There’s going to be a lot of text in this post, so I figured I start it out with a picture for something a little more interesting than my usual ramblings. This is me at work in the morning, drinking a green monster out of one of the new reusable cups my mommy got for our house. They’re so cute and useful! Thanks Mom!
Today I was a bit too sore from BodyPump/running yesterday to go to the often intense AM yoga class I had intended on going to (which made me sad, but I guess it’s better to listen to my body and not hurt myself!) so I just spent about 20 minutes stretching and 10 minutes doing some ab work, which I always LOVE (no sarcasm, I love a good belly burn). Now I’m just
slowly dying at work. I just got a $60 a week raise, which is slightly lifting my spirits though!
Here’s what I want to talk about today though: RUNNING! If you guys have been following my fitness journey, you’ll know that I come from an “only run when chased” mentality. I loathed running with every fiber of my being! When my best friend Emma started running, I saw a flicker of hope for myself. If she could go from not running at all to being able to run for an hour or more, than I certainly could too! Running seemed like a great, fast, and inexpensive way to exercise at school or at home, and also a good way to be outside and enjoy the lovely spring and summer weather. When I got home from Pitt, I started walking/jogging/running a couple days a week for about 10-20 minutes a day. I still dreaded it every time, and although I saw small progress (I was able to actually run a mile without stopping to walk), I still didn’t really feel like I had a concrete method or plan for improvement.
That all changed when I discovered the Couch to 5K running program. My initial running goal for the summer was to be able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes (so essentially, 5K!). The Couch to 5K is a walk/run program that tells you what to do for 20-30 minute workouts, 3 times a week, for 9 weeks. At the end of the 9 weeks, you’re supposed to be able to run a 5K! I love these kinds of programs because they are basically idiot proof (it tells you EXACTLY what to do each day), and I think ANYONE can commit 1.5 hours a week to running. It seemed like just what I needed. From the Couch to 5K website I found a pretty cool website called Podrunner: Intervals. Podrunner Podcasts are made by a DJ and basically use the BPM of songs (along with some beeping reminders) to show you when to run and when to walk. The music is pretty average techno/house music, nothing I’m too crazy about, but okay to listen to for a half hour if it’s helping me run. I’m completing the Level 1 Program which is called One Day to 5K, based EXTREMELY CLOSELY off of the Couch to 5K program. I am on Week 2/Day 3, and already in LOVE!
Now that you know what tools I’m using, let me tell you why I’m already passionate about these programs.
- Mixing running with walking (at least the the beginning) makes the program extremely approachable for “couch potatoes” like me. Also, I push myself harder during the run portions because I know that a (brisk) walk will be up in 60 or 90 more seconds.
- The beat guided music help me switch between a very constant running/walking pace.
- The program instructs you to only run 3 times a week, so I am not burnt out of running! Running every day is a bit overwhelming for me, but when I break it down to 3 times a week, I actually look forward to each run!
- I can FEEL the improvement. Last night after running I felt absolutely on top of the world! I actually ran for an additional 8 minutes after the 30 minute training session and I was *gasp* enjoying myself. Because of this program, running has actually become FUN for me! I never in a million years thought that I would say that, but there it is in black and white.
I would definitely recommend the Couch to 5K program and the Podrunner: Intervals training podcasts to anyone who wants to become a runner (and doesn’t mind some techno beats). I’ve already converted my mom! There also training programs for 8K and 10K, although I cannot vouch for them because I haven’t tried them.
After work today I’m getting a haircut, so get ready for a rundown on my hair saga soon.
- Do you like running? Why or why not?
- Is there a certain form of exercise that you have or have had a mental block against? Why?