Level up Runners – Victoria Gidney

Vic and I met back in the uni year 2000, I remembered her sense of humour and always being so bubbly and kind, so we oversea students loved hanging out with her.

We spoke here and there post our uni life, we were both busy chasing our careers however I always remembered her wonderfulness and I knew we would reconnect someday.

Vic was at Top Shop as visual merchandiser, she was promoted multiple times, travelled around the world for the brand, and she stayed there for over 14 years, what made her decided to change from fashion to fitness and do it so well? ( As she always does!)

Here are our lucky 7 questions –

KF: How long have you been a runner? And how did you come up with this idea Runlates – pilate for runners?

VG: Only really the last 4 years – I was doing military fitness locally to meet people (and get fit!), and only started doing their run club as I had a friend who’d signed up to her first marathon – the scorchingly hot London one in 2018!  She inspired a few of us to then train for one the following year, and it was then that I realised how well Pilates had prepared my body for running long distances. I was really interested in why that was, so decided to train as an instructor to explore it more deeply, then thought there was an opportunity to talk about it as you hear a lot about Yoga for runners but Pilates is rarely mentioned. I’m also not a fan of the gym, and so Pilates for me ticks the strength and conditioning box you need to make sure you do as a runner to avoid injuries.

I realised how well Pilates had prepared my body for running long distances. I was really interested in why that was, so decided to train as an instructor to explore it more deeply, then thought there was an opportunity to talk about it

KF: When did you know that you wanted a career change and what encouraged you to make it happen? –  with such successful career within Acadia group, top shop, what made you change from fashion to fitness?

VG: When I started in retail it was a ‘passion for fashion’ (excuse the cliche) that initially led me down that route, I got hooked in at a uni freshers fayre and one thing led to another! As I’ve grown older, I think the things that are important to me have shifted somewhat, and the longer I stayed in retail the more it became about my team, and the people I worked with, rather than the product I was working with or career progression.  When I started learning more about Pilates, running, and the human body I felt that spark of excitement you get when something is new and I’m now really enjoying having my personal interests and work more closely meshed – which is something I always thought I’d hate!

KF: Do you think your previous professional skills in top shop were useful to run your business? If so, what are they?

VG: Absolutely – though I think I’m now having to apply the management principles I’d apply to my team, to myself! Time management for example and structuring my day is something I’ve definitely found tricky now my job isn’t a standard working week. I always felt my strength at work was project management, looking 12 months ahead and breaking that down into what that made your 6 month, 3 month, monthly, weekly, daily objectives. Whether that’s a Flagship Store opening, or starting a business I think the principles are the same, not trying to run (haha) before you can walk and thinking about the long term or bigger picture rather than getting stressed about the here and now.

KF: When you are so busy everyday, do you cook? If so can you share your recipe that can make a dish under 30 minutes?

VG: I love to cook, but am guilty of being a creature of habit…! I’m a big fan of roasted veg and get a weekly organic veg box which could have anything – beetroot, squash, courgette, red onions… So I tend to throw them in the oven with olive oil, whatever herbs I have to hand – usually rosemary, thyme or both – lots of salt and pepper, some garlic cloves and sometimes chili. Will often have with chicken, salmon, sausages. I can then get some bits done whilst it’s all cooking so it gives me a deadline!

KF: Do you have any daily ritual? If so what are they?

VG: Ideally, I like to run in the morning, after breakfast and sorting the dog out (he’s still a pup so can’t run with me yet). I found during lockdown this really helped me to process the day ahead, what I needed to do, prioritise etc. At the time when I was on furlough it could feel overwhelming having empty days so this really helped me to plan – even things like what housework I needed to do to fill time! It would kickstart my day as once I’d got back and showered I then felt much more productive. 

KF: What do you miss Pre Covid time the most? And what do you enjoy the most during lock down?

VG: HUGS! The first time I was able to go back to my family (when bubbles were announced) and hug them was wonderful. It’s so difficult to see friends, especially when something happens good or bad, and not be able to hug them. I enjoyed the creativity of lockdown – zoom quizzes for example – and also the time to reflect and focus on what was important. Hence the accelerated career change!

 I love a challenge, so usually the fun part is coming up with the plan to address it – the difficulty is then making myself go and implement it!

KF: What was your challenge launching Runlates Pre/during Covid?

VG: Confidence probably – there are lots of logistical challenges (technology!) and the predictable ones of how to reach people, make your business known etc which I am definitely still working on – but I think for me it’s the putting a plan into action.  I love a challenge, so usually the fun part is coming up with the plan to address it – the difficulty is then making myself go and implement it!

KF: Your favourite Runlates/ pilate movement that helps you to stretch and relax.

VG: I LOVE flexion exercises where you roll through the spine – shoulder bridges, roll ups, roll downs as they feel lovely for any stiffness and really work with your breath. I find it nice and relaxing to be able to both visualise and feel all the space you are creating between your vertebra and in your rib cage. I also love a glute/hip stretch – they are so painful sometimes after running but you feel much better afterwards!

Are you inspired for a career change and do what you always loved? I hope you enjoyed this interview of #MySmartCookie – Victoria Gidney.

Runlates can be booked via their website, facebook page and Instagram.

PS. if you like this interview and want to be in loop of my updates, come and follow me via instagram @kfyangoconnor Thank you!

提升身體能量 – Victoria Gidney

我和維多利亞是大學的同學, 他的幽默感還有溫暖的性格讓我們從海外來的學生很容易跟他親近。




KF:維多利亞 ,你開始喜歡跑步多久了? 那是什麼讓你有這樣子的想法把跑步跟皮拉提斯聯合一起變成一個特別的身體訓練方式?

VIC: 事實上我開始跑步也只不過這四年, 我參加我們家附近的軍事健身希望能夠認識新的朋友還有讓身體更健康。 然後兩年前2018的時候,也開始加入他們的跑步俱樂部,剛好因為我一個朋友他突然決定要跑馬拉松, 叫我陪他。 那年夏天在倫敦熱死了。

我那個朋友跑了馬拉松之後啟發了我們一群人也決定下一年就是2019也參加了馬拉松。 那也是我第一次體會到皮拉提斯對於一個跑步者多有好處, 他的確可以把你的身體準備得更充分 ,可以是跑長遠的距離 。我當時感到很好奇,為什麼皮拉提斯能夠這樣子的幫助我,所以我就決定來探索看看,於是加入了皮拉提斯職訓 。之後發現大部分的人都會提到瑜珈對於跑步選手多有好處可是往往沒有人提到皮拉提斯對於跑步者 的好處。

那我也自己也不是很喜歡去健身房, 所以皮拉提斯這項運動對我來說很好,不但可以加強身體也可以做體態調理。因為這兩項對於喜歡跑步人是很重要的做得好的話就比較不會受到運動受傷。

KF: 那你什麼時候知道你想要改變你的事業那是什麼樣子的情況下讓你決定要做這樣的挑戰? 

VIC:我當時加入了時尚 說法比較老套就是一個非常對於時尚有熱愛的關係。 在大學的時候我們學時尚就這樣子被吸引了很久。 後來年紀慢慢的長大, 對我來說重要的東西 慢慢的轉變, 留在時尚業並不是對服裝的熱情而是喜歡和我一起的工作團隊 和我一起工作的同事 ,再也不是任何的時尚單品有任何的崇拜。 那當我對皮拉提斯的認識越來越多之後 ,我也開始感受到自己人類身體還有跑步的運動感覺 反而讓我激起了一個熱情很興奮的想要認識的更多 這樣的興趣就慢慢地產生了。 我從來都沒有想到我會對於健身有興趣我以前一定是很不喜歡的。

KF: 那從視覺設計,零售業到健身 ,這個在工作上的技巧很不同你可以分享哪一些技巧你現在還用得到的嗎?

VIC: 那當然,我覺得我就一定要必須嚴格的管理自己就像當初我如何關閉我的團隊。 比如說下時間管理對我來說就是比較難的因為現在自己工作時間管理沒有控制好的話不像以前上班朝九晚五或者是公司派給你的時間, 所以要成功的話自己時間管理是很重要的。 所以我也必須要有12個月的經營目標, 然後簡短到六個月的目標,到三個月的目標, 甚至變成每天的目標,都要把它訂好。 對我來說這不論是開一間很大的百貨公司或者是自己經營管理 我覺得主要的基本原則是一樣的, 你要先會走才會跑,所以我現在與其擔心每天的一些小事我會注重在自己為什麼要變成皮拉提斯教練的長遠的計畫。 


VIC: 我很喜歡自己煮飯啊,但是對於自己有點愧疚的是我每次都做一樣的。 我最愛烤蔬菜了,我有訂有機的蔬菜和所以每個禮拜寄過來的菜都不一樣,有時候是甜菜節瓜 紅蔥等等的 我就是把他們切一切然後放了橄欖油 還有大蒜 之後就這樣子讓他慢慢的烤,我還會加 雞肉或是鮭魚之類的就這樣吃比較健康。


VIC: 以理想的情況下 早上我喜歡先去跑步回來之後吃早餐然後再帶我的狗狗去散步 我發現每天這樣子尤其是在倫敦封城的時候對我的幫助很大,我有有時間可以先想想一天要先做什麼,即便是一些家事, 如果我都先把他計畫好了那我會覺得我一天很有成效。

KF: 那你在疫情擴大每天封鎖在家裡的時候最想念的是什麼?

VIC: 我好想念擁抱, 所以我第一次可以回家看我家人的時候我真的很興奮 。因為在疫情封鎖的時候我們是沒有辦法跟人接觸的就算是自己的家人我們也不可以跟他們有任何的身體接觸關係就不能夠有擁抱 所以不管是碰到了好事或壞事也沒有辦法真正的跟他們分享。 但是我也學習到了怎麼樣能夠使用科技 ,例如我可以用網上教學來教皮拉提斯,也因為這樣子我很快樂就把我的工作室成立了。

KF: 那你在疫情嚴重的時候成立RUNLATES工作室的挑戰是什麼?

VIC: 我想應該是自信心。 有很多後勤的挑戰還有要如何 接觸到客戶,要怎麼樣讓大家知道我的皮拉提斯工作室等等, 雖然這些我早就已經有想好了,但是我要如何把計畫變成一個行動,這個地方我還要再繼續的努力。我喜歡接受挑戰 ,所以對我來好玩的是有一個計畫然後要怎麼樣讓自己真正的去進行 我想是有待加強,要繼續努力。

VIC 分享了他最喜歡的皮拉提斯動作然後可以讓你伸展還有放鬆 (如圖片示範)。

喜歡這篇文章的朋友可以到我的網頁訂閱,有更多的訪談慢慢的會寫出來,還有不要忘記追蹤我的Instagram @kfyangoconnor 謝謝!

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