Women who have inspired me – Dr. Juliet McGrattan

I first met Juliet in 2015 when I joined her running group to have a…

Women who have inspired me – Dr. Juliet McGrattan

I first met Juliet in 2015 when I joined her running group to have a go at Couch to 5k. She was a GP then but has since gone on to become a health journalist, blogger, speaker, running coach and author with two books to her name. Her first book, Sorted: The Active Woman’s Guide to Health was named the BMA Popular Medicine Book of the Year. After losing contact, I was incredibly happy to bump into Juliet again at this year’s Running Show at the NEC in January.

I had never considered myself a runner. When I first moved to London and met my daughter’s father, he was a keen runner and, to show willing, I went along with him after work one day. It didn’t go well! I decided that being overtaken by a fully suited man running for a bus on the Embankment in front of my future husband meant that particular activity was not for me.

Later, though, I decided to give it another try.

Juliet’s group had been recommended to me by the mother of a girl who played golf with my youngest. She, the girl, had been using her 5-iron to enthusiastically knock the heads of daisies. Unfortunately, my daughter’s head was at the end of her swing, which ended in a trip to A&E for a glue job. Juliet came up in the conversation.

The following Thursday, I joined a lovely group of women aged between 34 and 67 and we all learned to run 5k together. I then went on to 10K and a half marathon followed. You should have seen the smile on my face as I felt joyous for the entire 13 miles. ‘Not too shabby for a non-runner,’ I thought.

I never did a marathon because I didn’t feel the need to. While I was training for the half, a road I wanted to run on was closed due to a landslide. I was forced to run the long way around to get home and did a marathon by accident! Knowing I could do it already, I didn’t bother to run one officially.  

I’m regularly asked if I’m a rower already. The answer is no and that’s absolutely fine. It’s okay not to have the experience yet and to learn everything from scratch – even at my age! That’s what learning to run again back then taught me.

Although I don’t run any longer, the training I did with Juliet was instrumental in having the confidence to enter the World’s Toughest Row. Her approach has had a lasting impact on how I view training now – they were really invaluable lessons and I’ll always be grateful.

Find out more here: Dr Juliet McGrattan

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