Kick it Forward

Posted on April 28, 2011

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If you are already a runner, how many times have you had someone say to you that they would love to run but don’t know how, or that they find it really hard to get beyond their comfort zone, or that they would love to run a race but wouldn’t know where to start.

Often I bet. I know I hear it all the time.

Then I came across an article yesterday about a runner in Colorado who has launched an ingenious mentoring programme, run for runners, by runners, called Kick it Forward. The idea behind it is to empower women to seize the power of fitness, regardless of age, background or ability.

Runners interested in becoming a mentor can join the programme simply by identifying a friend, neighbour or colleague in need of motivation and inspiration. Members, in addition to the mentoring support, get access to training plans, motivational tools, expert tips and more.

This programme is in my eyes absolute genius. Even though many I meet tell me they are inspired by my running and draw on my support and advice, I too have other runners who I go to for support, courage and confidence. We all have those we turn to for words of inspiration and wisdom, for all the elements of our lives.

And each and every race I have ever run, short or long, I have stood at the start line and seen various versions of myself, full of the same feelings, wondering the same thoughts and contending with the same issues.

One of these days, a ‘formal’ programme like Kick it Forward might just appear on our shores but in the meantime, identify who you would mentor and who you would want to mentor you. Then reach out to them!

Only yesterday when signing up to the Sundowner 100km in Singapore this coming June (yes – read extreme heat and humidity!!!) did I draw on the ‘expert’ advice of a couple of girlfriends …

And similarly, with other fitness-endeavours, I wrote not long ago in my posts Delicious at Dawn and InnerFight … can’t fail to excite … about the fab fitness efforts of Marcus Smith of InnerFight. The boys have achieved so much more together as a supportive unit than they might have done otherwise.

As for those who want some mentoring whilst they run, the adidas miCoach should be your new best friend. Aside from the pacer, heart rate monitoring, progress analysis and online training plan features, the miCoach actually talks to you whilst you are running … direct feedback at your fingertips. And it doesn’t answer back. Sounds like perfect boyfriend material!

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