WHY SLOW IS YOUR SUPERPOWER

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Much as we love to watch elite marathon performances on TV, it’s safe to say that most of the global population just doesn't share that gazelle like, lithe form that the podium winners universally display.

More than that, we have neither the time nor the inclination to spend six hours a day on strength workouts, hiit programs, speed work and hill repetition.

Instead, we are for the most part, a time-poor cohort who are juggling  work lives, children, deadlines, mortgage payments, social lives, errands and family.

But we still occasionally dream of having the form that might make an early morning run, of earning a 10k medal in a local charity run or arranging to meet friends at the local parkrun.

The Slow Coach supports real runners, who might have busy lives or bigger waistlines or slower legs but who nevertheless would like to explore their abilities on the road or on the trail.

BENEFITS OF SLOW

  • develop strong, resilient muscles in the legs, torso, and arms
  • Adapt tendons, ligaments, joints, and bones to the impact of running
  • Promote an efficient running form
  • Improve balance and bone strength
  • Teach patience, discipline, and how to handle physical discomfort
  • Trains the cardio, respiratory, and muscular systems to work more efficiently and boosts metabolism and glycogen use
  • Boost mental health, exposure to vitamin D through sunlight and can be a great way to socialise and make friends.

WHO WE ARE NOT

Our priority is quite different to what we see in most mainstream running media, where running is principally discussed in hard metrics: things like pace, strength, getting faster, getting stronger, getting fitter, getting thinner, getting better. 

Now, don't get us wrong. Those things are fine, if that's what you're after! But to us, there is a lot more to running than instagrammable abs and Boston Qualifying times.

ANDREA, THE SLOW COACH

Andrea holds the Level 2 Recreational Running Coach certification with Athletics NSW

Passionate about fostering a love of running in the global community

Andrea Moller Doney running
The Slow Coach Running

HOW RUN WITH THE SLOW COACH CAME ABOUT

“Despite running for a decade, I was frustrated by a lot of what I saw in the mainstream running media. Most of what is written in magazines, YouTube videos, instagram measures running performance by metrics: things like pace, strength, getting faster, getting stronger, getting fitter, getting thinner, getting better.

Now, don't get me wrong. Those things are fine, if that's what you're after! But I think they might not be the whole story.

Run with the Slow Coach wants to make space for conversations about NOT getting faster, but instead about how life-affirming it can be to just keep going.

We embrace runners who have no interest in a PB (personal best), but just want to get over the finish line. Or who just want to make it to the START line for that matter. We recognise the benefits of running for joy, running for time alone, running for personal development, running for time to think, time away from the kids, running for time on your feet and for a quiet sense of personal achievement.

There is a lot more to running than instagrammable abs and Boston Qualifying times. Let's consider the pursuit of running in a context that is not measured by relentless self-improvement but in a series of quiet moments that matter only to you.I think, if you ask a lot of runners why they really run, it’s to do with finding ways to affirm themselves in a really personal way. And yet the public conversations are so relentlessly focussed on metrics; pace, cadence, PRs (personal record), segments and times ... and I for one would love it if occasionally we could brag about how slowly we ran. How much enjoyment we had on a run. How many new friends we met. How we noticed the sunrise. How we avoided injury and made it up a new hill and laughed at the neighbourhood dog. How we cried for the mum who is dying or remembered the baby we lost or ranted at the teenager who is pushing our buttons.

I will never be fast. I for one don't run because I love running. The fact of the matter is I don't even LIKE running very much some of the time. But I always, ALWAYS like who I am when I'm done.”

SLOUCH TO SLOWLY

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ANDREA'S STORY

“Friends who've known me for years are often bemused by the fact that took up running. After all, they knew me when I was a plumpish couch potato with a penchant for renovation tv shows, harry potter, ice cream and daydreaming. So I often get asked why I do it, and how I got started."

"It’s a tricky question to answer. But I think I have four main reasons. The first is that I have found, quite by accident, that running helps to quell my anxious personality. The second is that I have discovered that running is, surprise surprise, a child free activity which is a rare occurrence in itself, but also one that has my husband's full blessing and support. The third is that I find setting goals, working towards them and ultimately achieving them (like running my first 5km etc) makes a massive difference to my self-esteem, perceptions of what I am capable of, my health and weight, and ultimately my happiness levels.


But perhaps the most powerful reason that I have learned to love running is that I have learned that I am fallible, and that I will not last forever. 


My husband was diagnosed with cancer several years ago but is thankfully now fully recovered. Shortly afterwards my dear friend Marion was diagnosed with a brain tumour and sadly passed away a few months later.

 Within another short few months my friend Ally lost her battle to ovarian cancer. And as I stood by helplessly and watched these three dearly loved warriors fight for their lives, and hear stories about many others, I realised that the one thing that cancer patients all long for is the one thing I take daily for granted: a healthy body. And to use it, enjoy it, test it and push its limits is a truly privilege and an honour, and a temporary one at that. 


So when I run, I think about the joy that comes from running on behalf of the loved ones who can't join me. And I think about the fact that one day I might not be able to run either, but at least I can look back at myself and say, hey, I did well there. I tried and persevered and succeeded. And ultimately, I run because I can.”