Category Archives: Training

An Introduction To Mood And Exercise

An Introduction To Mood And Exercise

The link between exercise and better mental health has long been established, with many clinicians now recommending regular exercise not only to combat low mood and stress, but also as a treatment for depression and anxiety, alongside (but often in place of) conventional medicine. Writing for the American Psychological Association, Kirsten Weir (2011) notes that ‘within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect’. Also, that ‘research shows that exercise can help alleviate long-term depression’. Compelling evidence indeed, and it has been shown that the mood-enhancing properties of exercise are enhanced when we train with others. So that’s why I always feel so good after a club run!

However, although we know that lacing up our trainers and going out for that run is going to make us feel better, it’s not always that simple. Family and work commitments, household chores and general life stress all seem to conspire against us when it comes to establishing or continuing an exercise regime. Here is where routine is key: promising yourself that you’ll keep an hour free on a Wednesday evening for a club run. Or arranging to meet friends for a chatty run (or, indeed, a speed session!) either before or after work, or when the kids have gone to bed.

Yet sometimes, even when we are physically able to go for a run, we can’t bring ourselves to do it. It could just be a loss of ‘mojo’. However, I know of many people (myself included) who suffer or have suffered from crippling anxiety. Unable to train for the sheer worry of what might happen if we step outside the door. Worrying about what people will think if they see you running. Worrying that you look fat in running gear. So what can be done about this? A term often used in modern counselling is ‘self compassion’ – in simple terms, being kind to yourself. To make small and manageable changes. To avoid ‘all or nothing’ thinking. What this might look like in practice: you’ve planned a run for an hour, but really don’t feel like it. So you don’t go at all and tell yourself you are pretty useless for not running. This is an ‘all or nothing’ scenario. The compassionate alternative is to go for ten minutes and see how you feel. Chances are, you’ll want to carry on. If not, you have the option of coming home. You’re still lapping everybody on the sofa.

Part of my remit as a Mental Health Ambassador is to encourage people to share their experiences in a safe environment, knowing that they won’t be judged. This starts with self-disclosure and I hope that some of you will feel able to open up too. There really is no stigma in suffering with ill mental health, and the more we talk about it, the less there will be. Over the coming weeks and months, I’m hoping to start a ‘runner of the month’ feature on the website, where I’ll invite someone to share how running affects their mood. In the meantime…I’m off for a run!

Kathryn xx

New members – June 2015

AmberWe’re pleased to welcome 18 new members over the last Quarter!  It would be great if we could seek them out to make them feel welcome.

This includes 7 who have joined from our Thursday Beginners section (names highlighted in green) and 3 former members rejoining (names highlighted in red).

Read on below


Jayne Green
Julie Jeffries
Paul  Newman
Kay Porter
Jo Softley
Jane Capey
Laura Heath
Ruth Machin
Dominic Haigh
Tim Clegg
Graham Moorhouse
Amber Flounders
Carrie Stockley
Rosie Gillick
David Turton
Janine Marczynski
Philippa  Boote
Martin Boote


Beginners  (by Anne Griffiths)

Thursday night has seen a rise in the number of new runners joining us and we have been delighted to welcome so many beginners. Since April we have had 7 new members and, in that short space of time, we have seen a huge improvement in their running. A particular mention to the following for completing the St Michael’s 10K after just a few weeks of training: Julie, Paul, Kay, Jo, Jane, Ruth and Tim. Also to Amber who ran the Westbridge 5 and offered support in the St Michael’s 10K by supporting some of the other beginners, despite not being an official entry. Most people joining the beginners group have no intention of racing (let’s face it, it’s an intimidating prospect) and to see so many brave the start line is a testament to their hard work, commitment and determination. We have several other beginners who are also putting in stellar performances on a Thursday night and are now running up to 5 miles at an ever increasing pace.

Well done to all our new runners; you have worked so hard and it’s been a pleasure pounding the streets of Stone with you.

Rose Gillick
Rose is a class runner and has many achievements in her running career; including – running 4 sub 3 hour marathons in a month and setting the course record for the touch Snowdonia Marathon – which stood for many years.

PhillipaPhilippa Boote
Philippa has re-joined us with her husband Martin, and has already raced a few times in the last month as a bat; Shugborough Relays, St Michael’s 10k and Berryhill 10k. At St Michels 10K, Philippa won the trophy for the first local Female!

Graham Moorhouse
Graham is a seasoned runner and another who’s run a Marathon in Sub 3 hours. His claim to fame is the only club member to have a Wood named after him, “Graham’s Wood” was so named in  recognition of his navigation skills (lack of!).  I doubt that many SMM’ers will know the real name of the wood  (Newstead Wood & Newpark Plantation – I think!).


JC’s Speed Training


JCA brief outline of what we plan to do in the sessions.

A quick word about me, I ran with SMM for over 20 years and have been into the sport for over 40 years, I have been an accredited UKA coach, however my licence has now expired, so these sessions will be on a “Advice and Mentor” basis.


To give those new to running ideas on how to gain fitness.

To re-kindle the joy of extending yourself, in the more experienced.

To have some fun!!??

The 4 sessions listed below will give participants an idea of what they can do, which can be developed over the Winter, as individuals or groups.


Date/Time Meet at Location Session

18 30hrs

Tennis Club

Nb If you are time strapped meet us at the location

Walton Industrial


Short Sprints


A chance for us to weigh up each other?



Tennis Club.


Downs Bank Hills

18.30 hrs

Tennis Club Airedale







Tennis Club Common Plot Mix of the above.


These will be subject to the weather, wet grass/speed = injuries, I will try to use timed intervals as much as possible so we all stay together.

Looking forward to meeting you

John Clemens China