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To me, running means to be alive and free! by Emma

Through swimming to triathlons, Emma has learned that progress in running starts with your mindset, closely followed by a true commitment of time to the sport!

What is your proudest running achievement, and why? 

  • I’d probably say completing my first solo ultramarathon at the Dockside Midday to Midnight was my proudest running achievement. The event was quite spontaneous with a month between its launch and it taking place so I’d kind of just thrown myself at it with whatever fitness I had from the back end of the triathlon season. Running for 12 hours was an experience and rollercoaster in itself and to have come away with the female course record and raise over £600 for charity was something that is really special to me. 

What has running taught you?  

  • Running has taught me that sport has a special way of bringing people together. I have also discovered from experience that the body is far more resilient than the mind. Once you’ve took yourself past that point of comfort, even once, you realise how we’re all able to grow and the desire to achieve more becomes irresistible. 

What is your most ambitious running goal and did you achieve it? If you did, how did you manage it? 

  • My most ambitious running goal, and sporting goal, was to race at the World Triathlon Age Group Championships for Team GB. I qualified in 2018 for the 2019 Championships and it was the most rewarding goal I’ve achieved so far. 

Have you got any memorable or funny running stories to share? 

  • Loosing shoes in mud at Park Run, crawling down the side of cliffs in the middle of the night on the Costa Brava, getting chased by horses in Parkgate… the list is endless! 

What is the most miles you’ve ever run in a week? 

  • I raced at the Dockside Runners Midday to Midnight inaugural event in October 2019 and completed 44 miles in one sitting. That week my total reached 57.7 miles; the most I’ve ever ran in a week. 

What has been your most serious running injury and why did it happen? 

  • Some would say I’ve been lucky to not have suffered from a serious running injury but with the volume of training steadily increasing year on year I have experienced niggles along the way. 
  • In 2017, I was in a lot of pain with my left knee for a 3-week period. After resting it, trying to strengthen it and then getting back into running, it returned, and I figured out it was the track sessions that were causing the discomfort. Running around the track one way and leaning into the bend was causing imbalance in my weight distribution and putting pressure on my left knee. Although I enjoy the track, I’ve since not trained on it and believe it or not I’ve not suffered with any pain! 

What would persuade you to work with an online running coach? 

  • There is SO much on offer online now to the beginner and advanced runner that it can be both inspiring and overwhelming. Training Peaks and Strava in particular are fantastic platforms for recording all training stats and monitoring progress. Having a running coach has crossed my mind a few times on the basis of accountability, but the training environment I have with Dockside Runners currently lends itself to self-development and progression so I ask the question... why do I need to change that? It’s important that we ‘Don’t try fix what’s not broken. If you’re lucky enough to have established a positive productive routine with measurable goals I struggle to see the additional benefit of a distant online running coach. 

What is the best advice you have ever received about your running? 

  • Literally… use my arms! Often a misconception that running is all about the legs, running without the driving force and propulsion of your arms makes a huge difference to your speed and technique. 
  • In terms of training, the best advice was to run more. I know that sounds obvious but you have to run to become better at running, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s of greater benefit going out frequently for a slow jog than doing a fast short run every two weeks and doing nothing in between. Every run counts to improving yourself and the more you do it the more the body adapts and progresses. 

If you could go back and talk to yourself when you first started running, what would you say (knowing all that you do about running)? 

  • It’s definitely not about how fast you are, running is so much more than that. It can take you to places around the world if you let it. Physically I’m stronger and emotionally I’m stronger. I have grown in self-confidence and social awareness from the experiences it’s given me and from the people I’ve met that I would never have imagined (from staying at home on the sofa). 

Have you got a running hero or a runner you look up to? If so, why do you? 

  • I don’t have a particular hero that I look up to. I admire a lot of runners for their reasons of why they run – from Olympic triathletes to those breaking road race World Records, to local runners I see at Dockside smashing personal bests or all those running for charity. We’re all on our own running journey and that’s what I find most exciting! 

In one sentence, what does running mean to you? 

  • To me, running means to be alive and free! 
I have the whole of Dockside Runners in Liverpool to thank for my journey. They are an amazing group of runners and friends who encourage, support and push you with your running and help you to be the best version of you, you can be. I am extremely honoured to have been voted Dockside Runner of the Year for both 2018 and 2019. This makes me very emotional as there are so many outstanding and caring people that set such a high standard in the club when it comes to achievements and positive attitudes.

I've just recently become a Pacer at the club which is an exciting chance for me to help and guide others with everything that I've learnt on my running journey!

If anyone is in Liverpool either for work or on a course and need to have a run, Dockside Runners meet on a Tuesday Evening from 6:15pm and Sundays at 10:15am. We have four groups of mixed abilities so there is something to suit everyone!

The link for the club is here - Dockside Runners

Keep smiling and running!'

Many thanks

Emma