Whiteley running group is perfect for beginners
Many people enjoy pounding the streets in their running gear and trainers rather than hitting the gym.
But for some people new to the running experience, it can be hard to regulate breathing, find a steady pace and commit to completing a route.
That is where Verity Wright and her running club come in.
Run Verity gives running beginners the chance to learn, grow and achieve their targets but in a atmosphere where there is no pressure - only puffed out but smiling members.
The club, started in September 2014, was solely for people who had never gone out for runs.
But it grew in popularity and numbers and today offers weekly sessions for amateur and experienced runners as well as the beginners course which attracted so many people in the first place.
Verity, from Whiteley, near Fareham, says: ‘A lot of people want to run but don’t know where to start.
‘The beginners course I offer is very progressive and it starts with the basics of running.
‘It is all about getting people motivated. Most people have not done any sort of exercise since school and the course is about getting people moving, looking at their posture and progressing slowly.
‘We start off with a warm-up and then we do short lengths of running then walking and then running again.
‘That is slowly built up to a three-mile run.’
Verity has a psychology degree and is also an England Athletics Coach and a Run Fitness Coach.
She says this experience has helped with creating her beginners course and getting the best out of members.
Once members completed the 12-week course, they wanted more and Verity started the weekly sessions.
‘I assumed they would join other running clubs in the area but people wanted to stay with me,’ she adds.
‘I began the groups and they have been really popular. Around 97 per cent of people in the running groups were involved in the beginners course.’
Verity, 47, always wanted a running club like the one she has, but she did not expect it to happen.
She says with so much choice, she thought it would be hard to attract members.
‘My ambition was to have what I have now,’ she says.
‘I was not sure how I was going to achieve it, but this is what I always wanted - a group where members are supported and can reach their full potential.’
Four running groups are held every week for any abilities covering a three-mile route in the Whiteley area. And with Verity’s loopback system, no-one is left behind.
It means people at the front who feel like slowing down, go to the back of the group so the people who were at the back are near the front.
Verity adds: ‘The system we have in place works great and people don’t feel like they are too slow.
By looping back and making sure we stay in a group, no-one is left lagging behind.
‘There isn’t a lot of pressure in this group.
‘We do organise park runs for people but if members don’t want to do that, they don’t have to.
‘When people do the park runs though, or other races, we all go down to support them and cheer them on.’
The club now has 80 members and Verity is looking forward to the future.
She says: ‘We cater for so many ages and abilities.
‘All I want to do is to help people reach their goals.’