I’m delighted to have been asked to be the Resident GP for UK Sports Chat. If you haven’t heard about this fantastic, growing community then let me fill you in.
How it started.
UKSportsChat started in July 2013 when two runners Joe Williams and Jeff Weigh began tweeting to get advice and support from other runners. They discovered there was a wealth of friendly knowledgeable people out there who were more than happy to share tips and advice and encourage each other to reach their goals or simply to get out of the door for a run. UKRunChat was born! It expanded rapidly with thousands of people following the site and joining in the UKRunChat hour at 8pm on Wednesdays and Sundays. This hour has been named #thefastesthouroftheweek, if you join in you’ll find out why; the pace and number of people and the banter that goes on means 60minutes goes in a flash.
With the success and encouragement from the running community the field has now expanded to include UKTriChat, UKCycleChat and now UKSwimChat; all together under the umbrella of UKSportsChat. Find them on Twitter, Facebook and on their own site too.
How to get involved.
You might think you’re not ‘sporty enough’ to be involved but it really isn’t like that. Let me give you an example; if you tweet “@UKRunchat Can someone help? I’ve only just started running but I keep getting a stitch #ukrunchat”. Within minutes you’ll have heaps of people encouraging you and giving you their top tips for avoiding and getting rid of stitches. Try it, honestly and just see what happens. 6am or 11pm someone is always ready to talk. If you’re super fit and experienced you’ll find people on your level too, whether it’s comparing your Strava segments or your carbohydrate intake you can guarantee someone else is just dying to share their experiences. Just don’t forget to add #UKRunChat (or #UKTriChat etc). If you aren’t on Twitter then check out the Facebook pages and the on-line forum on the website for more discussions.
When I met UKRunchat.
I first met Jeff and Joe when they were completing an endurance event, travelling around the UK running 10k routes in various locations. I was amazed they were coming to little old Lancaster and I’d been enjoying the on-line community so thought I’d go and run with them and show them some support. I was so impressed with these two very normal, enthusiastic men who were bringing together like-minded individuals but also providing such a motivational tool for runners of all levels. I know so many people who start exercising but as the months go by it can get harder and harder to keep yourself going. This is particularly true for those that don’t belong to running clubs or don’t have very active peers. Runners can be geeks and because they enjoy their hobby so much they can bore people to death talking about it. So, whether you want to dip in and out in a moment of weakness or spend hours talking about the intricacies of your training plan UKSportsChat can help.
Other UKSportsChat events.
I toddled off to Anglesey for the inaugural UKRunchat weekend.
You can read my blog about barefoot running on the beach. It was fantastic to meet some of the people I’d been tweeting with, we were never short of something to say. I did a Question and Answer session and generally had a brilliant weekend running, laughing and talking with a bit of yoga and pilates on the side.
There’s since been a weekend in the Lake District and one soon in Eastbourne. Lots of the community meet up at races and provide cheering points to support others in the community. Wandering round the expo before the Virgin London Marathon bumping into other UKRunchatters and hearing their cheers on the route was just brilliant.
So, as the Resident GP I want to be really helpful to members of the community. I’m there to answer everyday exercise-related health problems. I can’t answer everyone’s individual problems but I’m keeping an eye on the Twitter and Facebook feeds and looking for themes and interesting topics. I’m then producing blogs on the UKSportsChat website to provide information and tips on these topics. I’m just setting up an email so you can send me any queries or subjects you’d like covered. Please feel free to get in touch.
So, now you know what it’s all about I’d urge you to get involved and see how this thriving community can help you. I know the UKSportsChat future is bright and there are lots more exciting things in the pipeline so why not join the journey?