Friday Five: Five Reasons to Share Your Running Love With GOTR!

Hi everyone!  It’s Friday AKA time to link up with Cynthia, Courtney, and Mar for another Friday Five!  This week we’re talking about sharing the running love, and it’s perfect timing because tomorrow is my very first 5k as a coach for Girls On The Run!  GOTR is an awesome program that teaches girls in 3rd-5th grade how to be amazing, strong, and confident girls while also helping them train for a 5k.  It’s my first season as a coach and I’ve been having a blast!  I obviously love teaching life skills (I’ve been doing it at various jobs for years), but my favorite part of the program is where we get to run together as a group.


Sharing my love of running with my GOTR team has been an awesome experience because:

1.  I get to teach girls valuable life skills through running.  Pushing through the fear of joining a new team, the discomfort of training, and the nervousness of preparing for a race are skills that will prepare these girls for future struggles in life.  We spend a lot of time making parallels between running and life, and my goal is that they’ll leave this program feeling stronger and more confident after reaching their goal and will be ready to take on the world!

2.  We value going at your own pace.  Sure, we’re all running a 5k this weekend that is open to the general public and it’s called a “race”.  But we don’t focus on the racing aspect at all – we encourage our girls to go at their own speed so that they can finish feeling like they tried their best!  We discourage comparing girls to each other, and don’t focus on speed in practice.  There will be tons of time for that in the future!

3.  Running becomes a team effort.  Running is a solo sport right?  Well, up until a few weeks ago I would have said yes!  But I’m learning that having a supportive group of runners who are preparing for the same goal as you is so helpful!  At GOTR we spend so much time cheering each other on and encourage positivity and support as important qualities.  I’m looking forward to cheering on a lot of runners with my running buddy this weekend as we make our way through the 5k!

4.  We mix things up.  When adults run, we go out and simply run.  When we run at GOTR we make it way more exciting!  We set lap goals and then have girls keep track of their laps with “bracelets” (pipe cleaners and beads), we play “running hangman” where girls have to guess a letter and if it’s not in the secret word they run a few laps, and we use fun games to sneak in some unexpected running.  For example, sometimes the girls aren’t interested in doing the planned track workout…but they’ll do a running scavenger hunt (run to something red and do 10 jumping jacks, run to a friend and give them a high five, etc.) or play some form of tag instead.  As long as they’re moving and having fun we’re pretty happy!

5.  GOTR is so much fun!  This is the official GOTR motto and I love it!  Running is so much fun and I don’t know where I’d be without it in my life.  I love that I get to share my love of running with a younger generation and hopefully I’ll be seeing some of these girls at future 5ks!

Tomorrow our team is running in a local 5k and each girl on my team will be paired up with a running buddy to help them get through the race successfully.  I’m looking forward to getting a chance to run with one of my students and help her accomplish a goal that she’s been working on for the last few months!  Every GOTR girl gets a medal at the end of the race and I’m so excited to have been part of their journey to earn that medal!  Look for a recap next week, and make sure to check if there is a local GOTR chapter near you that might need running buddies for an upcoming race!

How do you share the running love?  Have you ever participated in a GOTR event?

39 thoughts on “Friday Five: Five Reasons to Share Your Running Love With GOTR!

  1. GOTR is such a wonderful organization! You really can learn so much through running – and so much to battle the self-esteem and mean firl issues that can arise in middle school.

    1. So true! We do lots of lessons on being a good friend, bullying, and self esteem. It’s so helpful at that age!

    1. That’s awesome! I’m not sure if I can coach next year but I think I’m going to keep volunteering as a running buddy. It’s so great to see how excited they get about the race!

  2. I’ve been thinking about getting involved with GOTR for a while. One of my coworkers is a coach this summer, and I want to pick her brain a bit cause I’m very interested. Have fun tomorrow!

    1. You should! It does take up some time – I coach from 3:30-5:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 11 weeks. But it’s a lot of fun and the girls are great! And they train you on the curriculum and it’s pretty easy to teach.

    1. That’s awesome! It must have been so much fun taking pictures of all of those happy girls!

    1. Thanks! I can tell that some of these girls love running – I have a few on my team that have done the program once or twice before so I can tell that they have so much fun doing it!

  3. This sounds like such a great organization, I’m definitely going to look into a local chapter. I love that they play games to sneak in some running 🙂

    1. You should! The lesson plans usually call for straight running with a few fun things thrown in, but sometimes we just have to play tag to mix things up! By the way, playing tag as an adult is hard – it’s basically sprinting so it’s really good speed work!

  4. I’m finishing my first season as a a coach too and absolutely love it! I love that it makes running and being physically active fun for the girls and that everyone is encouraged, no matter how fast they are. I feel like it’s making a real difference in some (hopefully all) of these girls lives! It’s crazy how attached you get to them as a coach and how proud you are! I’m so excited to see them all finish the 5k tomorrow.

    1. That’s awesome! I am definitely getting attached to them! Between these girls and my other students I’m so sad that the school year is ending 😦

  5. I think this is just what I needed to read. I’ve been looking for other ways to get involved in my community and GOTR may be it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You should check them out! They have lots of ways to get involved – from one day options like being a Running Buddy at a race to being a coach for 10-12 weeks! I’ve loved doing it and plan on helping out in some way next year too!

    1. Thanks! And you should definitely get involved! It’s a lot of fun and I can tell that some of these girls are going to be runners for life!

    1. Haha this is so hilarious because I just realized that a few times last year I actually did running scavenger hunts on my blog! The ones I do at GOTR practice are different though because we can’t leave the school grounds so we have to try anything to keep it interesting 🙂

    1. Oooh you should! It’s so much fun! I love working with kids and since I love running too I knew it would be a good match!

  6. That is super cool that you are involved in Girls on the Run. I am starting a running club at my elementary school. I have 2 dozen very excited grade 3 & 4 students waiting to run next week!!!

    1. That sounds amazing!!! I’m so jealous that you’re starting your own program. Good luck with all of your excited new runners!

  7. That’s awesome. I looked into coaching but I can’t leave school until 4:00, so it didn’t really work out. I am on their email list and I was thisclose to volunteering tomorrow as a running buddy, but I have the Gold Nugget next week and I feel like I need to get in some sort of legit brick workout. Maybe next time!

    1. It seemed like there were enough running buddies so you lucked out 🙂 You should totally do it next year, they do the fall race in the Dome and it sounds like a lot of fun! Good luck with the Gold Nugget!

  8. Girls on the Run is such a cool organization!! I would have LOVED something like that when I was a kid! It’s got to be so rewarding to share your love of running with these girls. Good luck at the 5k, can’t wait to read about it! 🙂

    1. That’s awesome! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to coach again in the fall but this has been such an amazing experience. Have fun at your 5k and tell your team I said good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s