Becs Gen­try, Coach And Ul­tra Run­ner

COACH, UL­TRA RUN­NER, IN­FLU­ENCER ( AND THIS MONTH’S COVER STAR)

Runner's World (UK) - - FRONT PAGE -

WHAT STARTED as an escape from work stress has be­come a full-time vo­ca­tion for our cover star. Becs Gen­try is now a Nike+ Run Coach, ul­tra run­ner and in­spi­ra­tional force for run­ning via her so­cial me­dia ac­counts. RW caught up with her be­tween hair and make-up and hill sprints. HAVE YOU AL­WAYS RUN?

At school I ran athletics and cross-coun­try, but then uni took over. Then, when I had an of­fice job, I needed some med­i­ta­tion. I moved to Brighton and started run­ning on the seafront, and it freed my mind. It be­came an ob­ses­sion, I was get­ting up at 4:30am for long runs on the South Downs be­fore catch­ing a 7am train to Lon­don. One day the penny dropped and I thought, ‘I’m in the wrong in­dus­try’.

WHAT’S THE AP­PEAL OF ULTRAS? Run­ning is typ­i­cally a solo sport, whereas ultras in­tro­duced me to run­ning in a team, which I loved. Plus, once you’ve got your head around the dis­tance, you can take it at what­ever pace you want and with that mind­set they’re very en­joy­able. You can stop for cake, meet peo­ple and en­joy beau­ti­ful places. HOW MUCH SATISFACTION DO YOU GAIN FROM GET­TING OTH­ERS RUN­NING?

The coach­ing side is why I get up ev­ery day. I love see­ing some­one go from hat­ing run­ning to lov­ing it, do­ing races and get­ting all the ben­e­fits. And it drives my run­ning be­cause I know that what I do can in­spire oth­ers – peo­ple fol­low­ing me on so­cial me­dia, or peo­ple I train.

HOW IM­POR­TANT IS THE SO­CIAL – AND SO­CIAL ME­DIA – SIDE OF RUN­NING?

It can be pos­i­tive in terms of in­spir­ing com­mit­ment, but the down­side with groups and so­cial me­dia is there can be a lot of pres­sure. The pres­sure of be­ing judged for be­ing there, for pace, mileage, this need to al­ways take pic­tures, for proof. It can be pos­i­tive, but it can also be de­mor­al­is­ing and dan­ger­ous. It makes peo­ple run through in­jury. So I re­ally en­cour­age do­ing some ses­sions with just a ba­sic dig­i­tal watch, for your­self and not for pub­lic con­sump­tion.

WHAT’S THE BEST RUN­NING AD­VICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?

To take ev­ery day as it comes: don’t com­pare your­self to the run­ner you were yes­ter­day and don’t fore­see the run­ner you may be to­mor­row. That ses­sion on your train­ing grid isn’t set in stone. If some­thing doesn’t feel right, don’t run. Don’t go off and eat five piz­zas, just train another way and restart the next day.

FOL­LOW BECS ON TWIT­TER AND IN­STA­GRAM @BECSGENTRY. READ THE FULL IN­TER­VIEW AND SEE MORE PICS AT RUNNERSWORLD. CO.UK/BECSGENTRY

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