Ladies who run – Emma

In celebration of Women’s History Month, throughout March, we’ll be talking to women from different areas of sport and fitness in our #ladieswho series.

This week’s series is on #LadiesWhoRun. We talk to three amazing ladies who’ve fallen in love with running and find out what sparks their passion for pounding the pavement.

This is Emma’s story:

Name

Emma Perry

Age

27

Day job

Sport & Fitness Receptionist, and I have my own business selling my art work

How I started running

I started running about four years ago because I was sick of standing in the cold on finish lines waiting for my boyfriend to finish his races. I just thought ‘I could support him AND get my own medal!’

I couldn’t even run for the bus though, so it was a challenge. The ‘Couch to 5k’ app really helped me. After I could run 5km non-stop I slowly started to build up mileage. Then I decided to book my first half marathon and raise money for Moor Green Brain Injury Out Patients. That way I had to run it!

I was injured for about a year quite soon into taking up running which taught me a lot about the strength I needed for running. I’ve been on and off with running – on when I book races, off the rest of the year. But I have been consistently attending British Military Fitness for about three years now to keep my fitness levels up. Once I was injury free I did another half marathon, two years after my first one,  just to see if I could beat the first time I got – and I did! It was a fantastic feeling and I think that was when I got the bug and felt like a ‘proper runner’!

Emma with some of her running buddies. Emma is centre right

Why I love it

Running is a great way to clear my head, have some time to myself and see some of the beautiful sights that Birmingham has to offer. I like to run when I am holiday as well to see the surrounding areas. I have very recently started running with my local running club, although I am not officially a member yet. It is completely new to me to have such a social aspect to running as I see it as a solitary sport. This has helped with the long slow runs that can get quite boring. I am also quite competitive so I like to push myself and see if I can beat my own times and distances.

Top tip for new runners

Firstly, enjoy it! Don’t compare yourself to others and put too much pressure on yourself.

Secondly, keep your arms straight when swinging them!  I never really knew how much arms are involved in running. When I had a bad knee, I did some research and learnt swinging your arms across your body instead of beside your it can result in your legs following and not going in a straight line. This has helped me wonders. And to use your arms to drive you on hills and when your legs simply won’t go anymore. Swing your arms and your legs follow!

Next big race

I recently read Scott Jurek’s book ‘Eat & Run’, so stupidly decided it was a good idea to book an ultra – which is any running distance greater than a marathon!

The furthest I have ever run is 14.2 miles (yes the .2 matters!) but this book just made me fall in love with the thought of running for hours. So I looked at a few before deciding which to book. I have gone for The Railway Ultra on 5 August, which works out at 36 miles on a flat-ish route. It is 4 loops, which I think will help break up the mammoth task of running for that far.

Wish me luck!

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