How RunTogether Can Further Your Running


We are all elephants. There, ponder that mental imagery for one second.

And while you do, think of your running knowledge compared to that of a newbie. If you are an elephant, then that newbie looking for running support is a lot like “a mouse looking up to you, wondering what it needs to do to survive.” So says Liz Purbrick, England Athletics Inclusion Manager, as she demonstrates the position of power one individual can have compared to another.

It’s true if you think about it. In all areas of life, including running, there are endless instances of elephants meeting mice. This could be a teacher meeting their class for the first time, or even the Queen awarding an MBE! As that mouse, we’ll hang on the elephant’s every wise word and draw a conclusion. The elephant is, after all, an expert running group leader or a seasoned runner who knows all about what it takes to run a first 5km. The mouse, on the other hand, is someone new to running, possibly even on their first-ever visit to a RunTogether running group. They look up to the elephant in awe, hoping to glean any running tips and advice they can.

"So, take this opportunity as an elephant to step up and help," says Liz, explaining the importance of not just being a running leader or mentor, but taking part in England Athletics’ RunTogether courses in general.

Furthering your running knowledge

It’s a fabulous comparison, easy to understand, and most importantly, hugely important when it comes to furthering your running knowledge. This is what embarking on a course to help you as Mentors, Runners, and Leaders is all about.

A group of Run Leader Mentors recently got together to explore this and a variety of other subjects.

"It’s almost simple really," says Paul, a mentor excited to be on this RunTogether course to renew and refresh his expertise. "Listen and learn. You can’t know everything, and we should all understand our limitations," he says, chatting about what he gets from get-togethers such as the Run Leader Mentor Development Day.

It’s rather like running in a club or group: people sharing information, being positive, bouncing ideas off each other, putting the world to rights on a 5km loop with their RunTogether friends. So, learning what it takes to be a leader or mentor can be hugely beneficial, both physically and mentally.

"And I love these courses," adds Sharon, "because, as a Run Leader, you often think of yourself out there on your own and groups like [the development day] help you understand there are plenty of runners out there ready to help. You only need ask!"

leader and group warm up

Equip yourself with self-confidence

Interestingly, that’s an element of learning we as runners should recognise. To some degree, we all suffer a bit from something called the Imposter Syndrome. As the name suggests, we often don’t feel confident in what we’re doing. ‘But I’m just little old me. What do I know?’ England Athletics’ RunTogether course will tell you otherwise! You’re not little old me. Attend something like a Run Leader Development course and you’ll equip yourself with a self-confidence that works well in every aspect of life.

"Actually, every day can be a school day," laughs Tracey Francis, England Athletics Participation Programmes Manager.

Current RunTogether courses include:

  • Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) for runners wanting to become Run Leaders
  • Coaching in Running Fitness (CiRF) for Run Leaders to take their leadership into coaching. The LiRF to CiRF workshop is a course to help ready a Run Leader for the course
  • Virtual Run Leader Development workshops
  • Mental Wellbeing in Sport and Physical Activity
  • Sight Loss Awareness and Guide Running workshops
  • Movement Skills / Physical Preparation Development workshops
  • Equality and Diversity in Sport
  • Disability Inclusion Training

Click here to find out more about all courses.

Diversity and inclusion courses

As the importance of diversity is recognised by more and more runners, our diversity and inclusion RunTogether courses have been attracting a lot of interest. At its core, this course is about creating a sense of belonging. But more than that, it’s also about understanding the sometimes sensitive and emotive issues that prevent people from taking up running, and how to create a comfortable atmosphere that addresses these concerns. “Definitely, people often feel like they don’t belong,” says Serena, a course attendee.

diverse running group

Run Leader Development workshop series

The virtual Run Leader Development workshop series currently promotes Run Leadership. But for those who feel they want to refresh their skills and re-connect with other Leaders, the webinars could be invaluable. The virtual webinar series provided a platform not just for our leaders to learn from experienced tutors but also from one another. The interaction, sharing of ideas, collective problem solving, and discussions were big reasons behind leaders attending past running group sessions this year.

Enrol in a course!

As a grassroots membership and development body, RunTogether is wholly committed to providing a range of relevant training courses and learning opportunities.

We recognise that the RunTogether running community is full of recreational runners who are highly motivated by supporting others. You are especially keen to keep learning, developing, and sharing your love of running, and the amazing ability it has to develop us physically and mentally. With this in mind, why not enrol in a RunTogether course today?

Are you looking for more running support or advice? Stay up to date with our latest running tips by reading our blog! If you’d like to get in touch, you can also send us an email with your own experiences or questions to

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