Ladies Running Club – Stephanie Donaldson

I have wanted to train with and be part of the Innerfight Club since I first saw them at a race 2 years ago. I felt intimidated though and thought that I wasn’t fast enough to join them. About 2 months ago I saw a post of a ladies running club that is starting at Innerfight. After looking into it a little more I thought I would give it a try and contacted the coach (Steph Humphrey) and I haven’t looked back. (Finally, something good to come out of 2020). 
The ladies running club truly is for everyone and all abilities. I really look forward to my weekly (socially distanced) runs with the group and have never felt intimidated or that I don’t belong. This ladies running club has been a safe, welcoming, warm, fun, encouraging community to be part of. We know when it’s run time we do our best and according to what the coach says and compete against ourselves and our own goals but there is also time for a few jokes and some banter and catch ups. 

In the 6 weeks that I have been part of the Innerfight Endurance Ladies Running club I have gained so much. My running has improved, I have learnt more about myself and my capabilities and I have also gained a new group of friends who share a common goal and enjoyment and support each other. The running club has also really improved my mental health (after what has been a challenging year) But most importantly, I have found the joy in running again, and it is great!  

I would definitely recommend the IFE ladies running club to anyone. Whether you are wanting to start running, do your first 5km or have a goal for a race coming up - this is the place to help you. The training sessions are well thought through, effective and adapted if needed. Within 5 weeks there have been PB’s reached in races, people able to run a loop without walking and so many personal goals reached and obstacles overcome. Steph (the coach) really knows what she is doing and is committed to helping each of us with our running. 

Innerfight have a saying “no weakness”, and I often find myself wondering what this means to me. It means different things for different people and it doesn’t mean killing yourself with training. For me, it means learning to know myself really well and my weaknesses and to work on these (along with my strengths) and improve myself as a person and a runner. When I am doing a running session, No Weakness often pops up in my head and I do think of this and try and not give up and do the session as best I can. No weakness means working on the whole picture - the whole you. 

Another great thing about the IFE ladies running club is that I have been able to fit it into my family life. The weekly training runs are either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. For me, this means that I can go and do the early morning (6am) run and be back in time to help get the kids ready for school. I also know that the 6pm run is great for those who aren’t able to make an early morning run because of work commitments. 

Yes, running can be hard and may seem daunting but I am yet to come across someone who hasn’t been happy about starting running and they aren't enjoying it. IFE ladies running club has made this possible. And those mornings where I would usually hit the snooze button and not get up and go for a run, are a thing of the past. I now not only look forward to my weekly running sessions with IFE ladies but also know that there are people counting on me to show up (just like I am counting on them). It’s friendships and unspoken bonds being formed and people growing and becoming better runners and more active. And it really is an awesome feeling when you reach a goal or get a PB - and Innerfight Endurance ladies running club has helped with this!

By Stephanie Donaldson