Q&A with elite runner Ellie Gosling

20 April 2017 by
First published: 18 June 2016

Check out this Q&A with elite runner Ellie Gosling. As an elite runner and GB age group competitor (who can run a marathon in nothing short of three hours and seven minutes!), she’s now channeled her vast experience and know-how into creating her own business, Barnes Fitness. We chatted to her to find out a little more about what it takes to make your passion your full-time career.

Have you always held an interest in fitness?

Yes. Although my professional start saw me as a personal assistant in the corporate world, fitness has always played a big role in my life. I even met my husband and Barnes Fitness co-owner, Ian, at a local running group eight years ago!

You’ve had a lot of sporting achievements. What are the ones you’re most proud of?

I think it would probably be winning silver at the 2013 ITU World Standard Distance Duathlon Championships, bronze at the 2013 National Duathlon Championships and bronze at the 2015 ETU European Sprint Distance Duathlon Championships 10 months after the birth of our first child.

What is Barnes Fitness?

Barnes Fitness is an independent group exercise, triathlon coaching and sports events management consultancy. In addition to offering individual and group training, we also organise events for runners, triathletes, duathletes and swimmers.

What was your inspiration for setting up Barnes Fitness?

I started as a personal trainer, and Barnes Fitness began as a one-to-one personal training business. I then qualified for the world triathlon championships in New Zealand and, as it would be a venture paid for by myself, I decided to create a fundraiser in the form of a 5K run. In doing so, I realised I really enjoyed the organisational aspect of it and so Barnes Fitness shifted from personal training to events.

Why do you think there’s such a growing number of people partaking in sporting events such as marathons, triathlons and duathlons?

I think there’s definitely been a noticeable shift in interest in fitness for the general public. Events like Tough Mudder are incredibly popular now and I think it makes fitness accessible and interesting for everyone. It’s been a personal high point at Barnes Fitness to see even children participate in duathlon and triathlons.

What’s your favourite part of running your own business?

I definitely love to see how fitness can change our clients’ lives or how they challenge themselves to achieve something they thought they wouldn’t be able to do. For example, last year we had a 69-year-old grandmother take on a 3K open water swim. Another memorable client would be an 18-year-old girl who participated in our summer series one year. She had cerebral palsy and it was her first ever 5K, and despite having a few seizures she finished the run – and went on to compete in a few more.

How do you juggle running a business and staying fit with being a full-time mum?

It’s certainly hard work! But I love what I do and I particularly enjoy helping people achieve fitness goals that they never thought they would be able to do.

What would you say to people struggling to find the time to exercise?

As a small business owner myself, I can understand the struggle not being able to find time to exercise. Investing small amounts of time is worth it though, and even just small 15 minute exercises will make a difference.

Your marathon PB is an incredible three hours seven minutes. What are your top tips for running a marathon?

1) Commit to train with someone else – a friend or business partner – and make it a diary appointment. You will be much more likely to succeed when you train with someone else.

2) Join a weekend club or evening group to keep you motivated. A commitment like this once a week will be manageable and will help to keep you on track.

3) Exercise first thing in the morning – it might not work for everyone, but it’s a great way to set you up for the day, and other things are less likely to get in the way at 6am!