Last year my place of employment had a fitness contest called Just Move It. My department had a team and it was great fun to see everyone work a little harder, lose unwanted weight, and find something active they enjoyed doing on a regular basis. This year when it came time to start the contest again, I was asked if I would lead a 5k training group for those who were participating in Just Move It. I was all over that!
We came up with a plan and a time frame, and wrote out a questionnaire for the runners to fill out so I'd have a general idea of what fitness levels I'd be working with when I put the training plans together. We held an introduction meeting to tell all those interested what we would be doing and to answer their questions. I was unsure how many would show. It is still cold outside, and this community offers a lot of other running programs so I just wasn't sure, but I was hopeful.
Well, when it came time to start the meeting we had OVER 40 PEOPLE show up! We ran out of chairs! I told them a little about myself and then I told them about my mom because her story is always inspiring, and then I told them about the program and answered their questions.
I almost danced back to my office. Even after the meeting I had e-mail inquiries from those who were unable to attend but wanted to get involved. I spent the rest of my lunch break reading the questionnaires and sorting them into run/walk and run categories. Then I wrote 2 training plans geared toward both groups so that runners could choose a starting point that worked for their fitness level.
The plans call for running 4 times a week, with 2 cross training days and 1 optional cross training or rest day. My encouragement to them was to fit in at least 3 of those runs each week. We will run as a group once a week, and I have encouraged them to make plans with other runners for other group runs during the week. I am going to try to organize some other group runs as well as my schedule allows.
I am so excited about this! We start running next week and I cannot wait! My goal is not only to help these new runners train for the 5k in April, but to hopefully share with them an activity they enjoy. Enjoying what you do makes it so much easier to be disciplined about it, and as I and so many others have seen, there are countless benefits when one falls in love with running and becomes a runner.