Christina and her kids jump for joy for UKC Music Miles.

5 Ways To Succeed in the UKC Music Miles

By Christina O’Brien

Christina and her kids jump for joy for UKC Music Miles.
Christina and her kids jump for joy for UKC Music Miles.

My name is Christina, I am a children’s ukulele educator and I’m so thrilled to be racing for the UKC this Fall 2022! I love to run and bike outside while taking in the beautiful Rocky Mountain views in Alberta, Canada where I live. I am so excited to share with you 5 steps to succeed in The UKC Music Miles!

1. Create your own adventure

One of the great things about the UKC Music Miles is that you get to create your own race challenge to complete during the race window of October 20th to the 30th. It’s so easy and, because its a virtual event, you can join in no matter where you live around the world!

There are so many options… run, walk, bike, jump rope, paddle, row, swim, scoot, rollerblade… and the list goes on. Pick a distance or a time challenge that will be a good fit for you and let’s get moving. Now, don’t make it too difficult, but don’t make it too easy either. It should be something that you have to work hard to achieve. Here are some suggestions:

  • New to running? Then a 2-5km race might be a good goal for you.
  • New to biking? Then a 10-20km road race might be perfect.
  • Out of practice? Then set a timed goal such as walking, biking or run/walk intervals for an hour.
  • Exercise already your thing? Then you might go for more distance such as a 10km run!

2. Run with Friends

Now to make it even more fun, gather a group of friends together and complete your race in your community. You’ll find that training is easier when you’ve got a friend by your side. I definitely don’t hit the snooze button when I know my friend will be joining me for an early morning run. And I’m extra motivated to put in some extra steps or kilometres when my kids come out with me too. The UKC CEO Marlén will be hosting one from Mexico, while the UKC staff will get together in Miami! We are excited to see pictures of runs around the world!

Tip: Post your run pictures with the hashtag #UKCMusicMiles for your change to be featured on UKC’s social media accounts.

3. Use Available Technology

There are a ton of free resources out there to help you on your way. Nike Run Club and Garmin Connect are a couple of my favorites. And don’t forget Strava! You can join the UKC Music Miles Training Group on Strava to track your training progress and encourage other team members along the way. We will even be completing a September challenge together to help you stay on track and log training hours as a team.

4. Start Training

We know not many people are ready to just start running, so here are some resources to help. Before you start, make sure you have great running shoes. There are online websites where you can take a quiz to determine the best running shoe for you. Then, set your goal. If you want to get really active, you can use this great 0 to 10K free training plan made by Live This Way!

Like the plan says, start with intervals. Run, then walk. Then slowly increase your running time. Don’t forget to reward yourself along the way to celebrate milestones or new personal bests. Everyday will get a little easier, keep showing up! Lastly, when you do activities, don’t forget that warming up, cooling down and stretching are very important. If you’re not active, please check with your doctor before starting any workout regimen.

5. Set a fundraising goal

We encourage everyone to sign up for the race as a fundraiser! This is how these races make a real difference in the lives of the children helped by UKC. Creating a team is all about achieving a goal together, if we all work together, we can help this wonderful organization continue their mission of supporting medically fragile children through the ukulele and music therapy. Remember, your team goal is achieved through the individual fundraising goals. So, for example, If I create “Team Christina” with a fundraising goal of $500, then I just have to find 5 people that can raise $100 each. Each person will only be responsible for their $100 individual goal, not the $500 team goal. Your registration goes to cover the costs of the race and should not be considered a donation to the organization. Set your sights high and let’s run miles that bring music!

Are you ready to start training for the UKC Music Miles? Then Join our Strava group to track your training minutes and don’t forget to sign-up for the run online as of September 1st, 2022.

Christina O’Brien is a music teacher, music book author and an avid runner. She wrote the Ukulele for Children method with the help of James Hill, and loves any opportunity to combine music and exercise. Christina can often be found doing squat jumps with her students in class or running with friends in her neighborhood when she’s not playing the ukulele! Check out www.ukuleleforchildren to see her fantastic resources and even a free musical workout idea to use with your students!

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