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A Very Important Date

Eat this! Make running bigger!

A few weeks ago I was interviewed for the Marathon Talk podcast, and the one thing that really made me giggle during recording was the idea that I might be one of the most influential figures in British running. I'd just been describing my early experiences of running at school – coming 29th out of a class of 30 boys in the 100 metres, with a fabulous sub-20 – which nearly caused the PE teacher to drop his cigarette.

It was even more of a shock therefore, to read the email that arrived in my mailbox last Tuesday. I've been invited to afternoon tea (pinkies at the ready) at the Houses of Parliament to discuss how to encourage more people to run. Specifically, the goal is to encourage running within the workplace, as part of a national campaign being led by Run Group.

I'm not under any illusions. The event will be attended by politicians from all parties, senior business leaders, media moguls, well-known runners and other sporting glitterati – all of whom will have their own ideas and agendas. I'll be just another delegate in a busy room, albeit perhaps the only one trying to see how many vol-au-vents I can fit in my mouth without choking.

We've been invited to pledge our commitments to get more people running, more often. And this is why I've published this article. The fact is, I'm not an influential figure in British running, but I do represent an influential group. You lot.

Given the parliamentary involvement, there's a certain temptation to march in and demand free trainers for all; government-funded bubble bath in every workplace; and a shedload of leftover cake in a big doggy bag. I will definitely do that last one.

Because FE is entirely free, I have to keep my costs low. In fact, I'm in the habit of assuming that I have a budget of exactly £0. And it works well, not least because it's a pretty accurate estimate. I've found that the best way to make something happen is to break it up into lots of very small chunks, and let 70,000 runners loose on it. The effect is not dissimilar to a cloud of locusts, or the cake shop after parkrun.

So I'm turning this one over to you.

Judging by the amount of website traffic we get during business hours, I imagine that we're already generating a fair bit of awareness in the workplace. Of course, you might be doing plenty of running around just trying to find a job in the first place; or self-employed with no-one else to encourage; or working your socks off looking after your family. It's all effort. It's all stuff that helps keep the world spinning, which I assume is the point.

The one thing we all have in common is an understanding that running is a great way to stay healthy. It's cheap, accessible, and there's no better feeling. So please take a minute to think about how running could have a bigger impact on the place where you work, or the work that you do, and how Fetcheveryone could help make that happen. Putting aside the potential contribution from the jet set, we have a significant opportunity to make something good. And I'm willing to work for it.

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Comments

  • There's a lot of work being done to encourage active travel - most of which seems to be aimed at commuting - but I have yet to see running mentioned as an option in any of it! I don't think the needs of a runner are any different from someone who walks or cycles to work (or chooses to do so in their lunchbreak) but maybe just acknowledging that people run as well as walk or cycle might be a good place to start!
  • There is already a 'cycle to work' scheme where you can get some (or all) of the cost of a bicycle. Why not a 'run to work' scheme where you can get some money for trainers, leggings, jackets, high vis clothing etc
  • The biggest obstacle to running in the workplace is lack of facilities to shower/change.... (But i don't see how this 1 runner in an office of 12 people goes about asking for this....) Perhaps a government directive to to insist upon it would help! Thank you.....

    Are there grants and things to help businesses? More publicity on this might encourage.

    In Scotland there is JogScotland and Jogworks groups taking people out, but again you'd really need facilities really....

  • My list would include
    - more funding directly to PSH for parkruns
    - more support to allow communities to close roads to motor vehicles in towns and cities at the weekend to encourage walking and cycling
    - more support from Police for road races (particularly for road closures)
    - use zero rate VAT selectively to target active travel choices
  • Unfortunately, my workplace is in the middle of a very busy town, the nearest parks are about a mile away. So as we are a college, we encourage healthy travel (down the A6, right that's going to work) or more easily activities that can be done on the college premises at lunchtimes and after work, this however does not include running, as the powers believe that running in the streets is dangerous for staff and Students, so they allow only team sports, futsul, basketball, netball, table tennis and badminton and the obvious safe sport of boxing. Sorry not a lot of help here
  • In my limited (listening to my wife!) experience the biggest obstacle in getting folks out there running is the competitive element. This is where Parkrun has succeeded by emphasising the non-competitive aspect of there events. We all need a goal to keep us training but beginners can be put off by just the event name, 10 or 5K RACE. More non-competitive events aimed at beginners. We all know that they will soon be hooked and get as competitive as the rest of us!
  • A firmer stance on planning regulations to insist on showers / lockers etc for new builds - BREAM etc that would make it possible for those who wish to run to work or run at lunchtime. Same again for new roads / upgrades (in news today) they should have a greater involvement of other users - cyclists, pedestrians etc when designing.
  • This is tough because in my view you have to want to run and its not like cycling as a commute type activity where you can provide showers and a cycle to work scheme. . I personally had 3 or 4 aborted attempts to take up running in an effort to lose weight, but my running was done under the covers of darkness. It took a long time before it became a regular activity, which brought health benefits, brought mental benefits, I enjoyed and ultimately fund I could be pretty good at. Now its part of who I am.

    Maybe there could be a midweek type funded parkrun mile initiative. Being in Edinburgh, that could be achieved in the meadows, but would need some organising and volunteers would be harder to come by, but with funding, then who knows
  • Another big nudge from me for showers, changing, lockers in the workplace.
  • Showers and lockers would be a good start. Some incentive for companies to organise running groups (beyond the obvious benefits of a workforce with better health, life expectancy, lower sickness, higher alertness and productivity). Not sure how it can be incentivised, though. Tax breaks only really apply to smaller businesses which are actually having to pay tax. Media involvement is crucial. There's an article onthe BBC website today that talks about needing to get fit to run. That's not very encouraging to beginners, is it?
  • Well, there is this: Link (roll over me to see where I go)
  • Woohoo, that sounds fab! What an honour and an opportunity to influence etc.
    Some non-work ones in here (cos I copied and pasted from my comment on your blog 10 days ago, soz, lazy, guilty!)
    - reduced price at running tracks (our council charges 4.80 - given that one would normally only do it for 1 hour and ideally should be every week, that's a big barrier to training)
    - reduced health and life insurance for commitment/proof of running (any sporting activity) and not smoking, not being obese etc.
    -subsidised/reduced cost health/recovery services e.g. physio, massage etc. for commitment/proof of running (any sporting activity) this one is a double win - encourages people in and keeps them fit. Probably cheaper than fixing them afterwards on NHS.

    I'm lucky at my work, we have showers, some drying facilities (not brilliant) and choices of run commute from where I live from 4.5 to 7 miles each way. Perfect. But more of that for everyone, I guess?

    All def cheaper than inactivity leading to problems in old age. etc.

    Enjoy the vol au vents, fairy cakes etc. Actually, I bet HoP is like a private school canteen - slops, and they all love it cos it reminds them of their Tom Brown's schooldays (maybe best not say that tho, eh?)! :-) G
  • Congratulations, do you get a gold postfix now?
    Jog Scotland run a workplace specific programme, relies as usual on the willing to put themselves about and get the organisation in place.
    Appreciate that JS may have some copyright on this material, but the principles are thereLink (roll over me to see where I go)
    The folks at JS HQ are always happy to spread the joy of running
  • Another vote for showering facilities in a workplace then i could run at lunchtime for instance.
  • Work based running is the major part of my running, so on the one hand, it is thinking about what makes this possible, but also what more could be done.

    Flexi is very important. If I want a 2 hour lunch, I can take a 2 hour lunch - no problem (as long as the time balances out over a 4 week period). Also we have changing facilities and showers....we do have general lockers, but they are always broken.

    We are also right next to lots and lots of wonderful rural running territory - it's almost a sin not to go running.....but not much most employers can do about that one.

    Despite having those basic facilities, we still get in plenty of moaning about what more they could (or couldn't) do.

    For some people, particularly those new to running, the incentive for regular running is the target event - whether it is 5k, 10k, half marathon etc. It's surprising how much busier the changing rooms get for the two months leading up to the Cardiff Half Marathon. Therefore, incentivising the workforce into entering such events can encourage a running habbit. Sponsoring race entry is one thought we have had. For example going 50:50 on entry costs. Advertising such events in the workplace encouraging people to enter coupled with the incentive.
  • Some fab suggestions here: my +1s for more showers in the workplace and company teams for race entries - even before I joined Fetch I did Race for Life because my company entered a team. I think many people just don't even contemplate running - it's something other people do - so lunchtime sessions with leaders doing walk and walk/run programmes would be amazing - only 20-30 minutes, and if you joined the walk group it would be easy to move up to the walk/run group over time as you got fitter and more confident. You'd need a (central) funded programme for leaders, as they already do for Buggyfit, for example, and a (company) scheme to incentivise and facilitate participation. And pretty soon we'll rule the world, bwa ha ha ha... Can you smuggle us out 70,000 vol au vents, do you think?
  • It all comes together nicely - free vol au vents for anyone who goes running lunchtime.
  • I'm a business owner and even though I'm a keen runner I simply could not find the space to put in showers & changing facilities. If we could find the space, and the landlord agreed, I guess we would have to find 20,000 to do it properly which is a sizable investment. I think that laying more at the door of business is not reasonable.
    Very happy to promote Parkrun and the various charity runs that take place and to pay entry fees for company teams entering local events.
  • I think I commented earlier on this question. The biggest assistance to this rural dweller would be pavements, or even a designated and maintained space for pedestrians at the side of every road so that I don't have to leap into a ditch every time a gung-ho white van man comes speeding round a corner - I don't need to run up a hill to test my MHR!
    Help for employers who want to install safe bike storage/kit lockers at work, and showers (including a socket for a hairdryer - who wants to attend a customer meeting with cycle-helmet hair?) would have been a major asset in my executive-smart-suit days.
    Active encouragement and promotion of Parkrun - helping to ease it into areas where local authorities might be less co-operative.
  • Zero VAT on running shoes.
  • Agree with Mikep, it's a huge burden for businesses to expect them to install showers. How about more promotion of schemes like Gymflex where businesses can subsise gym membership (with the showers and changing areas they provide) or, something that requires more commitment from government, enabling gym membership to come out of your salary before tax.
  • School fields, School facilities and School Holidays.

    It amazes me that every school in my area has great playing fields but I or anyone else are unable to run around them. The reason for this is the fencing that must be at least 10 feet tall and with padlocked gates even during school hours. The schools also have some great halls and indoor sports facilities which to be honest, looking at the size of the children who get dropped off and picked up from the schools, obviously don't use.

    As a child I loved all sports. We didn't have play stations or computers or tv's in our bedrooms and we walked or biked everywhere. During the school holidays the playing fields where used for just that-playing cricket, football, rounders or just running around.

    I think that if a trawl of retired people was made during the summer holidays enough people would volunteer to arrange sports. Yes I understand about all the child safety issues but I think all the checks etc could be done prior to the end of each term. After all it's the young that we need to target to change the ever growing obesity problem we are facing.

    Why not even allow he community working near schools use the facilities just for changing and getting a shower before returning to work.

    Make the companies that have made massive profits turning the nation fat pay.
  • I would love to see all weather tracks in High Schools. Not necessarily in every one but maybe a hub. They could then generate an income from them , out of school hours, hiring them out to local running clubs, a real boon in the snow .:-)
  • I totally agree that not all Employers are able to put in facilities either due to space or other restrictions. So how about government funded 'running hubs' in towns (not just cities) which would provide lockers, showers and maybe a cafe for morning (breakfast), lunchtime and early evening use? Each of these could maybe also provide a base for social running groups to meet, run and socialise. Some of the running costs could be covered from the sale of food and drinks but with substantial grant funding from government? Good luck!
  • I advocate the Run to work scheme akin to Cycle to work scheme too.

    Can think of no one better to speak for us common people, have a great day and I expect to see some vol au vent selfies etc...
  • Subsidies for gyms (tax deductible at least) so people can make use of the facilities when they run to work without too much outlay. Maybe gyms should be incentivised to provide 'shower only' memberships to support active travel.

    I work in Central London and there are several annual intercompany races that encourage companies to put up a team (that was how I started many years ago). Do other cities and towns have the same opportunities? We could maybe make use of established parkrun locations for monthly post work events (at least in the summer when it is light enough).
  • Never been part of a plague of locusts before... I like it :-)

    Another vote for showers etc but also for employers to perhaps contribute towards gym memberships or something active like that? Flexible lunch etc where possible with the understanding that you're doing something active, not snoozing...?
  • I always though that a park n run/cycle would be a nice idea.

    If you had a nice path away from the main road or to the side of it, just so long as its away from the noise/hustle bustle of the commuting traffic that would be ace!

    The car needs to stop being king, the car is king by design in the UK, go to Holland and you can see that that can just a matter of design and influence. They have Weather similar to ours so no excuse!

    More time/flexible working for lunch time runs, I run during my lunch break all the time, I have done for over 2 years now. I get changed in my car and have to rush to fit it in the 45 minutes I am given, its the only way I can fit my running in with my Family.

    Ohh and sort out daylight saving PLEASE!! :-)

    I dont want it to be light when I go to work, I want it to be light when I come home.
  • How about a tax deduction for people of up to 500 pa towards membership of a gym or recognised sporting club (eg running, cycling, cricket, triathlon, whatever...)? My company can give me a mobile phone free of tax but not a healthy gym membership.
    And how about a tax deduction for business of the same value for corporate sponsorship of a sporting event? It's not going to make much difference to Virgin sponsoring *that* marathon, but might encourage businesses to engage with local events?
  • Oooooh I LOVE Henlady's idea of runhubs - these would work brilliantly on industrial estates or other areas where you've got a critical mass of businesses in a small geographical area: you could get a contribution from each business on the park and match with central funding. You don't need anything fancy, just showers, lockers and a communal space as she says, but that could be the springboard for work-based running clubs and/or lunchtime walk initiatives.
    The tax-deduction idea of Duchess's is good too :-)
  • Street lighting from the main road to the distillery where I work is about 3/4 mile along a narrow path adjacent to the busy road. Showers are planned for 2015 in the work place! To be realistic there is only two of us out of nearly 300 that commute to work by running and the other laddie is very much weather depending! Tax deduction on foot wear ie trainers and even the clothing again ie hi-viz would be splendid!!
  • Brilliant philosophy - keep it just like this. Fetch is growing already, and so is running as part of people's way of life. Politicians will no doubt want to muscle in and claim some credit but it does not matter so long as people are getting out there and making their lives more fun.
  • Oh - suggestions? You want suggestions? How about inviting public service employees - yes, you lot in the Local Authority, government agencies etc - to set up their own weekday park run with assistance from the volunteers who runtime local weekend park run? It would use exactly the same system and kit but be for the workers and - very important this - DURING THE WORKING WEEK. Wednesday lunchtime, perhaps? Cost virtually nil and reaching a section of the population, and time in the week, which is not much reached at the moment. And entirely within governments own control, so no excuses.
  • Good going, Fetch. Whatever you do, don't get a black eye or something beforehand, will you?

    Some thoughts, ideas, and endorsements about the comments above:

    1. Flexible working is good. Can't be arsed to change/shower for a 20 minute run.

    2. VAT relief on running kit would be great. Running trainers are eye-wateringly expensive. (Whoever said running was cheap? I spend more on shoes alone than I would on a golf club membership.)

    3. Daylight saving: sort out aaaaht.

    4. More safe, traffic-free running routes. (Preferably not bogarted by high-speed cyclists who view everyone on foot as inferior/an inconvenience/a target.)

    5. Better/closer working between physio/sports science and medical professionals. SOME doctors are brilliant, others are still anti-running. If you get a niggly sports injury and want specialist help, you pretty much have to go private.

    Good luck!
  • Another vote for promoting the non competitive side of running, and supporting parkrun. My most local council made my most local parkrun jump through ridiculous hoops to get up and running, although now they are more supportive. Small, easy to organise, running hubs, to get people started, combat barriers such as what do I wear, I'm not good enough to join a club etc. Safe running routes and champions in all areas. I like the idea of reductions or incentivising the health benefits of running financially too.
  • Both Parkrun and Fetch are successful due to the communities they create.
    1. More Fetch mile sessions around the country
    2. Sport clubs supporting 'run/walk hubs' (as per Henlady)
    3. Initiatives to get people out at lunch time with work colleagues/other companies that close by (inter-company runs) - for a 'no sweat' run.....for those who lack shower facilities.
  • My employer actually pays people here if they want to be part of the 'Big Choir', in that you don't have to clock out when you go to the weekly sessions, so where there is support from the employer these things can happen.
    My suggestion would be:
    Government incentives for something along the lines of a 'workparkrun' whereby people that either help or run at a 'workparkrun' get an hours credited time off to support the scheme?
  • I think work places could do more to encourage employees, who can, to run to work. I do have shower facilities (albeit basic) but I cannot dry my hair so I either look like I've just dragged myself out of bed or risk a serious cold at this time of year.
    More encouragement along the parkrun idea, some option of group running during the dark mornings/nights, I know you can join a running club but sometimes that can be a bit overwhelming esp if the club is competitive and you feel like you have to go week in week out.
    I like the idea of westmoors of a run to work scheme!
  • I am lucky enough to work at a place that has very good shower and changing facilities and a tolerant attitude to variable length lunch breaks. I have tried to test the waters in terms of getting managment to allow so-called 'facility time' for exercise-related activity, not that this would affect me one way or the other but it might get some people off their backsides. It does seem odd that people are tacitly allowed time to smoke but not to exercise.
  • Yes to access to changing facilities but allowing for fact that won't be within some workplaces and might be via gym partnership etc, corporate race entries +/- running clubs training for event. Sharing of training routes near workplace and virtual training groups leading up to events when people can't all turn up and run at the same time. Fetch could contribute to that along with route suggestions for people travelling for business.
  • Getting employers to provide shower facilities or subsidised membership to a local gym to use the facilities. Working in an office that does not provide this means it's impossible to run to or from work or at lunch time.
  • I don't have a barge pole long enough to touch the 'which is best: POSE/Chi/other' debate, but here's my thoughts. I would guess that a significant %age of peeps on Fetch, like me, are 'born again runners' - in our 30s, 40s or above and have decided to go back to/take up running to keep fit. And, of course, many of us regularly get injured and give up because we have poor running technique. Old dogs, new tricks etc.

    When my eldest started secondary school I asked the school whether they teach running as a technique. They assured me they did, though my eldest tells me no one ever taught him and it was all about who could run fastest/furthest, regardless of technique. In years to come many of his school mates will try to go running, get injured, give up yadda yadda yadda.

    So, want to encourage adults to run? Teach them *how* to run while they're kids...
  • Dont want to be too negative but I work on an RAF base, its a easy hit for me, we all have access to showers, lockers etc its a rural location and we have fantastic gym facilities. With about 500 people on site when I go for a run or to a 'free' gym class or spinning, boxercise etc you name it we have it - I see the same old faces - just the 20 - 30 people who have always done sport of some type - its a shame but a fact
  • +1 for sorting out shower facilities at work
  • Make use of the existing running facilities such as athletics clubs, help to protect their facilities such as clubhouses/showers/gyms and tracks.

    Stop selling off sports facilities- promote them instead to the local communities, use them to set up inter-company competitions.

    Encourage businesses to allow staff to have a worklife balance rather than 10+ hr days....there are too many corporate and ciy jobs that perceive loooong hours are necesary, leaving staff releiving tension through drinks after work etc encourage businesses to change their culture from long hours to working efficiently with sufficient time out - 8 hr days as a maximum.

  • Lots of good comments above, but the biggest battle is changing peoples perception that running is hard, hurts your knees and you've got to be fast to do it.
    I've been fortunate to have shower facilities at each of my last 4 places of employment and they are sufficient because there are so few who want to participate, despite me being pretty much evangelical about the merits, I just get the odd sarcastic comment 'oh he's off again Mr Healthy!'
    The parkrun model is a wonderful way to engage people into running, once people are engaged they are more likely to make better choices for the improvement of their own health and wellbeing.
    Employers and businesses can also get involved here by acknowledging these wonderful events, by organising teams or groups of runners to attend these events or to paid races, employers/business could also acknowledge the level of volunteering undertaken by their employees by making tax deductible contributions to events that their staff participate in. This may be a better way for employers to show their support rather than building shower facilities that are a costly investment and do not guarantee engagement.
    Hope you enjoy the gathering Fetch
  • Having moved from the Uk in 2012 to Canada I have seen the huge difference in the races/events here. The biggest and most welcome difference is the total inclusion of walkers and nordic walkers within every race. This encourages the people who feel running is way too hard for them, or they feel thier age is against them to start up a new cv sport and are terrified of having injuries or worse. Here everyone is included, is made to feel as much a competitor as runners of 5k in 20mins to walkers. It bridges the gap between a runner and a walker which in turn can make the change from walking to running much easier and not so scary. I understand the time for a walker is much slower than a runner so marshalls are out there longer, but we do it here in Canada, why not the uk too? It makes the sport totally inclusive and potentially can encourage more to join.
    Good luck with everything
  • Hi,
    I have always taken part in sport from boxing and rugby to running and there has always been one consistent factor. Manual workers rarely have the facilities to take part in work sport schemes and there are significant barriers that often prevent participation.

    These include not being properly included in work schemes, having 'short' lunch hours and often just being a front line worker. I think that if a manual worker actually as achieves in sport then it is truely remarkable.

    We need to create a national culture in business that makes it the norm to sponsor clubs and individuals even going so far as to have company teams in sports leagues. In my work more and more I find companies expecting employees to work longer hours and some are even trying to make contractual changes that prevent participation in sport!

    Darting
  • Lots of very good ideas here, as well as some of the barriers to people being active at work. This article about the boss of Clif Bar is a great example of an employer who sets a great example in many different ways, sometimes culture change has to come from the top Link (roll over me to see where I go)
  • Bugger, that link is broken, try this one Link (roll over me to see where I go)
  • Ugh, that one too! It pains me to link to the Daily Mail instead but here goes Link (roll over me to see where I go)
  • Wow - so many good comments here - hard to add anything not already covered, so I'll just echo the sentiments that for running to or from or during work will need some form of adequate changing facilities / shower etc. It might be simple for some offices to accommodate this, not so easy for others. Our company has so far declined to participate in the cycle to work scheme due to 'lack of interest' which is a real shame. So I'm not sure if they would want to do this either, unless the cost/admin was a big fat zero. Having some sort of initiative however, might motivate a few non-runners to give it a try. We only get half an hour lunch, so then is not the best time, unless the government can make it our right to request a longer lunch, provided the time was made up before or after normal hours.....I guess we may not need a shower, just a damp flannel, or a pack of wet wipes for a rub down after..... :-) I'll watch this with interest, but any outcome to get people out there running will be a bonus, in whatever form this takes - good luck Fetch, thank you for being our voice!
  • Congrats Lord Fetch :-) I'm very lucky in that we have shower facilities and clothes storage options at my office. Of the 15 or so in my office, there are four of us that run, cycle or take part in sports every week (including my manager who does Ironman events), so exercise is seen as a normal thing to do.

    Obviously we can't stipulate that all managers should run as an example to their employees, but anything that makes running (or exercise as a whole) accessible and normal needs to be encouraged.

    The bike to work scheme has helped on this front with cycling, so something similar for running would be beneficial. Also more free running groups for people of all abilities, to get people involved who might be put off by the belief that they might be 'too slow' to run. These could be advertised in local papers, councils, GPs offices, and perhaps sponsored by a well-known supermarket...
  • many folks are not going to be able to run to work. At best they can run to/from stations.
    It would be more realistic to get people running in their lunch hours, or encouraging companies to see running and maybe park run as a way of getting their workforces to gel and to also engage local with communities.
  • How about making any shower facilities installed tax deductible from company profits?
  • I won't be able to read through all of the posts so I know that some of my suggestions will have already been made but here goes.

    Shower or better washroom facilities.
    Decent size lockers.
    Salary sacrifice schemes that extend to gym memberships for people that work in busy towns or where showers/lockers are not available
    VAT reductions on things like garmins or good quality running shoes. I still can't afford a garmin and my trainers/running shoes are usually bargain basement.
    A motivated management within a company would be a great start though. Someone with influence that enjoys running and actively encourages others.
  • Don't forget your iPad for playing CandyCrush;-)
  • My workplace has excellent facilities for cyclists and runners. We have a 30min lunch break that makes it difficult to run at lunchtime and eat lunch, shower etc. It does mean a shorter day so I can runafter work while it is still light.

    My suggestion is to improve the quality of pavements, they can be really hazardous for running (sloping, potholes, too narrow). It would be nice to see small towns/villages to have running/cycling tracks circumnavigating towns to minimise crossing roads.

    Maybe businesses can promote parkruns and couchto5k schemes.
  • Locally, we have a group of running clubs for women. Running Sisters - each club runs a beginners course which aims to get women running a 5k race in 3 months. It's a great way to begin; very supportive - no-one is left behind as the faster runners peel back to join the slower ones, and loads of women become hooked and keep on running and running and running. Like so many of these clubs, it's all run by volunteers who give a huge commitment of their time. I'd love to see more government initiatives in providing free training for coaches. Our club was inundated with requests for new members after the Olympics but we didn't have the coaches to support them.
  • In 2014 I left my place of work which had excellent sporting facilities and an adult approach to their use in lunchtimes for a new place with a better salary, but none of the sports facilities.

    I'm looking to return, I had not realised just how much this meant to me.
    ERM
  • My workplace offers nothing to encourage exercise other than some discounts for extremely expensive gyms. Someone on here mentioned cycle 2 work and matching this with run 2 work. The problem is that the onus is on the employer to sort this out and my employer won't.

    I don't think there is much value in getting employers involved, they don't benefit from it (yes, I know... healthier employees) so it general they won't be bothered about it.

    More needs to be done to attract people to running - couch to 5k seems to be really popular and ParkRun is getting more people into the sport. Local running tracks need to be better supported and maintained with regular sessions run that people can sign up to like you would gym classes. Also government funding for events like couch to 5k and ParkRun is the way forward. All the comments saying that races need to be supported by local authorities are all spot on too.
  • More funding (and a robust plan) to specifically target underrepresented groups.

    There's a huge dropoff in the 14-25 age group when entering thd workplace, so a scheme that supports running (or insert chosen sport) at point of leaving education/neet into work would be ace.

    Focus on the sports & level of competitiveness that the individual wants. Not all want to run, but may want to at least try it amongst a range of other opportunities to find out what they like & suits them best.
    rhb
  • Fucking hell Sir Feltch, do remember us when you're hob-nobbing with the glitterati, with your impossibly gorgeous wife, won't you? Love to the Max!
  • I know this sounds negative but for most of us running at work isn't the problem..its the lack of facilities to clean up after the run that's the problem....no showers or lockers to keep your stuff. now that's what stops a lot of people where I work and I'm sure I'm not alone.
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Becoming The Iron You


An analysis of training volume for long distance triathletes

Extremely Useful Threads


Training tip truffles from the Fetch forum

Being Below Average


And why it doesn't hurt one bit.

Marathon Checklist


Any Way The Wind Blows


The impact of wind on running pace

Fetch Gets Mobile!


In your pocket wherever you go!

Beginners Programme


Who can you inspire this year?

Leadership in Running Fitness


My day at the British Athletics course

Connect your Garmin device


Automatically import your training

Steve Way Made Me Quit!


Don't let genetics beat you!

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