OzSquad Women’s Run Club with Pace Athletics
On Sunday 1st July, 40 or so women hit the pavements around Manly for the first Pace Athletic Women’s Run Club with OzSquad. Donned in bright blue Brooks T-shirts and hard to miss, it was a great launch – perfect running weather for it and great running chat!
On the run, I was asked “so why just a Women’s Run Club?”. I would usually opt for offering an equal opportunities mixed session myself and I enjoy the dynamic that running a mixed bootcamp creates in fitness sessions (yep, especially when the girls beat the guys!). However run groups can be intimidating at the best of times with concerns such as ‘Will I be able to keep up?, how far will I have to run?, is it just for fast ‘proper’ runners?’ common and often enough to put off those new to, or returning to running after a break from joining in.
Women particularly often put off starting to run with kids, work, life and excuses getting in the way and we wanted to remove some of the barriers and fears by creating a welcoming, safe environment for women to run in. Sorry guys, one way to do that was make it a Women’s only run club where the gals would know there at least wouldn’t be any super-fast guys to keep up with and where running questions about pelvic floor and boobs weren’t taboo!
We also wanted to make the Women’s Run Club inclusive for all abilities of female runner. It is common when groups of mixed ability are running together for faster runners to speed off and wait for the back of the pack at a designated landmark or junction. Whilst the faster runners often don’t mind this at all, slower runners can feel like that are holding people up and become stressed out, don’t enjoy the run and therefore don’t return to the group! Further, as soon as the back runners reach the fast group, the fast group are rested and ready to run again whilst the slower runners are puffed out so the cycle begins again.
Our route was devised to combat this with faster runners given more loops, double/backs and hill repeats until the group was all together again – and also meant everyone was the same level of puffed-out-ness!
In alignment with OzSquad sessions, our run wasn’t ‘just a run’ either and the first Women’s Run Club covered cadence drills and running technique with some upper body tips too. A fast stride rate will mean that you are in the air for less time and will therefore land more softly, which is more efficient and puts less strain on your joints. Check your cadence when out on your next run – the most efficient stride rate is 180 steps per minute, but anything around the 160-170 mark and you are doing ok.
So ladies, don’t be put off, come join us at the next Women’s Run Club – just ask OzSquad or Pace Athletic in Manly for details.