My first training program that got me started was actually through a cycling app called “Cyclemeter”. Once I decided that cycling was going to be too expensive, and I had already bought and downloaded the app, I began exploring it and eventually found a Couch-to-5k plan (C25k) along with a 10k training plan, half-marathon training plan and even a full marathon training plan.
Now, four years later, I’m using another app from Active.com to lead a group of runners in their own quest to run a 5k. It’s very handy to have something we can all use together, once/week and which they can use on their own for the two honor runs in the week between our group-workout.
When I first started the program, for lack of a better name, I just called it the “Champions C25k”. While this seemed a little lofty for my taste, it was all I could think of at the time and so, it stuck for a full three semesters. There is still something special about that name for me and for the participants who were involved – we still catch ourselves calling each other ‘Champions’ – but this most recent semester, I changed the name to “Destination YOU!”. There are actually a few reasons for this but most notably is my desire to make the group something personalized and individual for each participant. There is no competition, we are all in this together, to help one another, but ultimately our individual destination is to improve ourselves through running. A better YOU is your ultimate destination, and I think running is a great way to get there.
I’m not sure how much the name-change has anything to do with anything, but there seems to be more excitement this time around, the group is growing and more people are engaged than has been the case in the past. Part of the group continues to be the returnees who have participated in the group multiple times in the past – and I’m really tremendously grateful for their continued participation; beyond the experience they offer, they bring encouragement and excitement for the newer members, as well as advice and useful tips for how to handle any kind of negativity and what to do to keep smiling and keep going. The rest of the group is mainly new, joining us through social media networks (Reddit and Facebook) as well as through word-of-mouth. This is particularly exciting for me and it makes me very happy to see everyone working so hard and sticking with it.
Some of the features of the group include guest speakers, clinics and warm-up drills. For the future, I would love to partner with someone like Ask Doctor Jo for those warm-up drills, injury prevention and care. I’m also looking for guest speakers – anyone who might want to share their story (5-10 minutes) related to running or fitness. (Yes, I’m asking – we can coordinate through Facetime or (better) Periscope – PM me please so we can set this up:)
Currently, I am thrilled to be partnered with The Running Shop, a locally-owned (truly local) specialty shoe and running/walking store, Run Tucson who provides both group and individual training to help runners meet their goals and Meet me Wednesdays which is a social group of runners and walkers who get to enjoy the Rillito bike path starting at the St. Phillips plaza in a supportive and friendly atmosphere – they also will have shirts, prizes and raffles.
I guess you could say, all in all, this is a great little group – the members make it fun and exciting, and I’m so happy and grateful to have the support and commitment of these Champions, old and new!