A running change

Running Change program mentors Trooper Noel Denny, Lance Bombardier Michelle Spadaro and Private Joel Bensley run around the Gallipoli Barracks running track. Photo: Corporal Kerry Uilderks

A running change

They say you can’t flex cardio, but the ability to run more than basic fitness assessment (BFA) distance and find enjoyment is considered a skill by some.

That’s the idea behind the “Running, Change” program; taking about 20 soldiers from Gallipoli Barracks who either don’t enjoy running, are on return-to-run programs or are carrying injuries, and training them to run 10km.

But it’s not just about the running, the program takes a holistic approach, educating participants on diet, physical and mental preparation.

According to 2/14 Light Horse Regiment participant, Lance Corporal William Roberts, the program isn’t the standard Army PT session.

“It’s not screaming at you to go really hard or fast, it’s about working in your heart rate zones,” he said.

“A lot of it is actually at quite a low heart rate, so you should be able to jog and have a conversation.”

It’s also not focused on reducing the participants BFA times, but showing them how to enjoy running with speed coming later.

The training is supported by physios, psychologists and even Commander 1st Division Major General Justin Ellwood, who joins participants for their Tuesday morning run.

The program started in mid-February and concludes on April 18 with the Run Army 10km event.

The 10km run will be held as a fundraiser for Legacy Australia and is open to all Gallipoli Barracks personnel, defence staff and families.

Event lead planner, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Niessl, encouraged all soldiers to get involved with Run Army 21 as a means to improve their personal fitness and endurance, while also providing a valuable fundraising opportunity for Legacy.

More information about Run Army 21 including registration for the event on Sunday 18 April 2021 can be found at: https://runarmy.gofundraise.com.au/cms/home.


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