland group finder With hundreds of groups across Scotland, here’s how to find your nearest one…

1. go to 2. enter postcode 3. find your nearest group 4. join in!

Cross Local Training Contacts   43 35

jogscotland magazine Spring 2015

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Stride Magazine - Spring 2015  

The members magazine for jogscotland

Stride Magazine - Spring 2015  

The members magazine for jogscotland