Couch to Toronto Yonge Street 10k

10k, couch to 10k

By: Ayssa Cheung, Pace & Mind Runner

On January 13, 2015, I led my first couch-to-10k program run – the first run I have ever led!

While I’ve always loved the concept of group running, I never thought I would be leading one.

Going into this, I didn’t know what kind of people would turn up for the program. However, I learned quite quickly that most people who are interested in joining a couch to 10k program aren’t the stereotypical people who you see on shows like The Biggest Loser. Instead, most of the people who came out for the first time were all experienced runners. They had done quite a bit of running in the past but had stopped when life got in the way. Now, they’re just looking for that little push and and a bit of inspiration to get running again.

Every Tuesday and Saturday, I meet my runners at Integrative Health Institute, and I can honestly say it has become one of the highlights of my week. Though we’re only on week 3, I am already seeing big improvements in the group. One of the most rewarding things is hearing them say how they feel better about themselves, or how when they stood on the scale, they saw that they had lost weight! The best moment, though, was when one of the runners told me it’s her dream to run the Paris Marathon in 2016. She already has a countdown going into the race and said that it was this group that is helping her realize that it is more than possible for her to complete the marathon. Every morning she tells herself, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

These runners – and yes, they are runners, even if they don’t think so… yet – inspire me more than they can imagine. Their commitment to running and to each other is amazing; they continue to meet to run in the cold, wind, and snow. Despite the conditions, they always do it with a smile, enjoying themselves even when the going gets tough. With such dedication, I have no doubt in my mind that every one of these runners will make it to the starting line of their goal race at the Toronto Yonge St. 10k on April 19. I can’t wait to see their smiling faces at the finish line!

 About Pace & Mind

Pace & Mind is an advanced coaching service for runners. We offer advanced and highly customized 5k, 10k, half-marathon and marathon coaching for runners to improve their performance both on and off the road. Our coaching is based on the principles founded by Head Coach and Co-founder Rejean Chiasson, a Canadian marathon champion, 4x half-marathon medalist and Brooks Elite Ambassador. He is supported by our Online Run Coach, Kate Van Buskirk, an internationally accomplished track and field athlete, bronze medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Brooks Elite Ambassador. Unlike traditional ‘cookie-cutter’ or ‘clinic’ approaches to coaching, our Coaches first assesses, then customizes each runner’s training program based on:


Coaching programs are powered by TrainingPeaks software to ensure data accuracy. No runner’s program is the same and it constantly changes season by season, cycle by cycle. Our Coaches review your plan in detail each week, then adjust based on your progression and listens to you in terms of changes in nutrition, mental state and cross training efforts. Each runner also receives a cross-training plan and a racing singlet as part of the program.

You have one life to live. Run for your life.



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