Sunday, February 26, 2012

Couch to 5K Guest Post

Good morning!  As you read this I am probably dying around mile 10ish or so.  Please pray for my lungs. No, for my legs.  Maybe both.

I will give you more details than you want to know about my half marathon tomorrow.  But, today I have a special treat for you!

Since I started writing this blog, a few people have asked for advice on how to start running.  I have heard many good things about the Couch to 5K program, but don't know much about it.  So, I brought an expert in - my new friend, the lovely Kim from Kickin It with Kim!

Want to start running, but don't know how?  Here is what Kim has to say:

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When I first started Weight Watchers in June 2011, I knew I wanted to step up my workouts a bit. I had
been walking 15-20 miles a week, so the next logical step was running. I hadn’t run since high school,
when we were expected to run a mile on the track before Volleyball practice. I did attend a boot camp
at a local gym a couple of years ago and the instructor started by telling all of us to run a lap around the
building. I was horrified and I huffed and puffed the entire time. I literally thought I was going to die.

I found a group of ladies on the Weight Watchers message boards that were in all different stages of the
Couch to 5k program. I decided to give it a whirl. Too many people try to go from not ever running to
trying to run 5 miles. This is a 9 week program that promises to take you from couch potato to running a 5k without making your body angry with you from trying to do too much too soon. You can find this plan at www.coolrunning.com. Print it out and hang it on your fridge. Cross of a workout when you've completed it. 60 seconds of jogging might seem very difficult at first, but I promise, when you’re further along in the program, you’ll be amazed at how far you've come.


Week
Workout 1
Workout 2
Workout 3
1
Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
2
Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
3
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
4
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
5
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.
6
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2-1/4 miles (or 22 minutes) with no walking.
7
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).
8
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).
9
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).
The final workout! Congratulations! Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

If you follow the program, it does work. There’s no shame in having to repeat a day or even a week. If
you have a smart phone, there are different C25K apps that you can download. You will be prompted
when to run and when to walk. (this helped me a lot) You can also listen to the music you already have
downloaded on your phone or Pandora works as well. A new playlist with upbeat music helps me kick it
into gear when I feel like I’m running out of steam.

I’m a visual person, so seeing this plan laid out for me, helped me along the way. Some days are
just “off” days for whatever reason. If you feel like you really struggled through a run, repeat it the next
day or the following day. I found my body responded better when I ran every other day. On days that I
wasn’t doing C25K, I walked, did Zumba, did some sort of weight training and in some instances, I took a
complete day of rest. You’ll discover what works best for you and your schedule.

I’m still in touch with the ladies I spoke about earlier. Some of them had never run before last summer
and now they’re training for 10k’s and half marathons. A large group of us are meeting in Virginia Beach
to run an 8k on St. Patrick’s Day!

You can do it, too, now get off the couch!
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