Publish date: 31 March 2023
As part of West London Get Fit we asked Jo Weston to share her running experience as she recently completed the Hampton Court Palace half marathon with a personal best of 2hr and 09 minutes.
What made you want to take up running?
My sister has been a massively inspirational part of my running journey. She’s been running for years, progressively increasing her distance; running 24-hour races, marathons and ultra-races, and is now prepping for her second ultra, ultra-marathon later this year (53 miles!).
My dad was a keen runner too, running marathons all the time from what I can remember. So we both seem to have followed in his footsteps - literally.
How long have you been participating in running challenges and what does taking part mean to you?
I used to love running back in school and always volunteered for the long distance races - I’ve always felt I’ve been built more for endurance than for speed. I had a bit of a break whilst I raised my family, but as they’ve gotten older I have managed to get back into it, which has been great. Over the last year I have signed up for a few 5k and 10k races to keep me motivated and it’s helped keep the momentum.
What does your training schedule look like in a typical week?
I manage to get out once or twice a week. I always go for a good runover a weekend when I have more time, but I do try to get out in the week where I can. Opportunity and time isn’t always on my side so I tend to do what I can. Something is always better than nothing.
What are the mental and physical benefits of running for you?
There are many benefits of running for me, it gives me a break from the online world and screen time. That combined with a busy family life means I don’t get much time to myself. For me it’s great to step away from the digital space for a bit and enjoy a change of scenery, plus such a good mood-booster.
For my longer runs I tend to get out with my old schoolfriend, so it’s a bit of a bonus having some company and being able to catch up with each other at the same time. Though I do love the luxury of putting on a good playlist when I’m out running on my own too!
Running isn’t for everyone, but there are plenty of physical health benefits too and I find it helps keep me in shape. Keeping my body healthy also means I can have that extra(guilt-free!) sugar in my tea.
Are you planning to take part in any other running challenges this year?
I completed the Hampton Court Half marathon last weekend and have only ever done one before that, nearly a decade ago. I found it much easier than I expected, despite the wet and muddy conditions. It’s definitely given me a bit of a buzz to keep the momentum going. I do have a full marathon on my bucket list so would like to sign up for a few more half marathons before that happens.
I plan to take part in the NHS 75 park run on the 8/9 July this year, which is a 5km challenge wearing my West London NHS charity T-shirt.
The West London NHS charity have been doing some great work funding a variety of projects to support our patient care and staff well-being. So it would be great to give something back and fundraise for the charity when I signup to my next race.
So watch this space!