Ian Richmond from GWS Media recently ran the Weston half-marathon for the local domestic abuse charity Survive.
Here he gives us the lowdown on his experience of training and running for a great cause.
So Ian, how did you go about training for the half-marathon?
“I started training on the 1st of August, and the half-marathon was on the 1st on November. So I trained for about 12.7 weeks, which I think is pretty good considering the minimum recommendation for training is usually 10 weeks. I think my baseline fitness wasn’t too bad, so I decided I needed to run twice a week.”
Did you enjoy the training part of the experience?
“Getting fit for a great cause feels good. I liked listening to the radio as I ran around Weston, which was useful because it kept my mind off what my feet were doing when I got tired. It was nice to see Weston in a different way, and I used to set myself little goalposts and targets to keep things interesting.”
What was the hardest part of the training?
“I actually think the hardest bit was finding the time to run! I used to save the longer stint for the weekend, and then do a shorter run during the week after work. I think that worked well, and it meant I didn’t overstretch myself.”
What’s the best thing about running for you?
“I think I enjoy running because I am naturally a pretty determined person; I enjoy pushing myself. During training, I liked having a different perspective when running past familiar places like Kewstoke and Worle. I was almost able to see things from up above when running, which was intriguing. I think everyone approaches running slightly differently, so it suits people of all ages and abilities.”
How much did you actually run before the big day?
“I used this free app RunKeeper to help me track my running, and I discovered that during my training I actually covered 127.39 miles, burning 17,688 calories! That amounts to a bus trip from Weston to Chester Zoo, or 35 Big Macs. It also shocked me to realise that during my training I had actually ran 4.8 marathons.”
How did it feel running on the day?
“The morning started quite foggy, but later on it got quite sunny which made it harder. I started off with the fast runners to begin with, so I did get quite tired later on. When things get tough and you’re running you naturally tend to think about the people you care about, like friends and family. That pushes you on. I also thought about Survive and all the great work that they do. That kept me motivated. I beat my time from last year’s half-marathon by 3 minutes, which was a nice bonus.”
Why did you decide to run for domestic abuse charity Survive?
“I found out about Survive at a local networking group (Interactive Business Club) where I heard about the great work they do for Freedom from Domestic Abuse. Survive are a great local charity who take families into safety and raise vital domestic abuse awareness. I was impressed that they have 2 part-time Independent Violence Advisors (IDVAs) based within Southmead Hospital’s A&E; I think they provide such a vital service for the community.”
How does running for a charity work?
“Running for a good cause feels great. It’s easy to create a Just Giving page to ask for donations, and then just ask friends and family to share it on Facebook. I gave people the option to sponsor me or share my page, as I did not want people to feel pressured to shell out. In terms of setting a fundraising target, I chose quite a high target; I didn’t want people to stop donating because they felt I had reached my goal.”
Have you got any tips for people preparing to run a half-marathon?
“Training is key, but don’t go over the top and tire yourself out. Get some good running shoes and lycra running clothes, but don’t wear a new t-shirt on the day as it will chafe. The night before have a big bowl of pasta for your tea, as it releases energy slowly. This helps feed your muscles, and you’ll need them on the day. Remember to stretch before and after running to avoid getting cramps. When you are actually running: find your pace, and keep to it. Once you’re running you will get into your running zone. ”
Are you going to run another half-marathon?
“We’ve got a baby on the way so I might have to slow it down a bit for now! I think I will do another 10K race next year, and one day I might even attempt a marathon. I am actually running for Survive next week on November 24th, this time I am going to run from GWS to the Survive offices in Kingswood. It’s only about 8 miles there and back, so with all my training I should be able to get there in good time- if I don’t get lost that is!
With Domestic Violence Awareness Week starting on November 24th Ian is planning to run from the GWS offices on Queen Charlotte Street to the Survive offices in Kingswood on November 24th to raise awareness. Support him here.
Update, September 2019: After 9½ years at GWS, our long-serving designer Ian moved on to new employment in the Spring of 2017. We wish him well for his continuing career!
The Charity Survive DV, long supported by Ian, unfortunately was forced by financial pressures into closure in April 2018 after 44 years helping victims of domestic abuse in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.