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Meet the runner - Georgina Russell



I am a 1500m runner. I’d say that I am a full-time runner and a full-time chemotherapy nurse. I administer chemotherapy and witness so much love, hope and determination on a daily basis. I then run for the mighty Southampton AC, but am coached by Aaron Iaun, who is based at Charleston Southern University, S.C.

My hobbies mainly circulate around finding joy in making myself and others the happiest and healthiest that they can be, hence ... running.

I was always the kid that took up all the after-school clubs, so have always been sporty and hobby driven. What got me into running specifically? I would link that to when my godsister came to stay with us, the night before a race at my local track. I went to support, and it basically looked like fun. I then took part at the after-school club and my dad would pace some time trials for me. At the club, I was encouraged by Mr Ellis and a pupil to join the local club and that’s how my infatuation started.

My standard training week looks like this:

Monday: AM steady run PM weights and maybe a second run

Tuesday: session (usually rep based)

Wednesday: AM run PM easy run

Thursday: AM run and weights

Friday: session (rep based, or tempo based, depending on season)

Saturday: long run / recovery day

Sunday: recovery day / long run (depending on Saturday)

I don’t have a favourite session, but I enjoy being fully zoned in, feeling bouncy and performing better than the last time I did said session.

I train on my own so other than no gym access and the fatigue from work, my training hasn’t really been an issue since lockdown.However, I would have been doing track sessions in prep for a track season, but now that racing is off the cards, it’s base mileage for me. This means trying to increase millage if necessary, having fewer sessions and no speed work or power lifting.

The last race I did was the British indoor track championships in February. This was my first race in a year due to a pesky stress fracture injury. I’m very glad I did it now, so it wasn’t a whole season before I raced!!

Moving to Charleston for a running scholarship caused a big change up in how I trained. I was lucky in Southampton with a great training group and many experienced coaches that have produced great athletes.

When emailing coaches and registering with the college running system out there, it opens the door for coaches to contact you too. Aaron sent me a motivational email about what they offer and how I would fit in with that and it won me over. Charleston is also very pretty and in the 5-hour time difference zone. I just thought, ‘why not?’, it’s that or going straight into work anyway! I had an amazing time and would recommend him as a coach to anyone. He individualised our training schedules and taught me more about why training is how it is. I improved a lot under him.

I am proud of my Georgia Tech 1500m race, two seasons back. I left it all on the track and was pleased with my execution. I don’t remember where I placed and know it was around 4:30. For me, my best races are the ones I did the best I could on the day, regardless of time.

The race after the Georgia Tech was my least well performed of late.  The pack went off a lot faster than expected and I didn’t back myself when the pack went off without me. From this though, I learnt that I can trust my body and my coach more, to not get too caught up in numbers and times and that I should move about after long coach journeys!

My first ever pair of spikes are going to be the hardest to beat: red Nikes, fit like a slipper, beautiful👌🏻 and great memories too. I still wear Nike spikes and switch between Nike and Adidas trainers.

I don’t sit and watch much sport. I’d rather go out and do it. I do however have a lot of respect for any other passionately sporty people

I like to read either running or motivational books so ‘Running with the Kenyans’ by Adharanand Finn is a favourite book, but I am reading more now into training ethos books.

I don’t remember losing passion for running, but physically I plateaued and slowed during the developmental years. I just kept believing I’d get through it and remembering that I run for the love of it. I don’t know how to live life without a passion anyway and the other option was to quit and never know. Luckily for me, eventually I came out of the slump.

Food wise I have a level 4 nutrition qualification and am chocolate mad (and I don’t feel bad about it). Everything in moderation. Instead, I know it’s about getting enough of all the energy and nutrition filled foods that I need, including snacking due to my higher metabolism. I try to enjoy the food I eat when my body wants it, but make sure I have the base of everything I need first.

My advice during lockdown for motivation is accepting that you can’t always look too far down the road at the minute. That’s ok and can be liberating to some extent. I’m trying to use this time to connect to my body and understand its needs better and maybe develop in unplanned ways too.

You can find Georgina on Instagram @georginarachael.

Georgina is a level 4 personal trainer, offering different levels of coaching to help you feel the best version of yourself 💪🏻. Message her privately for more details.

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