If you’re thinking about signing up but think you’re not fit enough, Rachel Grunwell, Cigna’s Health and Wellbeing Amabssador, has some tips to get you started:


1. Focus your mind-set on positivity.

Believe you can – and you will. This will help to propel your health journey forwards.


2. Ask a friend, work colleague or family member to join you in signing up for this event.

It doesn’t matter if they sign up for a different distance option. You can support each other as you #StepItUp. If you can’t convince someone to join you, then do it solo. Do it to better “you”. I bet you will inspire others to follow in your footsteps on race day as they marvel at your success!


3. Pinpoint a time that you can commit to doing a walk/run routine and put it in your diary.

Do this walk/run for 15-20-minutes twice weekly (ie walk a power pole, run the next one and repeat). A good time to train is early in the morning as there is often no excuse to be elsewhere. Or sometimes lunchtime or after work might be easier for others.


4. Patience is paramount.

Take your time while starting your walk or run journey. This is key. It takes a little while for your body to get stronger and comfortable with being in motion. Building this strong run foundation over time will also help you to avoid injuries.


5. Keeping active – rather than sticking to a rigid training schedule – is key over the Summer holidays.

So don’t worry about being away from the gym or your usual running locations over the silly season. Any kind of activity helps you to keep the momentum up of getting stronger over these weeks. For instance swim, walk, hike or do body-weight exercises to keep you strong. Google yoga or body-weight workouts on your i-pad, computer or mobile phone. Or just go walking with a loved one.


6. Don’t feel overwhelmed about eating right and exercising right all at once. ONLY focus on starting your walk/run routine at the beginning and get this going first. After a few weeks, you can then consider adopting your next “healthy habit” (ie trying to eat more veg daily, for example).


7. Remember the only barriers you have stopping you from doing this event is “you”.

For example, lots of disabled athletes from the Achilles charity will be there on event day. They don’t let their dissability (ie being blind or confined to a wheelchair) stop them from participating. So, don’t allow anything to stop you from being healthier and fitter too.



Check out the Cigna Wellbeing Ambassador page for videos and blogs from Rachel Grunwell.  Rachel is a runner, qualified yoga teacher and director of lifestyle website InspiredHealth.co.nz