Learn to Run
My friend, Ben, runs a nonprofit called Communiteach where community members teach a skill that they know to other members of the community for free (e.g. I learned knitting a few weeks ago). When I asked Ben if anyone would be interested in a “learn to run” workshop, his eyes lit up and with some brainstorming we had an event. I thought that I would gear my talk towards newer runners and cover foundations like nutrition, pacing, training, injury prevention and safety. I timed the talk so that people would have time to train for the Great Race at the end of September. I also thought that it would be cool if we could go for a run after the workshop so that people could practice what they just learned (e.g. pacing) and have more of an opportunity to ask questions. There is a beautiful riverfront trail that is flat and safe right near a major commercial area which includes an REI- thankfully REI is really into community outreach and allowed us to host the event. PowerBar was also incredibly generous and sponsored the event- check out just some of the stuff they sent me:
The talk portion ended up being very conversational (although structured by a PowerPoint- of course I put together a full presentation!) and I’m glad that it was because we had a variety of experiences (newbie to college runner) and people asked really good questions and gave some really great suggestions (e.g. as a female, I had no idea that there were nipple guards sold for men!). It was collaborative and I’m told that based on surveys that people got a lot out of the event. One of the most rewarding parts of the day for me was when I issued a 30 day challenge: run 3xs a week for the next 30 days. Newer runners seemed to jump all over it, particularly since they were about to go on the first run then.
With a few quick gear purchases from REI (e.g. handheld water bottles that were discussed as part of the “beat the heat” section of the talk), a small group went out for a run. Lots of running questions were asked and answered and at least two other Communiteach events were planned (including a similar talk that I plan to give in January to more experienced runners to help people get on the right track for the Pittsburgh marathon). The best part? This morning I got a text from Ben saying that he had just gone on run #2 of the 30 day challenge! I may have another running convert!