Sunday, February 24, 2013

What is "Life is a Good Run"?

For the past few years the Capital Roadrunners have held a successful and entertaining fundraising event.  This year we have chosen to support Life is a Good Run. This local organization inspires people to run for mental and physical health and was created by one of our very own Capital Roadrunners. 

We asked Life is a Good Run founder and CR member, Suzanne, to tell us more about the group and her vision for it. Check it what she had to say below and think about how your life is a good run. If you have not picked up your ticket for the Swanky Soiree please follow this link for more information

Life is a Good Run - Learn to Run Clinics

I am in the process of starting a non-profit business called Life is a Good Run. For the past two years I have been delivering Learn to Run clinics at Amethyst Women's Addiction Centre and in the past year I started the program at Salus (a home for people with mental illnesses). The clinics have been successful and my goal is to offer a more structured Run Clinic for additional marginalized community groups at no cost.  I envision creating a program with a team vibe, supplying team running gear, with the ultimate goal of passing on clearly defined skills that promote the overall well-being of participants.

Learn to Run Clinics use running as a means to demonstrate valuable life skills in addition to the obvious physical and mental benefits of being active. By applying practice, patience, perseverance and discipline, participants discover that running 5 km is an achievable goal. Improved self confidence and self-esteem are evident. Transferring these valuable life skills to other areas in their lives provides an even greater opportunity for positive outcomes.

How it works
The clinic meets weekly for eight to eleven weeks leading up to a 5 km race event. With the motto "slow & steady", we begin the program with 1 min walk/run repeats. Each week we increase the time spent running versus walking. Participants commit to run on their own twice during the week (for a total of three run practices per week). Each session begins with a brief talk (running tips, clothing, nutrition, motivational tips, check-in). Participants run/walk for 24 to 50 minutes as the program progresses. Each session concludes with a stretching session and during the course of the clinic we introduce basic core strengthening techniques.

One of the integral pieces of the program is that participants receive an email after every session to recap what they have accomplished (distance covered) and to remind them what homework they have for that week. I also include a summary of running tips or whatever points were covered that week. During the goal 5 km race event, experienced runners from the Capital Roadrunners volunteer as pacers to accompany and motivate individuals to complete the run so that they cross the finish line with a smile on their face and feeling good.

Next Steps
We are looking at exciting improvements to how the clinics are delivered, such as creating poster boards tracking mileage of individuals, honoring milestones reached, distributing team branded running gear, and increasing the number of supervised running sessions to motivate participants to train three times per week. We are in the process of forming a strategic alliance with the Canadian Cancer Society to assist participants that want to quit smoking. We will strive to continually improve the overall well-being of all participants in the Life is a Good Run - Learn to Run Clinics.

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