Leader in focus: Kirsty Johnson
Joggers are 'never left behind' in Kirsty Johnson's Run2Achieve JOG Derbyshire group.
Kirsty Johnson, from Hadfield in the High Peak, is leader of the JOG Derbyshire group Run2Achieve. As a running coach and personal trainer, the 28-year-old is well placed to give expert guidance to her group members, and finds helping them progress along their jogging journey a rewarding experience.
Kick-started by the London Marathon
"I have been running for around 10 years now and first got into it by entering the London marathon, thinking I wouldn't get a place. I ended up getting a place, so had to start training, then fell in love with it.
"I'd often felt that there wasn't much choice for those who wanted to jog or run with a group but were either beginners or hadn't been jogging or running for long, or felt that joining a running club was too daunting for them.
"That's when I decided to become a JOG Derbyshire leader. Some people have since joined Glossopdale Harriers after coming to my group and gaining confidence through it, which is nice to see."
Walking breaks where needed
"My group has been running for almost three years. The sessions tend to be pitched at our regular runners who turn up each week.
"We normally cover around 5km, mainly jogging, but with walk breaks for those who need them. Those at the front wait every so often for the others to catch up and I bring up the rear, making sure no one gets left behind.
"We often go on the roads around Glossop, always including at least one big hill (you can't avoid hills in Glossop!), but now it's getting lighter and warmer, we do some off road runs too.
A strong social side to Run2Achieve includes a Christmas 'do'.
A no-pressure, friendly atmosphere
"The best about thing about being a JOG leader for me is being able to provide a group where there is no pressure – where people can turn up for a friendly, social run and gain confidence at the same time.
"People's biggest fears are that they won't be able to keep up with the group, but I always assure them that I will stay with them and they can walk whenever they need to, without getting left behind. They often realise that they're fitter than they thought!"