How I achieved the perfect NURVV Running Health score

Just five months after she started training with NURVV Run, Clair Hutchings from Leicestershire has achieved something most of the NURVV team are still working on, she’s nailed the perfect Running Health score – a hugely impressive 100.

A benchmark number to help you measure progress, identify areas for improvement and reduce your risk of injury, Running Health scores range from 0-100. Your individual score is calculated by looking at your training volume, key aspects of your running technique and differences between the left and right side of your body as you train.

Clair told us how she earned that elusive square.

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‘When I first saw NURVV Run at the National Running Show in January, I hadn’t run since October. I love tech, I record everything, so the geeky side appealed to me. I thought this could encourage me to get back into training.

‘I’ve been running for about 20 years but it’s been on and off. The first time I stopped was around 10 years ago when I put on some weight. After I joined a slimming club, I started running again and even qualified as a coach, helping people go from couch to 5k. But I got an Achilles injury and that was the start of me stopping again.

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‘A couple of years ago, I got back into running and ran my first marathon around the lake at Kielder, Northumberland. I never thought I’d run a marathon but I’d completed all the other events held at Kielder, including the 10k and half marathon, so I challenged myself. My target was six hours and I finished in five hours 13. I was really enjoying running and chuffed with myself for completing all five events.

‘Then life got in the way. I was having a big extension built at home, I was living in a mess and working on the house. I never intended to stop running but it kind of fell by the wayside.

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Using NURVV for motivation

‘NURVV Run was my motivation to get back training. I started out with a few runs outdoors, gradually building up with walk run intervals. I was slowly improving my Running Health score … and then lockdown happened.

‘Where I live it’s hard to find a variety of running routes. I was running a 3.2k loop near my house but I found it difficult trying to social distance from others. Changing direction, running on the grass verges and then swerving into the road to avoid people meant my Balance score – the symmetry between the left and right side of the body as you run – wasn’t great.

Training Load was also a factor. I’ve always been a light switch kind of person, I’ll either be on running or off running. My instinct was to run more but NURVV kept telling me I was overtraining – even though I’m a trained running coach and know what I should be doing, it doesn’t mean I always do!

Using NURVV to build mileage sensibly

‘I’m lucky enough to have a treadmill at home so I decided to start running indoors. Without trying to stay away from pedestrians my balance improved, my cadence – the number of times your feet hit the ground as your run – got better as I got fitter and faster, and I also started following a training plan.

‘Sticking to the plan as much as possible and using the suggested mileage on NURVV has stopped me running too much and made a big difference to my Training Load score. I know if I run too much I’ll get injured. I’ve been injured before and I don’t want to repeat that.

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Achieving the perfect score

‘On 1 May my Running Health score was 92. When I first started running with NURVV it was in the high 60s. Then when I looked on 7 May it was 100! I hadn’t been trying to achieve it so when I first saw the graph I thought, “How did I do that?”

‘But as I’ve stuck to a sustainable training load my score has stayed around the 100 mark. I find it really motivating. Yesterday was a hot day, I’d just worked a long shift at my job in cybersecurity, I had four miles on my training plan and could easily have said, “No, I don’t want to do it” … But then I saw my Running Health score was 84. I thought if I train today it’ll be 100 so I’ll just do a couple of miles and see how I get on. Once I started I set myself mini goals, I’ll just run for a little bit longer, I’ll just do 30 minutes – and before I knew it I was done.

My goal now is to keep building up my distance and speed. Ideally I would like to get back to sub 5 min kms but age is going against me now so I’m going to use NURVV to help me progress sensibly.”

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