050: Tom Williams, COO Parkrun, Marathon Talk host, on inspiring people to run

Welcome to episode 50, a mini milestone for us and not long ago we’ve ticked over 50,000 downloads so thank you to all for tuning in and sharing what you’ve learnt from each episode – it encourages to keep producing more content for you.

While we’ve hit some mini milestones, this week’s guests has been part of some projects that have grown to become phenomenally successful. Tom Williams is Parkrun’s Global Chief Operating Officer the incredible successful charity that provides free timed 5km runs for people around the world. At the time of recording Parkrun has had 60 million interactions of participants or volunteers with an average of 200 people in each event each week, supporting people to run over 200 million kms in total. Tom shares with us the spirit, culture and ethos of inspiring people to exercise through Parkruns.

Tom is also co-host of Marathon Talk with Martin Yelling, the incredibly successful podcast that has just had it’s 500th episode – a feat of stamina in itself.

It was fascinating to hear how with both Parkrun and Marathon Talk how these projects started because if you look at those statistics of achievements it can be quite intimidating. But that idea you’ve got, that we’ve got, has to start somewhere, they have to start at zero.

Show notes;

How did Marathon Talk podcast come to fruition?

Being authentic on the podcast for both Martin and Tom

Introversion, lack of structure and a small group of people can be difficult however standing up in from of 500 people can feel fantastic. The barrier between

The beauty of running and talking

What has Tom learnt from running the Marathon Talk podcast

Tom’s observation of the increasing uptake of marathon running

Parkrun – a social intervention for a lonely bloke!!

Paul was lacking in real social interaction and to all intents and purposes lonely despite having loads of ‘friends’ the original ‘Parkrun’ was set up to rectify this situation with friends.

Parkrun isn’t about the running, it’s about sharing the experience

Ironman qualification

The danger of focussing on outcomes rather than our values, what is the essence of sport what it the essence of performance?

60 million instances in participation in the first 15 years

The future of Parkrun – 900 million instance in participation in the next 15 years

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Dr Steve Ingham is one of the UK’s leading figures in sport and one of the world’s leading performance scientists. He is steeped in high performance and has been integral to the development of Britain into an Olympic superpower. He has provided support to over 1000 athletes, of which over 200 have achieved World or Olympic medal success, including some of the world’s greatest athletes such as Jessica Ennis-Hill, Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent. Steve has coached Kelly Sotherton's running for heptathlon and to 4x400m Olympic medal winning success. Steve has worked at the English Sports Council British Olympic Association, English Institute of Sport, where Steve was the Director of Science and Technical Development, leading a team of 200 scientists in support of Team GB and Paralympics GB. Ingham holds a BSc, PhD and is a Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. Steve is author of the best selling ‘How to Support a Champion: The art of applying science to the elite athlete’, discussing and inspiring the importance of learning and adapting to reach our maximum potential. Steve established Supporting Champions with the ambition of helping ambitious people to find a better way of creating high-performance. Steve hosts the Supporting Champions Podcast on sharing his pursuit of understanding and exploration in performance.

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