Looking back at Kick Start 2021

Yesterday marked the end of our Tri & Run Kick Start January event. Huge thanks and well done to everybody that took part. Today’s blog is written by Katy Barnes, who wanted to share her thoughts about the event. Thanks Katy, and get well soon!

Well, where to start?! 
Having hardly run (or done anything much vaguely sporty for that matter) for the last year or so due to a combination of injury, illness, and let’s be honest a bit of downright laziness too, I was in need of not only some motivation for 2021, but more like a big kick up the bum! Like many of us, I have been working from home since March last year, and without my regular running club friends, I was finding it hard. Despite trying a couple of times by myself, I was struggling to get back into running without the routine that fits nicely around my ‘normal’ working day/week. 
Then I saw the advert for Tri and Run Kick Start 2021. Four weeks of structured coaching, tailored to you and whichever level you choose to join, and with a lot of motivation along the way. I knew I would be in good hands as I already knew one of the coaches, Lynda, and had heard nothing but great things about Vicky from her. To top it all off, only £6 for the whole thing. It was perfect! I signed up before I could change my mind!
Well, I was in for quite a surprise when I opened the plan for week 1! Not just a couple of midweek runs round the block and a long run at the weekend, there were interval sessions, a timed 5km, and then I saw it didn’t just include running either! I knew that strength and stretch work was something that ‘proper’ runners did, but I didn’t think it would be part of the novice programme, and this was just week 1! This was definitely going to kick me up the bum and get me moving! 
A little daunting perhaps at first, but what I hadn’t been expecting, and what really got me motivated, was the added excitement of the ‘spreadsheet’!! Personalised with our own paces and details of everything we needed to do for the week, I’m not ashamed to admit I probably became a little too fond of the ‘spreadsheet’ over the weeks, and couldn’t wait to fill it in after a training session, or just check in on it and see how others were getting on. That brings me to the next part – the group motivation has been amazing! Seeing everyone get out there and push themselves through all sorts of challenges in all sorts of weather has been so inspiring, and really kept me going – if they can do it then so can I, no excuses! I’ve also learnt loads – everything from the best places for hills and interval sessions, and new local routes, to how to use my watch properly! Most of all, I’ve connected with new people, whom I hope to meet in real life some day soon and ‘Tri and Run’ together with them. 
Week on week I found myself not just ‘getting the training done’ but looking forward to it. Planning my week, prepping myself for new challenges and beaming with daft smiles when I’d completed them. The ‘Naked Run’ challenge was a real eye opener for me, reminding me that there is a lot more to running than just pounding the same pavements and listening for those beeps every time you go out! I’ve started to find the joy in my running again, even if it’s under different circumstances. 
The finale:
I was absolutely over the moon to find myself at the top of the week 3 leaderboard in my category! My competitive spirit most definitely would have kicked in and battled my way through the final week in a jostle for the top spot, had a cruel trick of nature not landed me in hospital, where I’m currently writing. Despite this, I have been keenly watching the action this week, and the competition is heating up! I can’t wait to see who will come out on top. Whoever it is, all the participants have been absolute stars, and I hope they have enjoyed the challenge as much as I did! 
I can’t finish without saying a huge huge thank you to Vicky and Lynda for everything. You pushed me to do things I never would have done by myself, and I already saw such an improvement in just 3 weeks. I can’t wait to get back and finish week 4 when I’m ready! 

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