Friday, June 21, 2013

We Are All Runners

For the past 3 years, I've been a volunteer coach at my running club and have loved every bit of it. It's so gratifying to see someone you coached go out and achieve their goal(s). I mostly coach our spring and fall marathon programs, but when the training program coordinator for my club asked any coaches if they'd be interested in coaching a Couch to 5K program, I let her know I was.

I wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into since I have never coached a 5K group, but I immediately loved our trainees. Most of our trainees had never run before this program and it makes me so happy to see people going out and giving running a try. It makes me even more happy, dare I say, giddy, when I start to see start them catching the running bug. When I see that, it takes me back in time to that point in my life and I can't help but smile. They have no idea what they are getting themselves into! (and I mean that in a good way!)

The 5K program started at square one. During the first week of training, our trainees were alternating between one minute of jogging and one minute of walking. Six weeks later and we've built them all the way up to running two continuous miles! For some of our trainees, that's the furthest they've ever run. Seeing the look of accomplish on their faces is awesome. I'm slowly starting to see them believing in themselves.

Last night, after finishing our second two mile run, I got caught up talking to one of my trainees. She told me that her run was very tough and that she was worried if she would be able to run the entire 5K race next month. I told her not to worry and gave her some tips on how to ignore the pain she was feeling. I let her know that proving to your mind and body that you ARE capable of running long is half the battle.

She later asked me what my favorite race distance was, to which I replied, "The marathon, for sure." "How many have you run?" she asked. I smiled and replied, "Too many." "Well, I'm sure you can run two miles no problem. You probably have to run twenty miles to feel the way I do after two." I smiled again and let her know that she was doing a great job and that pain is part of the running game and that if you stick with it, your body will adapt and it will become easier. I also told her that I believed that all running pain is relative, regardless of the distance or runner.

Runners all share a commonality which ironically is, running. It doesn't matter if you're a sprinter, a 5-10-15K rat or a 13.1+ runner, we are all RUNNERS. While the distances we train for might set us apart, our emotions, pain, and will to succeed are all the same. I believe that's one of the main reasons why runners can relate to each other so well and why they feel like they are part of one big family.

My trainees are all rock stars and a true inspiration. I can't wait to help them achieve another personnel best next week when we run 2.5 miles!

The Couch to 5K group before setting off for our run with 2012 Olympic Marathon Runner, Claire Hallissey. (center holding the singlet)

1 comment:

  1. That's great! I would love to coach a program like this. Being able to share your love for the sport of running is a very inspirational gift. Way to grow the running community!