Hayley’s Story

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Hayley's Story

What a difference a year makes. Hayley’s story is inspiring for anyone moving to a new location, getting motivated and in particular running with asthma. Well done Hayley, it’s great to have you in the gang of running chicks : here’s to the year ahead.

“This time last year when planning my relocation to Dublin I started to ‘think’ about maybe starting to run. I had worked on the road for the previous 4 years and had piled on the pounds with hotel living. I was daunted by the fact that I couldn’t manage a walk to work or a flight of stairs without needing my inhaler and was constantly taking steroids and also the big move to a new city. I however didn’t let this stop me and my first ever run/walk mainly walk covered 8kms on the 10th January this year. It took me over 90 minutes and was definately too much for a first attempt. I stuck at it and improved.

I noticed ‘Forget the Gym’ in the Docklands on the way home from work probably in April time. I however only joined after my first ever 10k race in May. I wanted to be able to run before I joined which looking back now was a little bit silly as what I have learnt from the classes has changed my lifestyle especially when it comes to my asthma. The running chicks have also helped me to settle into a new city and given me a life outside of work – Saturday mornings in the Phoenix park are worth getting out of bed for – not just the scones.

Beginning of June Mary took a video of me running and played it back, she pointed out my shoulders and how they lived in my ears restricting my breathing so I decided to focus on them in all my training runs. I tipped of the girls to shout ‘shoulders’ to me if they noticed them rising. I then completed the Fingal 10k – Afterwards I remember receiving a text from Mary asking if I had taken a short cut. I had knocked 8 minutes from my PB. On reflection of what had made a difference it was defiantly the full term of strength and speed class and the shoulders. It was the first 10K I didn’t need to take my inhaler every 1-2kms infact I didn’t take it until 9kms and I also ran the whole race. For a couple of months I still had to think about the shoulders and I would often hear Mary shouting or pointing at the shoulders in training however i`m pleased to say the habit is finally there and my shoulders no longer live in my ears.

The difference this has made to my asthma is amazing. I have stopped taking steroids and haven’t taken my inhaler when running since Fingal.


Training for the half marathon then started and I was really nervous on how I could run a half marathon with my lungs, however I followed the plan, concentrated on breathing and attended the Chirunning workshop. Morning of the half I was petrified however great to be with other Running Chicks completing their first half, and seasoned runners for advice. The support was amazing. I remember Mary telling me to enjoy it she didn’t want me to get to the end and never want to run again. I did get to the end in 2:02.

I will never forget the emotion of completing my first half marathon first thing I said was ‘I didn’t take my inhaler, I`m cured of asthma’. It also didn’t put me off running the opposite in fact and I signed up for the Liverpool 2015 Marathon.

In the last 8 weeks not only have I kept the long run mileage at 10 miles I have also completed 3 half marathons and a number of other races an achievement I didn’t expect in my first year of running. I know my fitness level has improved because at the last half marathon in Clontarf I wanted to keep going when I got to the finish line, I crossed the line thinking oh that’s it. With the cold weather kicking in I was a little bit nervous on how the chest would hold up but so far so good, right clothing and a good warm up is keeping me right.

When you’re a runner with asthma it is always on your mind however it is amazing what your body can achieve with the right training, guidance and support. I for one when I started running to ‘get fit’ didn’t expect to accomplish so much in the first year. As I said this time last year I was only thinking about running and couldn’t walk the 1km to work or take a flight of stairs without needing my inhaler.

I have to thank Forget the Gym and all the running chicks for their support over this year, I survived my first year living and running in Dublin. I`m now resting the legs ready for 2015 marathon year. “

 Read more Success Stories from our students….


Above is a little picture of how much Hayley has embraced the ForgetThe Gym world. As part of our ‘Plank a Day’ Challenge, Hayley didnt let a trip to India stop her from keeping on track…

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Our classes take place outdoors at the following locations across Dublin:

Sandymount, Dublin
Clontarf, Dublin

Our workshops take place at the Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane, beside the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin Docklands.

Chirunning events take place outdoors in local parks or at your club or venue.

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