Graham - New Coach

I made several New Years resolutions in 2017, one of which was to try and start running in an attempt to get fit and lose some weight. I had no previous experience of anything more than training associated with my rugby playing days. I was a little nervous as I had had an arthroscopy on my left knee less than a year ago but wanted to give it a go anyway.

Saturday 7th Jan 17 I took myself and my barcode to park Penallta and dragged myself around the Park Run 5k route with the other participants in a time of 29:07. As this was my first 5k my PB was set! I was in agony over the following few days but kept going and throughout 2017 I completed 26 parks runs with my PB dropping down to just under 24 minutes.

I had spoken to a few people in work and they recommended trying to find a local running club. A quick google search and I found Ystrad Runners and decided to go along on. I remember the cold Monday evening in Jan 2018 where I joined a group on a 5km run around Ystrad.

Over the coming weeks I ran with the group on a Monday and Thursday as well as continuing park run on a Saturday. At this stage I had no real aim other than improving my fitness and possibly a 10k race as a long term goal.

Looking back now to where I was 10 months ago I can hardly believe the events I have completed this year - Bryn Bach Park (6miles), Caerphilly 10k, Castle to Castle (11miles) and last week the Cardiff Half Marathon. This has taken a lot of hard work but I would not have achieved this without the support and encouragement I have received from all the Coaches at the club as well as the other like minded runners.

Running is now part of my life and it makes me happy, especially after a long, stressful day at work. I would encourage anyone who thinks they can't run to give it a go and see where it takes them!