From Couch to 5k

Ben Fraser

We’ve all been there… a couple of glasses into a social gathering, feeling confident and fearless (booze effect) you publicly dish out a smooth response to a proposition around giving something new ago. In Val’s case she had agreed to start running.


Interviewing Val one chilly October evening, tucked into a corner of the Throstle Nest bar it was immediately apparent that her willingness to act on her apparent motivations had brought her closer to running.


Getting fit opens up a lot of other opportunities


Those opportunities were both personal and collective. Val wanted to lose weight and shape up for herself but an even bigger desire was bubbling up – to be able to join her family on outdoor adventures.


Cue ‘group 1’ at the Farsley Flyers – a beginner section that takes somebody completely new to running and supports them along an exhausting yet liberating journey (for those that have erased this experience from memory). In 8 weeks, Val was flourishing.


‘It’s just that support network in the group – it makes me feel really safe


Bursting with animation and enthusiasm (you could say we were hitting the post-run peak) there was no doubt that Val had benefited from this experience, she can now run 5 Kilometres with only a couple of stops along the way.


If you told me that I would be running 5k a couple of months ago I wouldn’t have believed it


Chipping in…


I’ve got more confident thinking I’m fit – I am now!


That there is the beauty of running. From one of the simplest forms of recreation, of which many people can do (if they tried!), a person can feel confident and rejuvenated in themselves, and not only when moving on two feet – the good vibes tipple over into everyday life.


As our conversation moves along I dig deeper to find out if Val has made any significant lifestyle changes. Once asked I find myself grinning from ear to ear with what this inspirational lady comes back with.


I do it on my own in-between the sessions – I walk a lot of places undaunted if there’s a lot of hills… I just run!


She runs with the group on a Thursday, she runs laps of her neighbourhood, she even runs when she makes trips back to her native Liverpool. Without hitting you too blatantly with a certain sports brand sound bite. Val just does it!


If you’re welling up with inspiration reading this, thinking ‘it could be me’ it’s now time you tried it yourself. Our run groups are here to help you plant that seed of change. All you need to do is commit and watch it grow!


Find out where your nearest Run Leeds group is:


Want to keep up to date with everything Run Leeds? Sign up now to stay in the loop!