We have lots of members who are trained Run Leaders having all undertaken their Leader in Running Fitness (LIRF) qualification.
The LIRF qualification means they can deliver fun and safe sessions to multi-ability groups and give advice and support to new runners, as well as developing pathways for those who want to progress. It is designed to help overcome barriers to running and encourage participation by those not traditionally attracted to a running club. It is a legal requirement that each of our Run Leaders has a DBS check with UK Athletics.
What do our Run Leaders do?
Firstly and most importantly all our run leaders are volunteers. They give up their own time to run the Beginners and Improvers groups, including the planning of sessions and paperwork so please keep this in mind if you contact someone and they don’t reply immediately.
They will plan the sessions, organise volunteers and give advice. Some groups may have two Run Leaders but if this isn’t the case, then the sole Run Leader will probably start running with the front group and make their way to the back during the session so they get to run with as many people as possible. This is an opportunity to see how people are getting on and give any advice as the sessions progress.
BEGINNERS SESSIONS our beginners sessions follow the c25k programme and Run Leaders will take members through a warm up and cool down as well as the main run/walk session. They last 10 weeks ending in a 5km graduation.
IMPROVERS SESSIONS are aimed at building confidence or speed at 5km and increasing distance to 10km for those who want to. These sessions also last for 10 weeks and may end in a 10km graduation. Our Run Leaders will lead structured, varied sessions such as hill training or interval training, they are more than happy to pass the information for these sessions onto any group that would like to follow the plan during their social runs.
Outside of the Beginners and Improvers sessions then all groups are running as social groups whether they have a Run Leader in the group or not.
SOCIAL RUNS our Run Leaders may not be present at social runs and if attending, are just there to run and not be a Run Leader. Whilst they may plan routes and distances for a social run, any member of the group can do and it isn’t the Run Leaders responsibility, its often nice to run someone else’s route. Please remember that at social runs we all need to be looking out for each other. Please make sure that nobody is running alone even if that means looping back, waiting at set distances or all slowing to the speed of the last runner. This is a really important rule and part of what makes NWR inclusive.
BECOMING A RUN LEADER – as a club we can fund a limited number of new run leaders each year. We look for leaders in areas where we want to expand and who in return for their funding will deliver 20 hours ( 2 x 10 week sessions) in this area. If you’d like to know more, please contact a committee member. Sadly in popular and established areas, we cannot always fund additional leaders.
VOLUNTEERS. We couldn’t run our sessions without the help of our volunteers. They are there to make sure people know the routes and timings and to make sure we follow our policy of “nobody gets left behind”. If you’re part of a social group and can help with the new Beginners and Improvers, even if you can’t commit every week, then the Run Leaders and new runners really appreciate it.
RACES AND PARKRUNS while our Run Leaders may be happy to run with people at events, races and Parkrun, please remember that they may also be training for their own events, may be chasing a PB, may be pacing or may be coming back from illness or injury and on these occasions are not expected to run with their group members running the same event. Why not support them on such occasions and meet up at the end for some well earned cake ( we’re very good at cake !!)
ICE please try to carry emergency contact information with you and make sure you are fit and well while running. If you have any medical conditions please check with your doctor that running is ok for you and inform members of the group if you think you are struggling or feeling ill during a run. We know running is addictive but please don’t run when you are unwell, trust us, your legs wont forget how to run and you’ll come back stronger.
And here they are …….
Veronica (Vee) Lupton