Regional Manager of Body by Vi and Nordic Ski instructor, Ashley Sandy, talks about how the fresh alpine air of Switzerland inspired her to start running.

When did you start running and why?

I lived in Switzerland from 2005 to 2009. During my time there, a friend and I decided to start a personal training programme with a British instructor. About three or four weeks in, we were halfway up a hill, and the instructor said, “I want you to run down to that next post”. Well we said, “Oh no, we don’t do running.” However I took on the challenge and did it. From then on I became a runner. Next I signed up for a running course with my personal trainer. My first proper race was in Switzerland; a 10K. I really enjoyed running in Switzerland and I was inspired to keep going because everyone is very active there.

Run solo or with a group/club? Prefer to listen to music/podcasts on your run or take in the sounds of nature?

I tend to run mostly alone. I like to listen to music, a variety of playlists such as Elbow and Kaiser Chiefs. Why? Because it’s about tempo. When I hear and feel the beat, I run better. It’s the pacing with my feet and my breathing that really helps.

What are the 3 top reasons why you love to run?

I like to keep active. Running gives you a chance to escape from the world, whether you run for 15 or 90 minutes. I like the effect on my body because running makes me feel fitter. Running helps me focus on ways that I can lead a healthy lifestyle.

Running makes you a more effective individual

Describe the feeling of achieving a PB

On training runs, having put in the extra effort, when you reach your destination and you’ve beaten a previous time, it’s a really great feeling. I like the charity aspect of running because I run with purpose. When I first came back from Switzerland, I decided to do a 5K and a 10K race in support of a friend who had breast cancer. Then I ran The Great South run. Knowing I was running for someone else was incredibly motivating because any time I felt a bit tired or I didn’t want to go for a run, I reminded myself that I wasn’t ill, and I would go for a run.

What effect does running have on your performance as a business owner?

Running disciplines you. And I find I can, even though I’m listening to music, I can think and churn things over, to go through ideas in my head. I find the outdoors is a very powerful setting to run in, especially where I live in the countryside.


How could you benefit from running with someone who can help you work through your challenges?

When I first learnt to run with my personal trainer, I found that having her by my side really motivated me to make it through the training. It’s great to keep you going. To power walk, jog or run in the fresh air, while discussing my business issues, would be a positive benefit to my business.

Why would you recommend the activity of running to other business owners or executives?

Running is a great de-stressor because you can think things through. Running makes you more alert because it gives you energy. Running makes you a more effective individual.