NO REGRETS RUNNING

A RUNNING CLUB IN BATH

WHAT IS A RUN GROUP AND WHY SHOULD I JOIN? FIND OUT HERE!

WHY?

Get outside, enjoy the beautiful countryside right here on our doorstep

Running has to be the most accessible form of exercise – just lace up your trainers and out the door you go! BUT often it is difficult to muster up the motivation, injuries can set us back, as can general ‘lack of confidence’ about our running ability. Or you may be a runner who is stuck in a rut and needs some inspiration to fall back in love with running.

Join a run group to improve your running ability and stamina, and train with like-minded people who are all taking responsibility for their health and fitness. And get the motivation and accountability that running with others provides – you really will become part of our running community.

Never run before or haven’t run for ages? Not sure exactly what a running club is? Not a problem – read through the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Why ‘No Regrets Running’? Some runs you will enjoy more than others, but trust me – you will never regret a run. You only regret the runs you don’t do. And to prove a point, if you ever come on a run with me and regret it – I’ll give you your money back!

Still not sure? Then let Lizzie persuade you…

WHAT?

DIFFERENT RUN SESSIONS – THERE’S SOMETHING TO SUIT ALL LEVELS

Let’s Get the Running Started

Aimed at people who have not really done much running previously, or who are returning to running after some time off.

1 hour training sessions incorporating interval & hill training..

Let’s Keep the Running Going

Designed for the runner who can already run around 5km – or more – non stop (at any pace!).

Improve your running technique and ability with targeted 1 hour training sessions.

1:1 Individual Sessions

Don’t fancy joining a group? Or maybe the times don’t work for you. I’m always happy to work with runners on a 1:1 basis.

One-off or regular sessions available at a time to suit you.

Social Runs @ Glasshouse

Join me for FREE evening social runs at a relaxed pace to explore the countryside and catch up with fellow runners. 8-9km runs every other Thursday.
Starts at Glasshouse Academy BA2 5BX thanks to Bath Recreation.

Ramp Up the Distance

Want to increase your long distance runs or want to extend your range after couch to 5K?

Join me on alternate Saturday mornings for a trail run, where the distance will increase over time.

OVERVIEW

EVENTS CALENDAR

Recurring

Get the Running Started

Mulberry Park

A 1-hour run training session designed for people who are either new to running or starting back again after a break. We'll do a gentle 15 minute walk/jog warm up,...

£5
Recurring

Keep the Running Going

Mulberry Park

A 1-hour run training session designed for people who are already able to run 5km non stop, but at any pace. We'll do a gentle 15 minute jog warm up,...

£5
Recurring

Get the Running Started

Mulberry Park

A 1-hour run training session designed for people who are either new to running or starting back again after a break. We'll do a gentle 15 minute walk/jog warm up,...

£5
Recurring

FREE Social Run @ Glasshouse

Glasshouse Academy Bradford Road, Bath

This is a FREE social run every fortnight. Join me and other like-minded runners for an off-road guided trail run of approximately 8-9km. I look forward to seeing you on...

Free
Recurring

Get the Running Started

Mulberry Park

A 1-hour run training session designed for people who are either new to running or starting back again after a break. We'll do a gentle 15 minute walk/jog warm up,...

£5
Recurring

Keep the Running Going

Mulberry Park

A 1-hour run training session designed for people who are already able to run 5km non stop, but at any pace. We'll do a gentle 15 minute jog warm up,...

£5
Recurring

Get the Running Started

Mulberry Park

A 1-hour run training session designed for people who are either new to running or starting back again after a break. We'll do a gentle 15 minute walk/jog warm up,...

£5
Recurring

Get the Running Started

Mulberry Park

A 1-hour run training session designed for people who are either new to running or starting back again after a break. We'll do a gentle 15 minute walk/jog warm up,...

£5
Recurring

Keep the Running Going

Mulberry Park

A 1-hour run training session designed for people who are already able to run 5km non stop, but at any pace. We'll do a gentle 15 minute jog warm up,...

£5
Recurring

Get the Running Started

Mulberry Park

A 1-hour run training session designed for people who are either new to running or starting back again after a break. We'll do a gentle 15 minute walk/jog warm up,...

£5
Recurring

FREE Social Run @ Glasshouse

Glasshouse Academy Bradford Road, Bath

This is a FREE social run every fortnight. Join me and other like-minded runners for an off-road guided trail run of approximately 8-9km. I look forward to seeing you on...

Free
Recurring

Get the Running Started

Mulberry Park

A 1-hour run training session designed for people who are either new to running or starting back again after a break. We'll do a gentle 15 minute walk/jog warm up,...

£5
OVERVIEW

EVENTS CALENDAR

WHERE?

BASED IN COMBE DOWN, BATH

Run groups are based in Mulberry Park / Combe Down to the south of Bath City Centre.

Group run sessions: these will start at the same point (next to the Curo Sales office / Mulberry Park roundabout, opposite the Forester & Flower pub – BA2 5BZ) but head out to different locations for the main session each week.

Personal 1:1 sessions: these can vary – I can come to you (up to a 5 mile radius from Combe Down included in session cost) or we can meet at a convenient location.

Social Runs @ Glasshouse: meet at the Glasshouse Academy, Bradford Road, BA2 5BX.

Mulberry Park Combe Down.001
Sue Mercer Ultra Runner Run Group Leader
WHO?

I’M SUE, RUNNING IS PART OF MY LIFE

But it hasn’t always been. I started running towards the end of 2016 at a turning point in my life as an accessible way of getting fit (and, if the truth be known, as a drunken promise with a friend!). I was a somewhat reluctant beginner, but after some highs and lows and a few chats with myself, I realised that I really did enjoy it. It’s now become a ‘thing that I do’. I can genuinely say that it has benefitted my mental health as much as – if not more than – my physical well-being.

Roll forward a few years and I’m an accomplished (but not fast!) ultra marathon runner, having completed many long distance events. Along the way when I was training for my first ultra event, I met Kerry Sutton of Perpetual Motion Coaching and I’ve been going to her training sessions ever since! I prefer trail running to road running – I love the sense of freedom out in the country and it’s definitely not about the pace. Give me a few hours on the trails (and a Marmite sandwich) and I’m in my happy place.

I’m now an England Athletics qualified Run Leader and am wanting to share my love of running with everyone, to inspire, encourage, motivate and get fit.

QUESTIONS?

HAVE A READ THROUGH HERE FOR SOME ANSWERS

Well they all vary. But No Regrets Running is a running club that offers training sessions designed for people of similar (but not necessarily exactly the same) ability. Each session lasts 1 hour and consists of a 15 minute gentle warm up including dynamic stretches, a 30 minute ‘run workout’ (see below for more details on this) and finally a 10 minute walk / jog cool down back to the starting point and 5 minutes stretching / debrief. Note that this does not apply to the Social Runs @ Glasshouse – these are just circular runs for the fun of it!!

The workouts will vary each week but in general they alternate between ‘speed’ sessions on the flat and hill sessions. Each workout is normally based on interval training, which involves running for different distances and / or times at different paces with rest / recovery gaps in between. They are designed to be 100% inclusive – you work at your own ability level – and improve your running confidence, technique and stamina, whilst being fun and generally enjoyable!

Nobody is slow! We all have our own pace. Once we have done the warm up (which will be a very gentle walk / jog to the start), the main workout will be based around a single starting / finishing point.

Basically, the workout intervals involve running to a certain point (either based on distance or time) and then back to the starting point. Everyone goes at their own pace so the faster runners don’t feel like they’re hanging around – they may complete more repetitions of the intervals – and the more steady runners don’t feel like they’re at the back or holding people up.

So exactly how are you intending to get fitter and / or lose that weight? Personally I’m not a fan of specifically dieting to lose weight, it’s simply a case of burning off more calories than you consume! Doesn’t matter how you do it…

Running is the perfect way to raise your heart rate gently and by doing so, you will burn off more calories. As a very rough guideline, when you are running at a pace where you can still hold a conversation, you will be burning off around 8 or 9 calories a minute. That’s about 500 calories an hour. As long as you don’t get home and raid the cupboard ‘because you deserve it’, you will lose weight and get fitter.

As humans, we are designed to run – to gather food, to keep warm, to avoid enemies & predators and so on. The problem is we don’t have to run to do any of these things any more. We’ve become sedentary, we sit down a lot, food is readily available, we just put the heating on (or a jumper) to keep warm and fortunately (hopefully!) we don’t have enemies & predators chasing us down all the time.

Imagine what would have happened if you had said to your tribe that your knee was hurting so you couldn’t run? No food, cold and eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger! OK so I’m simplifying it somewhat but hopefully you get what I mean.

I’m not going to give any medical advice – I’m not qualified and you know your body best of course – but try to understand why your knee / ankle / hips etc are hurting and then do something about it! I find as I get older, I’m definitely ‘creakier’ but there is a distinction between hurt and harm. Seeking advice from a physiotherapist is always my starting point if I feel I’m veering into the ‘harm’ category. I recommend Nigel at Physio Impulse, but of course there are many others.

But isn’t it expensive to keep going to the physio all the time? I guess it depends on your situation, but in just over 4 years of running, I’ve been to see Nigel for only 3 separate niggles (ankle, back, achilles) and not once has he told me not to run. My problems have all been to do with a weakness in part of my body and I’ve over-stressed it. He’s given me advice on how to strengthen whatever is causing the problem, some treatment and sent me on my running way!

On a more general note, whilst running is good for your general health and fitness, you may like to add in some weekly strengthening exercises – working on your core and legs in particular provide great results for running ability. I would strongly recommend some online classes with Charlie Babb of Prime Motion – he has some fantastic Core and Legs, Bums & Tums classes during the week.

The only essential piece of gear I would recommend for running is a decent pair of running trainers that fit properly. There are loads and loads of different makes and types and people tend to have their favourites, it’s a personal thing. I like to support local businesses and always try to get my trainers from John Moore Sports who offer an excellent fitting service & advice, but again, other shops are available in town and online.

As for clothing, layers are the answer and ‘always dress for the 2nd mile’ is something to bear in mind – it may be cold outside but don’t be tempted to put on too much clothing as after 5 or 10 minutes, you’ll be roasting. Cotton clothes are not great as they tend to hold on to the sweat and then make you cold in the windchill. ‘Technical’ fabrics work best, but again they don’t have to cost the earth. Just get something that can be washed again and again and again…

Yes of course you can! And you will. But joining a weekly run group can give you accountability, motivation and sense of community to keep you running. In addition, the workouts in each session are designed to improve your running fitness / technique / stamina so will make your other runs during the week easier and more pleasurable. Think of the group sessions as ‘training’ and your other weekly runs as ‘practice’.

If you are just looking to enjoy a social run with fellow runners, do sign up for the Social Runs @ Glasshouse. These are FREE events, with longer 8-9km ones every other Thursday, then shorter gentler 5-6km ones every other Friday.

I also organise longer guided trail runs, normally on Saturdays – see the calendar above for details,

It’s not like that at all, trust me – no one is forcing you to run around a muddy course in your gymslip! Running is such an accessible activity – apart from the trainers, you don’t need any equipment – you can just lace up and run out the door. No driving to the gym, no booking, no costs involved for your own runs. And it’s a great way to spend some time running with a friend and having a chat whilst doing so, with no distractions from family / phone / TV – it’s pure ‘headspace’ time.

During a weekly run training session, you’ll meet up with like-minded people who all have a common goal – to take responsibility for their health & fitness through running. There’s always a great camaraderie in a run group (‘we’re all in this together’ attitude!), which will really help with motivation and accountability for the rest of the week when you are struggling to get out of the door.

Generally tracks and trails are just as firm underfoot as pavements. Grass can provide a bit of relief but it is more the variation in terrain off road that makes it less impactful on your joints than tarmac pavements.

However, being in England, for around 6 months of the year we do have to train on pavements for the evening classes. Likewise, if it’s too muddy on the trails, pavement runs are required. But this is the time to be putting down your ‘base level’ training, getting fitter and stronger and improving your technique so that when daylight hours increase, you can get out onto the trails, full of confidence in your running ability.

Definitely not! There’s never a right or wrong time to start running – it’s all about making that first move and deciding to come along. A bit like the question ‘I’m SO slow, I don’t want to be left behind’, the sessions are structured for all abilities within the group so you can work at your own level and see the improvements by regular attendance to the sessions and practice runs during the week.

Do you know what? Most people simply won’t notice! And the ones that do will undoubtedly be proud of you and pleased to see that you are taking responsibility for your own health and fitness. As for the ones who make fun – just suggest that they come along to a session to see what it’s all about!!

Just like the first day at school, the first day in a new job or even a first date, the ‘first’ of anything is always a bit nerve-wracking. It’s totally natural to feel those butterflies. But once you’ve completed that ‘first one’, you’ll never be in that situation again. If you’re unsure or have doubts, please contact me and I’m more than happy to chat / meet with you before a session to talk you through your concerns.

Watch Lizzie’s video here for inspiration:

Yes! We go out running in all weathers! We don’t go rusty in the rain and there’s no better way to warm up than to do some exercise. The sense of achievement seems so much greater when you get back from a soggy run (trust me on this one!). The only times we won’t go out is if a lightning storm or very high winds are forecast, or if it’s snowy or icy on the pavements, which may be perhaps one day a year! (and even then, run group will probably be rescheduled…).

Some people just love to go running for running’s sake, but others need the challenge of an event or race in order to stay motivated and feel like they are improving. Entering a run event is a great way to meet like-minded people and check how your running is progressing, but of course you can just enter for the fun of it! Whilst the Bath Half and Bath Skyline Park Run naturally spring to mind, there are also many other on-road and off-road events. Check out the excellent Relish Running team who put on events throughout the year covering a wide range of distances and courses, most of which are based locally to us here in Bath.

I’ve done a few of their events and they are so well organised – they seem to do everything for you, apart from the running! I’ve also volunteered for them as a way to give back to the running community and it was a real insight to be ‘on the other side’ on race day.

If you don’t fancy running in an actual event, why not arrange to run with a friend, or join a social run – we organise these every fortnight and they are a great way to meet new running friends.

The basic answer is ‘No’.

Why is that? I think it can work very well if you are doing it on your own or with a friend or two as you will probably all be at the same starting point and know each others’ availabilities / schedules. I know it has been a hugely popular and successful programme to get people running and that can only be a good thing, but in my experience, it does not work quite so well in a bigger group setting (and again, I know there are many groups who have completed it successfully).

Here are my reasons (remember, they are just my personal reasons and they are general in nature!):

  • The programme starts everyone from the same point, i.e. not running, whereas some people may have done a bit of running before, and some not, so everyone comes at it from a very slightly different ability.
  • Each week you are ‘required’ (encouraged?) to do an additional 2 run / walks. This will be possible for some people, others will only manage 1 of them, and unfortunately a few may not manage any of the other weekly sessions.
  • In the group sessions (assuming you are doing 1x group session per week), not everyone will be able to attend a session each week for a whole host of reasons. Yes they could do that missed session on their own in their own time but they may lack the motivation (or the time!).
  • If someone turns up to the weekly session without having done their other weekly run / walk sessions, they may feel just like at school when you hadn’t done your homework! And unlike maths where you can cram the night before for a test, it’s simply not possible to do that for running as you risk overuse injuries.
  • Continuing on from that, those who have done their ‘homework’ may feel like they are being held back by those that haven’t and it may slow down the overall progress of the group.
  • Those who have not been able to do their weekly quota may then disengage from the group as they feel they are ‘at the back’ or ‘not good enough’ and they will probably stop coming to the weekly sessions and drop out completely from the programme.
  • If you miss the start of the programme, then you would have to wait for another programme to start and you may very well have lost your motivation to get out running by then!!
  • And then what happens at the end of the programme? I know there are ‘5K and beyond’ programmes of all different types, but some people may be happy with sticking to a 5K distance, others may wish to carry on – and all the various greyscales inbetween. And unfortunately many may simply stop as they have ‘reached their goal’ (OK, so they may have decided that running isn’t actually for them, but hopefully you understand the general concept).

That all sounds a bit negative, so what would you recommend? Again, I cannot stress enough that anything that gets people out running is a GOOD THING, doesn’t matter what it is or how it works. But my approach is to aim to build a community where running becomes part of what you do, not just something for a few months, before you have to find the ‘next thing’. Everyone who comes to a run training session is at a different ability, but the sessions are designed so that each runner can work at their own level and not feel left out / at the back / held back. I just ask that everyone works at their own very best ability and gives it their all. There is no ‘end goal’ as such – it’s about forming a habit rather than completing a course – but I do encourage runners to have an event (or two) to aim for to sustain their motivation throughout the year.

So would you not recommend that I do the Couch to 5K programme? Yes please do if that’s what you really want – whatever gets you out there! Do it on your own or with a friend or two and motivate each other. But if you want to make running part of your life, come to a run session to learn technique, get motivation from others, enjoy the buzz that is running and become part of our community, so that you can go out for runs on your own (or with friends) during the week without having to feel obliged to complete some pre-set task or other.

ARTICLES

HERE ARE MY MUSINGS…OPINIONS ARE MY OWN!

Knee injury

How I Cope With Injury…

Runners just want to run. Sounds logical and if it makes you happy, then go for it. But, an injured runner is a very unhappy person. The best way to stay injury-free is to ensure your body is strong enough to perform the running tasks that you ask of it…
Read More How I Cope With Injury…