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Katie Snowden running through South West London

Balham Olympian Katie Snowden launches community running club

A Team GB Olympian from Balham is launching a community running club online this month.

Katie Snowden, 27, who reached the women’s 1500 metres semi-final this year in Tokyo, said she was inspired to run classes for people looking to get fit through the lockdown.

In partnership with online fitness planner NeoCoach, the athlete is challenging runners of all levels to sign up for a custom six-week programme, with courses running from Monday.

She told South West Londoner: “I found that a lot of my friends and family were asking for a bit of structure to training. They were all keen to do a bit of running. They wanted to be active but didn’t know how to start.

“I thought it would be nice to try and help them and give them a bit of guidance to get them off the ground a bit.

“I think that people are really willing to get fit but they don’t know how to go about starting. So that’s where I thought I could help a bit.”

Snowden trialled individual classes around Battersea earlier this year, before joining to NeoCoach in March to help a wider audience.

She said: “I’m still learning through it, having only done one so far. It’s hard to know exactly what people want straight away but it was useful getting some of the feedback from that one to try now to implement into this.

“There are some people now who are not even in the UK taking part— someone’s in the Philippines, some in America. Someone was in Canada.

“The great thing about doing it online is that anybody can be a part of it but I would like to feel that some local people are going to get involved as well.

“It’s nice to feel that you’re helping the local community as well as further afield.“

The programme asks for a £75 or £150 contribution, though offers free access to those unable to afford its fee.

Tom Ireland, 33, took part in the programme in June.

He said: “Katie and NeoCoach helped me go from being someone who didn’t run at all to someone who actually enjoys running.

“It really helped me to have a tailored program while benefiting from the shared accountability of a communicative, friendly group. It has also been amazing to have access to the expertise of an actual Olympian!”

Having recently returned from this year’s Olympics in Japan, Snowden will now be looking forward to a string of middle-distance championships in the new year, ahead of 2024’s Games in Paris. 

She added: “Tokyo was a really great experience. Particularly, the Japanese volunteers were so friendly and welcoming, which really made a difference.

“It was quite a strange Games with no spectators and so many Covid restrictions. That was tricky. But I think just how welcoming everybody was there made it still really good.

“Going forward, Paris is one of my main targets. With it only being three years away as well, I think that’s achievable. And then to make the final there would be really great. I think that’s something I can definitely achieve in the next few years.”

Those interested can sign up for the programme at www.neocoach.io/katie-snowden.

Featured image credit: Katie Snowden

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