How you can make jogging a family affair
You don't have to leave your loved ones at home when trying to get active… you can make it a family affair with JOG Derbyshire! We talk to two mums - who run with their offspring at the Start2Jog group, based in Hadfield, near Glossop - about the benefits it brings.
Luke, Matt and Liz Kearslake.
Liz Kearslake, 49, from Hadfield, jogs alongside her son Luke, 16, as well as husband Matt, 53.
"I started jogging last January and my husband, Matt, started running in the March because he wanted to do the Manchester Half marathon with me in October.
"I had a running machine for my 40th birthday. I tried to use it when I could, and I also tried to run in the gym sometimes when I took Luke along to his swimming sessions, but I never got into it that much and never got beyond 5k.
"The Start2Jog group leader Barry Sherwood put something on Facebook and jogging was always something I wanted to do so I thought I would give it a go. I applied and got chosen as one of those to take part in what was an oversubscribed group – and I loved it!
"It helped me build up my fitness steadily, starting off at first with the 12-week Couch to 5k programme, with the aim of completing a 5k parkrun at the end of it.
Entering the Manchester Half Marathon.
Setting a goal
"One of the girls in my group then signed up for the half marathon and, after a couple of glasses of Prosecco, I signed up too.
"We built it up gradually, doing about six miles in July and adding half a mile at regular intervals and changing our running routes. I really enjoyed it and managed to finish in a time of 2 hours 32 minutes when I couldn't really run for 10 minutes when I started.
Jogging with my son, Luke
"My son Luke got involved because, from the age of seven, he had swum at Stockport Metro and he got as far as racing at the British Summer Championships, before he decided he didn't want to compete at that same level any more.
"He was still going to the gym, but found that his fitness was dropping because he wasn't getting as much of that type of exercise. He came along to parkrun at first and surprised himself because he didn't really like it that much as a youngster.
"When we go out jogging, Matt and Luke normally run in the intermediate group and I run in the improvers. Luke ran the South Manchester parkrun in 23 minutes, but we do go out together. Matt prefers to go in the hills, while we like to run a route through the woods. We've got a specific route we really like.
Luke out jogging in the countryside.
Doing something active as family
"It is nice doing something together as a family, something healthy. It's nice to watch your child take part, but it's even better if you can be more involved yourself.
"From Luke saying he was not that bothered in the first place, he now has all the gear. He has always been active, but he knows he has to carry on being healthy having given up his swimming.
Both Matt and I have got mainly sedentary jobs, so it's great for us too. I have struggled with my weight in the past, so doing something like this is great and it makes going out so much easier when it's with people you know and enjoy spending time with.
People don't need to be scared
"Through the jog group, Luke now knows a lot of my friends. It's a fantastic group I can't speak highly enough of. It's great when you see people post on Facebook that they have just seen a load of joggers going past and wondering who it is – and it is us!
"People always have their fears when they start out, but once you have decided to give it a go then there is a great support network behind you, including a group on Facebook where you get loads of encouragement. People don't need to be scared."
Debbie Barker, 45, from Glossop, jogs alongside her daughter Ellie, 16.
Debbie and daughter Ellie.
It's great to have something else in common
"I started jogging last summer with Start2Jog, which is an amazing group who are so supportive, and don't charge anything.
"Ellie had wanted to join when she was 15, but for insurance reasons, wasn't allowed to join at that point, but Barry Sherwood, from Start2Jog let her come along as soon as she was 16 (note: some groups allow joggers as young as enter age here).
"It has been great to have something else in common with Ellie and something else we can do together - other than shopping! I think jogging has brought us closer together and is something we enjoy.
A good way of keeping up fitness
"Like Luke (Kearslake, above), Ellie used to swim at Stockport Metro but gave it up two years ago , meaning she lost a lot of fitness, but this was a good way of her getting it back.
"As she had already run a 10k previously, she was able to move straight into the intermediate group rather than starting from the bottom – and it was great of Start2Jog to allow her to do that. If that hadn't have happened, it would probably have put her off.
"The group we are in are brilliant and everyone is really supportive of Ellie being there, even though she is the youngest. It's also great that as well as jogging with me, she can also jog with Luke, someone of her own age. They have a chat and push each other along.
Debbie and Ellie with Start2Jog leader Barry Sherwood.
Improving confidence - and motivation
"I don't think she would have joined the group without me, but having joined it has improved her confidence, particularly around interacting with the other adults.
"There is one really steep hill that we jog up sometimes during our sessions which really gets the lungs burning, but I remember the first time I jogged up with Ellie and her turning to me and saying: "That wasn't too bad at all'" when I was gasping!
"I had jogged before, but never enough to really improve, and jogging with Ellie has given me added motivation to continue and do that.
Now for the Manchester Half Marathon
"The structure and support from Start2Jog has also been really important and meant that I've stopped jogging one day and then not followed it up. We now have our individual action plans.
"I'm now looking forward to running in the Manchester Half Marathon in October, which would be a big achievement for me. I'm among a number of people who are so thankful to Barry and the group for helping to alter their lifestyles."
Find out more
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