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There’s a time and a pace for everyone

Pam Whelan, Director of Corporate at Simplyhealth is a keen advocate of getting people up and moving. It’s only a short two years since she started running yet she has now completed over 30 organised runs, including four half-marathons!

She reveals her top tips for anyone who wants to be part of #millionsmoving.

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What was your reason for getting involved in the Simplyhealth Great Run? 
Well, aside from raising awareness around the importance that keeping active has on everyday health, for me, I find races like this an excellent opportunity to have reason to keep running. Having a race to focus on incentivises me to keep on training regularly. 

How did you catch the running ‘bug’? 
I was skiing two years ago this month, and we had a white out one of the days. Unable to ski, and keen to get my exercise fix for the day, I bought a pair of trainers and got myself onto the treadmill in the hotel gym for a run… A very slow 3km might I add! But I loved it. From there on in, I continued on the treadmill and thought I’d be an agoraphobic runner. I only had myself to look at in the mirror and was worried I’d miss my own reflection… And then, six months into my running journey, I did the Muddy Welly at Wellington College and going back to run indoors after that was a no go. In the darker, winter months, I joined the Sandhurst Joggers. It’s not safe to run alone, so armed with my headlight and another 20 joggers, I actually started to enjoy the company of fellow runners and I’d encourage more joggers to come together in groups like this!

What advice would you give to a novice runner? 
Firstly, book races in so you have something to focus on and work towards. For me, this was key in keeping me motivated, especially when I first started. But don’t set your goals too high! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, take it easy. Especially if you, like me, start later in life, it’s important you keep injury free! You need to build up to your goals, gradually. 

And lastly, food wise, what would you eat both before and after a race? 
That’s an easy one. Before the race, I have a bowl of porridge, made the Scottish way. 

… The Scottish way? 
That’s porridge with nothing but water and a pinch of salt (for flavour). And afterwards, I’ll have a banana.

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