Lori Paton is passionate about her role as a Run to Quit coach. She enjoys inspiring people to quit their smoking addiction and take up running instead. Run to Quit is a 10-week walk/run program leading up to a 5km event. In our interview, Lori tells me you don’t have to be physically active (or a smoker) to join the program and shares her top five reasons why people should join the Run to Quit clinics:
- Anyone can do it! Run to Quit is a gradual and progressive learn to walk or run 5km program. And it’s social! “In week one of the program, we walk two minutes and run one” Lori explains. “In week two, we run one minute and walk one. Gradually we build ourselves up to running 10 minutes and walking one. Then we went for coffee to chat. Sometimes we talked about running but ultimately it’s about being able to interact with people who are going through the same thing as you.”
- Success! Lori supported all five Run to Quit participants across the finish line last year and each runner received a medal. This marked their achievements by completing a 5 km event and served as a visible reminder of the rewards that come with quitting smoking. “This really made participants feel important – it was a great day for everybody. One clinic participant from 2016 wants to lead the next clinic and use her experience to help others who are trying to quit smoking.”
- Small groups! The small group size of less than 10 participants means more one-on-one dialogue and a better environment to stay motivated. “I invited everyone out to run club on Wednesdays and Sundays and the Run to Quit group became part of the Cambie Running Room run club. Making people feel included as runners and not as smokers is really important.”
- Accountability! Making and keeping a promise to yourself, having a goal and being part of a group with the same goal can lift you to heights you never thought possible. Strength in numbers!
- Proven! The training program includes evidence-based quit smoking resources. Run to Quit combines the expertise of the Canadian Cancer Society with the Running Room’s proven 5km clinics. “The 10-week program is great because it includes weekly modules on how to get active and quit smoking. Our trained coaches lead talks before the group run about being healthy, getting fit, choosing the right shoe and preventing injury. We also have guest speakers to talk about stress management and quitting smoking and all the topics together help people make a big behaviour change.”
What does Lori enjoy most about the clinic? “I’m helping people reach two goals: quitting smoking and getting active” says Lori. “I love seeing people succeed and watching the interaction between participants that are working towards the same goal is so rewarding for me and for them.”
Run to Quit starts in April so register today! For locations and dates, check out the registration page at runtoquit.com.