The New Breed of Runner and Why Traditional Running Coaching is NOT what they need.

At Roads to Freedom we know that for the vast majority of runners winning races and becoming more competitive is not the main goal. For many, running is about stress relief, getting away from all their worldly cares – busy schedules, family duties etc. They appreciate the sense of calm and relaxation they feel as they wind down after a run in the fresh air. It takes them out of themselves and the sheer simplicity and ease of convenience of running makes it a great way to get in touch with themselves again.

Some run for general health and fitness, many for weight management reasons, others do like to challenge themselves. Most do like to get better at running and most would like to get a little faster as a measure of their increased fitness, but not necessarily to compete or compare themselves with others. In short it’s their mental and physical health they value for the most part, although some will no doubt say that it lets them eat more cake or something similar.

A large number of these modern day runners are female and many have children that they wish to be fit to play with or share the running experience with too. When I started running around 35 years ago female runners were very rare indeed. They made up a tiny fraction of most running fields and they tended to be very serious about running. Now, in many races, the number of females outnumbers male runners.

What problems do these new runners face? Many are overweight and generally out of shape and restricted in their movements. They are very busy and often have to fit in shorter runs in between other duties, like the school run. Many cannot run every day and often rely on others being around for child care.


They don’t want to spend hours in a gym, nor do they want a traditional running coach. They need an holistic approach that covers lifestyle, but also incorporates running specific knowledge.

Roads to Freedom evolved out of wanting to bring the joys and benefits of running predominantly to these people. As such, the focus is very much on adopting a holistic approach to running, as opposed to traditional running coaching which tends to be geared to making already very good runners better. This means that our approach is different, because running is seen as part of a fit and healthy sustainable lifestyle, rather than as a goal in itself.

So we address issues like weight management with nutritional recommendations, we take non-runners and get them started with appropriate programmes to bridge the gap to eventually running continuously for 30 minutes or more, then to improving at their own pace. Everything is done with encouragement, support and sensible advice. We just don’t believe in judging people or ‘no pain, no gain’ or ‘go hard or go home’, which is the kind of nonsense you hear so often in the fitness industry. Everything is focused on you and there are no expectations other than those which you bring. The goal is not just to make you a better runner, but to help you become a happier, fitter, healthier person so you can enjoy life more.

However you come into any of our programmes, apart from the totally free a loosely structured park run groups which are just a very informal way to get to know us, the order of priority will always remain the same:

We want to know where you are at now – not just your running, but your lifestyle habits too, because these will massively affect your ability to run.

Injuries past and present and any relevant medical information, to keep you safe.

 We want to see how you stand and how you move and identify any problem areas which could lead to injury or under-performance if not addressed.

We want to know your goals and we will show you the best way to get there, whatever they are.

I am very passionate about running and human movement generally. Running saved my life and I’ve seen it do the same for others. I have experienced more benefits from running, both psychological and physical, than probably anything else in life and I still get as much pleasure from it now in my sixties as I did 35 years ago when I began. It has taught me so much about myself and life. The distances have got longer as the pace has got slower, but the sense of freedom remains.

Why not join me and discover the Road to Freedom?

Call or text David on 07504439555 or email me at to find out more.

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