Driving over to Liverpool early on a Sunday morning meant the traffic was almost none existent so it didn’t take me long to get to the Athletics track at Wavertree. I was early as it happened and sat down with a cup of tea chatting briefly to the trainers, although they were busying themselves getting ready for the day.
I was looking forward to today, not that that meant I wasn’t nervous, because I was! I was starting from scratch in a field I only had limited experience in, having no idea who would be learining with me today, what their backgrounds were or how much experience they had.
As a few started to arrive it was clear a couple knew each other, they were from the same running club and were here to help them take groups out within that group.
We started with the basics, then a group exercise, working with a partner and discovering the variety of reasons people have turned up, then an introduction to the rest of the day and the two trainers.
Some theory blended with practicals followed, and some really useful warm up exercises – one of those things that it can be tricky to get your runners to do, but is so vitally important. We tried a few different options and all worked really well, even playing ‘tick’ for a minute or so, this hadn’t even occurred to me as a warm up, but what a great idea, and a laugh too!
We then got on to the track and briefly touched on movement patterns which was superb, some really useful learning points to take away and try once we’d got our groups arranged, and suitable stretches to introduce people to.
The afternoon was devoted to preparing and then delivering a team presentation, and yes, it was nerve wracking! But the standard was set high straight out of the gate, everyone really committed themselves to delivering with passion and it was great to see so many different styles of presentation and exercise, great to take away and try personally.
All in all the day was really useful, I needed to complete this course to take my training to the next level, but I found it really useful and learnt so much from the UK Athletics trainers, I’ve taken this back with me and have been putting it into practise with friends from my mountaineering club who fancied a bit of running to improve their fitness, so far we’re seeing them getting fitter and enjoying themselves, which is fabulous.