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“Two years ago I didn’t run – now I’ve covered the 13 miles to work”

Robert Taylour, Assistant Director - Trading Standards for Economy, Transport and Communities at Derbyshire County Council, has been inspired in his bid to improve his fitness by the Workplace Challenge and Jog Derbyshire. On Walk to Work Day, April 1, the 55-year-old covered the 13-mile distance from home to the County Council offices through a combination of jogging and walking – and is now poised to run the Derby 10k at the end of the month.

Robert Taylour out with JOG Derbyshire.

A walk-to-work challenge with a difference

"I have been a regular participant in the Workplace Challenge and I had walked to work a couple of times last year in the summer.

"In February, as part of the latest Workplace Challenge, I had another go, but this time I ran around five miles of it from my home in Milford to Ambergate, and then walked the rest of the way to work in Matlock.

"Then, because it was National Walk to Work Day, I tried again and managed to get to around the 10-mile mark, as far as Cromford, before walking the rest. I set off at 5.35am and arrived at 8.20am and, because of the additional running, I covered the distance in a personal best.

“Two years ago I wouldn’t have even contemplated jogging”

"As I found it reasonably OK, the next aim will to be to run the whole thing, which would be about the equivalent distance to running a half marathon. I've not decided when I'll do that yet, so we'll have to wait and see!

"Two years ago I wouldn't have even contemplated jogging or running, let alone running to work and I have to say that is down to Jog Derbyshire and Julie Corne at JOG Duffield in particular.

"I was inspired to take up jogging through my wife, Kathryn, whose work colleague's wife died of cancer. She decided to Race for Life in her memory and wanted to do a little bit more than a walk, so opted for a 5k run. She discovered parkrun to help her do that, which helped give her the motivation to get started.

“I had never run since school”

"I thought if you can't beat them, join them, and with my involvement in the Workplace Challenge, I subscribed to emails and found out about JOG Derbyshire and decided to join a group near me, JOG Duffield.

"I joined last year under JOG leader Julie Corne, who's been great. I now take part on Mondays and Thursdays and, because it starts at 6pm, it disciplines me to leave work on time on those days to make sure I can get ready and get there.

"I had never run before – well not since school at least – and, before this, I would have baulked at the prospect. I had never seen myself as a jogger. But I have always been interested in sport and I do swim regularly, so I gave it a go."

Robert has found instruction on how to warm-up correctly particularly useful.

Gaining confidence and enjoying the camaraderie

"Running with Julie and the rest of the group has given me confidence. One of the things that I have found very useful is that Julie makes sure we warm up and stretch properly at the end, which I feel is really important.

"There's a really good camaraderie between the runners in the group and Julie goes to a lot of effort to make everyone feel comfortable, especially those who are new.

“We never leave people behind”

"We never leave people behind and Julie is good at giving people different things to work on depending on their ability, so that the slightly faster people don't get bored. There is a lot of good advice of technique, to go with her knowledge about science and physiology."

"It's a really good session to start jogging with and if I can do it, then I think anyone can."

"I'm now training for the Derby 10k, which is a couple of weeks away, and I'm looking forward to that. If I can finish it in under an hour, I will be very pleased with that."

Find out more

You can find out more about walking opportunities and routes in Derbyshire here.

You can also find out more about the Jog Duffield group and JOG Derbyshire as a whole, as well as search for jogging groups.

Find out how much you really look after your body by reading about the One You campaign.