Empowering new runners

2018-09-18 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust CEO Candace Davidson, Couch to 10 founder Michelle Donna, and Claire Hodgkinson.

PHOTO: supplied Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust CEO Candace Davidson, Couch to 10 founder Michelle Donna, and Claire Hodgkinson.

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AFTER being injured and struggling to keep up with her normal running group, Michelle Donne was struck by an idea to start a program called Coach to 10.

Couch to 10 is an introduction program which aims to introduce “never before” runners to achieve a target of 10 km within six weeks.

Donne said that this idea came to her three years ago while recovering from an injury as she was not fast enough, or fit enough, to re-join her group.

“I thought if I was battling, how would complete newbies feel?

“I felt inspired to give back to the community by teaching them to run from scratch, or from the couch, to the 10km mark,” she said.

Before she started the program she said that fear almost got the better of her because she didn’t know how many people would show up.

“Truthfully, I was scared to put this idea out there because I didn’t know how many would show up but, when so many did show up, I needed to find some leaders to help me, and quick,” said Donne.

She revealed that the journey has been fruitful because there were so many people who’ve been eager to run but didn’t know where to start.

“I have loved every minute — watching people achieve what they did not think was possible is so rewarding.”

She further said that her passion for running is so huge and seeing others improve week after week and reaching that 10km goal is simply the best feeling.

“If I can get just five more people to love running half as much as I do then my mission is accomplished.

“The running community is like a family,” said Donne.

She added that the profits from the peaks are going to charity: “Couch to 10 is supporting Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust.”

Her message to others is to “never give up”.

“What the mind can believe, the body can achieve and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

“I have learned to be patient, something I lacked before all of this, and I learned to be more empathetic.

“Taking on this Couch to 10 makes you a teacher, doctor, friend, psychologist all in one.

“It’s not just about the coaching — it’s about the lifestyle that goes with running. The shoes, nutrition, training your brain, — it’s all an important part of what we teach at Couch to 10,” she said.

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