Swap the Road for the Trail with Swiss Valley Trail Group

Couch to 5K is one of the fastest-growing programmes in the running community. It is helped people all over Wales to get active and stay active. Gill Handscomb has been involved with a number of running groups including setting up a work based C25K group within Carmarthenshire County Council and her own groups on a Wednesday evening. She has a passion for leading and helping people on their running journey. She said “I became a leader because I wanted to give something back, having come from being a beginner myself. I love seeing runners progress and seeing their confidence grow. I also enjoy the social side, seeing friendships being made and seeing how they support each other.”

But she has now started working on something a little different. She has been helping to set up a new social running group at Swiss Valley which is focused on trail running. This is a new and exciting challenge for Gill, speaking on the difference between trail running and road running, she said, “A trail running group brings different challenges, as there are more things to be aware of, and having different abilities in the group involves a bit more planning.  We have so many hidden trails in the area that it is lovely to utilise them and hopefully this will make runners want to go and use them more often too. Also trails can be quite secluded, so giving runners the opportunity to run as part of a group allows them to access areas they may not do so at other times.”

However, the benefits of trail running show even road runners should swap to the trail now and again. Gill said, “Trail running is a fantastic way to keep fit, and increases stronger legs and core.  It is less impact too and so much better for mental wellbeing.”

If you are interested in setting up your own social running group, then Gill says that is exactly what you should do. She said, “Leaders get so much out of taking groups. There is a huge satisfaction in seeing people improve, and getting people involved in running.  It also gives a leader the opportunity to promote events and races such as parkrun.”

If you are interested in finding out more information about Gillian’s Swiss Valley Trail Group, then you contact her through our website.

Alternatively, if you completed the C25K programme and are looking for the next step on your journey, Gill also runs progression group up to 10K on a Wednesday evening at Llanelli Leisure Centre.

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