Q&A: Ann Lister

‘Tried it, loved it ... running keeps me fit and outdoors’

Name: Ann Lister

Age: 68

From: Glasgow

Occupation: Retired (Self-employed Book-keeper)

Started running: 1997 joining the first beginners’ class of what was latterly known as The Glasgow Running Network at Tollcross Sports Centre.

First big race: This has to be Shettleston Harriers Ladies 5k (April 1997). At this stage of my running 5K was a big race. This was followed by Brittanic Ladies 10k (May 1997) then Glasgow half marathon (September 1997) Point being that these were all completed within 9 months of starting running.

Preferred distance: 10k to half marathon.

Preferred training route: Anywhere off road with hills.

Warm-up routine: Nothing special really. Start slowly and chat.

Pre race meal: Hopefully this would be breakfast which would consist of porridge made with soya milk topped with drizzle of honey, 2 tsp of chia seeds, small banana and chopped kiwi eaten two and a half to three hours before race start.

Post race routine: Get into dry warm clothes as I get really cold once I stop. Next plenty of water and a coffee as soon as possible. I do try and remember to do some basic stretching, paying particular attention to hamstrings. If I am going straight home from a race I will get something to eat, shower and lay down for an hour’s nap then I am good for the rest of the day.

Favourite race: Moffat 15km

Toughest challenge: Training for Lakeland Trails 36-mile ultra in 2015. The training was so tiring that I was either sleeping or resting. Just as well I had retired by then. The race itself was fine and the 10 who started all finished.

Future challenges: Just really to keep running safely doing as many off-road races as I can. I have entered all the Lakeland Trail Series this year (did them in 2014) including a marathon and a few other that I have done in the past.

Ideal race goody bag: Water, banana and Tunnock’s caramel wafer.

Kit: Brooks Ghost 7 trainers for road, Salomon Trail shoes for off road. Sportjock Bras and I like wool based socks. Inov waterproof trousers, Montane waterproof jacket with hood and Salomon XA 20 backpack for trail and hill running. For me all these items are worth spending money on. Running tops from races and leggings, capri pants and shorts, usually purchased in sales so multi brands. If I require something in particular then I would purchase from my friend who owns Good 2 Run in Paisley.

Best advice given: Enjoy running, never let a niggle become an injury and smile.

Sporting hero: Do not have anyone in particular but must say that people like marathon runner Ben Smith who not only set their own challenge but in doing that inspire other people, making every person who runs with him feel important. I have friends who are also inspirational coming through difficult times in their lives with the help of running and the support offered in all sorts of ways from their running friends.

Big issue: Since 31st March 2016 the Glasgow Running Network has ceased to exist as there is no funding available to basically keep active people active. Funding is apparently only available to get inactive
people active.

The Glasgow Running Network developed Women in Sport when it was the Glasgow Women’s Jogging Network to help get women into running in a safe and confidence-building environment.

That’s the way it was when I started running 19 years ago but it was going a few years prior to that. It was probably the most successful part of Women in Sport along with hillwalking and cycling. The hillwalking has also been axed. I am all for activities which take people out of doors in all weathers.

The reason the previous paragraph annoys me so much is that myself and other coaches were heavily involved in introducing women to running through beginners’ and other sessions.

In the East End of Glasgow, we had no permanent coaches and did not always have the same coach through my beginners’ course. After I had completed my course I would be ‘back marker’ when the beginners started and it was suggested that I take training and get paid for what I was doing and I became a permanent fixture at Tollcross Sport Centre.

I have been involved with sessions at Tollcross, Garrowhill and Gorbals Sport Centres and helping out at Scotstoun on Saturday mornings as required. Weekday distances of 4-6 miles, with Scotstoun’s being 6-10 miles. As well as the normal sessions I have been involved with beginners’ couch to 5k safely in 10 weeks (1 session per week), couch to 10k in 12 weeks (2 sessions per week), 10k refreshers 5k to 10k in 10 weeks (1 session per week) 10k to half marathon (2 sessions per week) and I even helped out with marathon training one year.

From the ashes of the Glasgow Running Network we now have the Glasgow Phoenix Runners who can be checked out on Facebook offering free running groups across the city. I am still running at Tollcross, Garrowhill, Gorbals and Scotstoun (when not training for a particular race). Maryhill has a beginners group as well which is doing really well.

There have been enquiries for other beginners’ classes which I would be keen to get involved with if day, time and venue suit.

Reason for running: Why do I run? Well, it started because I was premenstrual, not able to keep weight stable, smoked 20-a-day and drank loads of coffee.

Tried it, loved it, don’t smoke anymore, drink much less coffee, still have to watch my weight although it is easier and I have loads of lovely running friends.

Running is keeping me fit outdoors, gives me confidence, challenges me and hopefully, as I am getting older, will help me stay strong and active and not be a burden to my family or society.

Running also introduced me to yoga and I try to do two sessions a week and the odd workshop designed for runners which all adds to the healthy, strong lifestyle.