March 6, 2018
As International Women’s day approaches I have decided that throughout the month of March we will have a Too Fat To Run? Blog takeover, where members of The Clubhouse our awesome online running club for plus size women get the opportunity to share their views, experiences and race recaps.
I have been blogging for more than 7 years and even I get sick of the sound of my own voice, so it is time to shake things up a bit.
Hopefully, over the next 3 weeks we will get to hear from women from all walks of lives, showcasing the diversity of women we have in our community and the different type of plus size runner there is out ther…because we are not all the same you know, who knows, user generated content may be the future of The Fat Girls Guide to Running.
So from ultramarathoner to parkrun enthusiast, to brand spanking new to the sport, there should be something for everyone….we may even have some posts from some bloggers you already know.
Please do show your support by commenting and sharing these posts on social media. The more visible diverse experiences of women playing sport are the more likely we are to address the inequality and injustices which still exist in the sport…..and perhaps introduce new women to a sport which absolutely has the power to change their lives.
Kicking us off first is our guest blogger Joey Jones talking about her love of Lap Races.
My name is Joey, I live in Newport – South Wales and started running at the beginning of 2016 when I first did Julie’s 5 Weeks To 5k programme. I am currently training for several half marathons including Liverpool Rock’n’Roll, Cardiff and Royal Parks.
During my first year of running I’d done a 5k race, some Parkruns, a couple of 10k races and was looking for something to complement my half marathon training for The Royal Parks half marathon which was happening in October but I didn’t really want the pressure of a distance. This is when I first came across timed races – basically, you run a lap as many times as you can within a certain time, usually anything between 6 hours to 24. In August 2016 myself, my friend and his Dad did a small timed trail run called the Ellendon Farm Frolic. I was the first to ‘tap out’ but I knew from that moment I was in love with lap races.
Since then I’ve completed two further lap races – Spitfire Scramble, a 24 hour race that I completed in a team of ‘Too Fat to Run’ ladies and The Usual Suspects, a 6 hour limit lap race organised by Saxons, Vikings and Normans Marathons that took place down in Folkestone and again I started with another Clubhouse lady, Henna. For 2018 I’m signed up for Spitfire Scramble again, this time in a pair to challenge myself some more and also The Usual Suspects again as it’s in December and just a great way to finish your running year.
So why do I love lap races so much?
1. I don’t really see them as races, you are literally only racing against yourself or trying to reach your own goal – for example I wanted to do a day lap and a night lap at Spitfire Scramble last year so I did, you can read about the Too Fat to Run Team at last years Spitfire Scramble Race here, where Julie covered more than 40 miles running laps
2. The majority of these races are ran by smaller race organisers so there’s always a fab and friendly atmosphere. Check out the Sikhs in the City Dusk to Dawn Race in East London which looks awesome.
3. After the first lap, no one knows which lap you’re on! For all they know you could be on your 2nd or your 4th so they’re great for people who don’t like finishing last because you never really can. This is great for women who are worried about being judged.
4. I’m aware this won’t be the same for everyone but I actually find the lap quite motivating. I’m a very visual person so I mentally note things on the way round whether it be a bench or a tree and either look at my pace at that moment or concentrate on my breathing or how my legs are feeling. Then on the next lap I do the same at the same places so I can compare. This can be good if you are nervous about getting lost, ot have a medical condition where you may need support to be close on hand.
5. They’re great when training for another race, depending on the length of the race you’re training for and the length of the laps at the race you can decide a number of laps you want to do and count it as your long training run, so you get to do your long run with loads of other runners and you get a medal at the end of it!
6. Inclusivity – these races are by far some of the most inclusive races I’ve taken part in with everyone from Nordic walkers, speed walkers and plodders to club runners and the fastest of the fast! There doesn’t appear to be any ego here despite there being some awesome high ability runners. It truly is the sport of running at its best.
So if you’re looking for something a little different or maybe to shake up your marathon training why not give a lap run a try?
If you are not up for racing yet, perhaps think about adding laps to your training. Parks can be great for this, as can a simple route around the housing blocks where you live. This makes toilet breaks and water stops so easy. Make your laps as big or as little as you need.
Thanks Joey, that was a brilliant guest blog post. I have mixed views about lap races, I loved Spitfire Scramble because of the scenery and the people, but I’ve been to a few lapped parkrun where I struggle to want to do the second or third lap…thats what is great about this community though, different strokes for different folks…you just have to find what works for you.
If you would like to join our awesome community, get involved in our meetups and training days, and even become a Too Fat to Run coach or guest blogger why not consider joining The Clubhouse today. Memberships start at just £5 per month. Find out more here