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Time I put down my pen and picked up my running shoes

By Tamworth Herald  |  Posted: April 19, 2013

  • Right. Some of the thousands of runners who took part in last year's event.

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REPORTING from the finish line of the Great Midlands Fun Run last year and watching thousands of participants run, walk and stumble their way through the final one hundred metres of the course was incredibly inspiring.

Whether it was an experienced runner celebrating a new personal best, a set of parents with their children and family labrador in tow completing the route holding hands or an entrant sporting a film character outfit or animal costume, they all had one thing in common – they had set themselves the challenge of completing the 8.5-mile route and succeeded.

And countless exhausted but exhilarated runners were kind enough to share their motivation for taking part with me.

More still, while beaming with pride and catching their breath, detailed where the money they had raised would go and why their chosen charity was so deserving.

After listening to the family tragedies and fitness goals which had motivated them to take part – which were as varied as the attire they sported – I decided it was time to put down my pen and pick up my trainers.

And so, I am now in training to run this year's Great Midlands Fun Run.

Having toyed with running in the past but never committed to it for any great length of time, I have enlisted the help of a professional and will be training with Fitness First Personal Trainer Tom Penzer Adams, from Lichfield.

Specialising in strength and conditioning, nutrition in sport, weight management and core stability, Tom is an active sportsman with an all round education in physical activity and a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of personal training.

Over the next two months I will be sharing with the Herald dedicated readers my journey towards completing the run with official event sponsors, Fitness First – and hopefully inspiring some of you to take part next year.

After an initial health and fitness assessment with Tom and two shock-to-the-system gym sessions – after which muscles I didn't know existed began to twinge – I am now gearing up for my first personal training session.

Though Tom admitted that taking on an 8.5-mile run for the first time is a "big challenge", for him "impossible is nothing".

"For someone who hasn't done large amounts of running before the term 'fun' shouldn't be treated too lightly, over 13k does require training," he said.

"We are looking at increasing Elise's stamina and focusing a lot of attention on leg strength.

"We are going to pay close attention to the muscles above her knees so they are up to the task and we will also be doing specific training on quads.

"The closer we get, the more we are going to increase the mileage we are doing and we will be getting out and practising parts of the actual course.

"Elise is certainly going to be put through her paces," he added.

With just over eight weeks to go before Sunday, June 2, and with Tom repeatedly using the word "body shock" to describe the training I am about to undertake, I am fully aware that I have a lot of work to do.

And though I am sure, like many, after completing the course I will be cursing Cardiac Hill [a steep section in Sutton Park] and complaining about aching muscles, I also already know the pride I will feel to have been among those thousands of people pounding the streets of Sutton Coldfield and running up funds for local worthy causes.

Watch this space, meanwhile I'm off for a run!

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