Following my marathon daydreaming I was keen to learn a bit more about updating my Massage skills…did you know I used to be a Beauty Therapist?  

I loved massage but I wasn’t really that interested in polishing, pedicures and pampering. Sports Massage sounded like an ideal move, after all – wasn’t that what had helped me so much?

Unfortunately, I took a bit of a tumble and fell off my high heels at a wedding reception. I blamed the trail half marathon earlier that day but, white wine admittedly was never my friend!

I sliced right through a quite important tendon in my right thumb as I landed.

Sports Massage went on hold until I knew how my hand was going to heal – again, massage really helped around the scar and I was strict with my rehab exercises (looking back now it’s easy to see another pattern forming…)

It took 6 months from Thumb-gate until I finally began retraining.

Sports Massage had helped me so much, I was excited to share my skills with the world and I began to work from Galamoor House in a four-hour slot, sharing the clinic space, and I began to build up a good reputation and just a year later I was now the sole Therapist in my own clinic and working full time, which suited me…. I really loved my work!

I absolutely love working with my runner clients who popped in regularly for their maintenance massage. As well as the physical benefits and “fresh legs” massage really seemed to boost their mood and motivation …

But something else was beginning to happen in my clinic and I needed to work out why it had started… and ultimately, how to change it…

P.S. I gave up on high heels after that…and wine!

(Part 2 of 5)


How did I get here?

Not many of you know the story of how I first started my business, so over the next few days I’m going to tell you some stories.

Rewind back to 2016, which seems SO much longer ago than it actually is!

I had had been training for my first marathon – Edinburgh, and everything was going smoothly. My long runs were getting longer, I was on track to finish close to my goal time … following the plan to the letter…then one day after a recovery run, I couldn’t lift my right leg.

It just would not work. A meltdown followed, naturally, because I had put so much effort into my training and I was devastated thinking I wasn’t going to be able to run.

For the next 7 weeks I attended numerous Sports Massage sessions, committed to pool running 4-5 times a week plus targeted rehab exercises. I am quite determined when I have decided I am going to do something…

Eventually, I was allowed a test run, and three miles later and I was still in one piece, not moving nearly as quickly, but feeling normal again. Just in time because I had less than 2 weeks until the marathon.

The big day finally arrived, it started overcast and cool, and I completed the marathon, but it was a real effort to keep running after mile 16. The day had become a scorcher and I’d hit the wall, the finish line was a welcome sight!

After some amazing Fish and Chips on the way home, in my sunburnt haze I started to turn over the events of the last few weeks and some possibilities began to form in my mind …this was day my idea first began…

(Part 1 of 5)

After the Edinburgh Marathon


Unscheduled rest days…

I’ll be straight with you… I am feeling a bit under pressure. The world is opening up and I will be able to open from Monday for Sports Massage. BUT…

I intend to wait for the guidance from the SMTO before I open my booking system, because until I know what is expected of me, and what I need to ask from you as clients to adhere to, I’m not prepared to make any decisions!

And even though I’m “not working”, I am always working!

I am studying, planning some of your training programs and working out how I can help you more effectively. My brain has a hard time switching off! So this seems a perfect way to illustrate what I mean when I remind you that your body doesn’t know the difference between different types of stress…

My training plan for today has me running 10km. It’s not a time trial or even a tempo run, it’s a nice, easy paced run. But I am taking an unscheduled rest day because I have been drained and a little overwhelmed this week from wondering about all of the as yet unknown things I “MUST” do by the 26th of April, to be ready to reopen my clinic.

I will run tomorrow. Today it would feel like more pressure and it would be one of those unproductive, box-ticking, auto pilot runs that I really dislike! The kind that seem to invite injury and take us a step closer to full burn-out. By taking some time-out today, I know I will have more energy and get more enjoyment from my run tomorrow and in turn feel much clearer about starting the process of taking in-person appointments again.

It really is far too easy to put pressure on ourselves to get ALL THE THINGS done, EVERYDAY.

We get to choose whether to accept the overwhelm, but sometimes it’s difficult to remember that…this is a reminder!

Do you agree?


Just like starting over…

Are we nearly there yet? Who else feels some trepidation about coming out of lockdown (again)? I certainly do.

I don’t mind telling you I feel like I am starting all over again. But in a way I am.

I started lockdown as a drained and often frustrated Massage Therapist, finding myself all too frequently unable to meet expectations from injured clients…repeating almost daily that massage is never a replacement for injury prevention work, I realize I was taking on responsibility that wasn’t mine to own…

Lockdown has been an opportunity to reassess and to learn, to think creatively and honestly about how I can help you more effectively.

My mission moving forward is helping runners to find and train within that sweet spot where the science of training meets the spirit of running so you can become stronger, run for longer and most importantly, love every single mile!

A unique blend of structured programming, injury prevention and mindset exercises will help you get in tune with the best way for you to reach your true potential.

I have been testing all my programmes on myself and my own running, and I’m so excited to be returning from lockdown on a new adventure, as a refreshed, stronger and all-round happier human, therapist and coach who is ready to help you achieve your goals!

Jill x

Ps I’d love to invite you to join my free Facebook Group


Did you ever think that a smile could make such a difference?

Last month I ran a 4 week campaign called Smile Repeats – the idea came to me during a run, funnily enough…

I was thinking about how much I was enjoying being able to run again after being injured for most of the pandemic and I found myself smiling as I ran.

I reached out on social media asking runners to join me for 4 weeks in following some short weekly challenges designed to help them enjoy their running even more. I asked that they would share a post run selfie too, because I hoped that these would boost the mood on social media and begin to inspire others to get out and give running a go, and in turn boost their own physical and mental health.

Right now that’s more important than ever as we continue to move on through the pandemic.

It was amazing to hear from people who had seen the selfies and begun to follow the hashtag…and started to get out to run!

All from the power of a smile.

Being able to get out and run isn’t always about speed and distance…sometimes we just need to get out and run and breathe and think.


Jill x

When you get tired, learn to rest not to quit!

This week has been a surprisingly full-on week for me!

I’ve really enjoyed being able to run consistently again, after a period of injury. I’ve been lucky to meet up (within guidelines!) with good friends, to walk and chat. Even back to outdoor 1:1 training with my own Coach.    I am also working hard to get ready to re-open for business soon, and that does take a lot of computer time, especially coming out of lockdown having made big improvements and updates!    

So, this morning I’d planned a 3-mile easy run. I started but after half a mile I knew it wasn’t going to be happening. So, I headed home.  

This time last year, in this situation I might have forced myself to run.  Or if I had stopped, I would have been so annoyed. But today I am happy with my decision because I am listening to my body. I have finally learnt to rest, not to quit! 

Can you see where I’m going with this? 

It’s important to realise that our body accumulates all those little stressors, our body recognises any type of tiredness, whether it is from concentrating, thinking and worrying, in just the same way as it recognises the fatigue caused by running and an intensive training schedule. It all adds up. 

If you’re forcing yourself to go out, feeling guilty for not going, or simply running because your plan is telling you that you “should”, then it’s time for a little rest day. These are all signs of the beginnings of burning out. 

Often the simplest thing – just one extra rest day – can be the best thing you can do! 

One of the first things to work on if you are keen to be a happier and more relaxed runner is learning to take a step back when you need to. Realise the plan isn’t the boss – it probably wasn’t designed with your own individual lifestyle and stress level being accounted for. 

I’m not saying tear up your training plan, just remember it isn’t written in stone! 

If you need to, take a step back, look at the bigger picture and check in with yourself and how you really feel about heading out to run. Allow yourself the flexibility of a day off, or shorten your run, switch a fartlek session to an easy run or even a walk! You can decide! 

Listen to your body this week, before, during and after your run and keep a note of how you feel about each session. (*If you don’t keep already keep a training journal I recommend it – now is a perfect time to start!) 

“When you get tired, learn to rest – not to quit” 

Smile Repeats

“Smiles are free, but they are worth a lot…”


Me and my new pals from my OFF PLAN run this morning!

If you aren’t on Facebook or Instagram you might not have heard about my #smilerepeats campaign…

Over the next 4 weeks I am on a mission to help burnt out runners rediscover their love of running. But wait…there’s more too it than that!

Now more than ever, it’s so important to look after our mental and physical health and I am hoping that this is something you care about too. My underlying aim is really all about promoting health and wellbeing for us all, and by encouraging runners to share smiley selfies, I believe we can help boost the mood on social media.

Seeing the happiness running induces might just inspire others, runners or not, to also become more active, and in turn enjoy better health and wellbeing.

Running is what lifts my mood the most, but feeling of running is a tricky thing to pin down into words on a page!

There’s still time to join in – each week I am sending an email with prompts and ideas and there’s a fun challenge coming for March 20th to set us up for spring …so do sign up and join #smilerepeats https://jillfairbairn.ck.page/e12f991c25

Jill x