Couch-Potato-to-5K Graduation!

I’ve had several women tell me that running is not for them and I can understand their reasoning.  They have big plans of becoming a runner but when they try running for a few minutes they huff and puff, not being able to catch their breath and so, they end up stopping.  That was both the beginning and the end of their attempt to become a runner.  That was my own story once upon a time, too.

There is a training program called The Couch-to-5K program and  thousands of new runners have followed this 9-week program, going from couch potato to running three miles by the end of the training program!  There is even a C25 group on Facebook.  The program eases you into running gradually and you only run three times a week for nine weeks. Timed segments of jogging are interspersed with walking segments gradually increasing the jogging time each week.   Guess what?  I graduated today!!

What made me decide to go back to running and, in particular, this program?  I have been a runner off and on since 1978 and think I have felt and looked my best during these times.  I love the way running makes me feel both physically and mentally.  I enjoy pushing through a difficult run and feeling the elation that comes with having completed it.  And, those endorphins?  Well….they are pretty addicting, too!  The increased stamina and self-confidence is an added benefit.  I need to keep my heart as healthy since I have both high blood pressure and high triglycerides.  And, I have this morbid fear that, should there be a necessity for it, my dear husband could not carry me if he needed to.  You know what that means, don’t you?  I need to loose some poundage and hopefully, mileage on the treadmill will make that happen.

I have used this program several times and can highly recommend it.  I know it works!  I was always the girl in school who had to stop and walk during gym class with a side ache so, if I can run anyone can!  Persevering through the training program is the key.  If you trust the program and keep at it, before you know it you will have gone from running 90 second intervals to 30 minutes non-stop.

Another reason I decided to run again was because I really want to do some serious hiking this summer in the Rockies.  I’m not getting any younger and need to take advantage of living in such a beautiful place.  And yet ANOTHER reason I started running again is that I found a C25 app for my Apple iTouch.  I love this app!  Have I ever mentioned that my husband likes to call me ‘Gadget Girl’?

With this app you are able to make a running playlist from your iTunes music library.  The app has the entire couch-potato-to-5K program on it and also has verbal prompts telling you when to start/stop your intervals……this way you don’t have to be watching your watch the entire time for each set but instead can enjoy the music and run with the wind!

My equipment is minimal.  All I need are my legs and some great running music.  However, because I live in the mountains I’m confined to jogging on my treadmill.  There is no possible way I could jog on my steep neighborhood roads. I really long to run outside but don’t want to be a running target for a mountain lion!  And believe me, there are plenty of mountain lions in Colorado…..and bears.  Treadmill running isn’t the most exciting way to run but it is easier on the joints and safer.  And my running shoes?  Oh how I love them.  They are Asics Gel Kayano 15 and are my all-time favorite shoes.  They are nice and room across my toes and ever so light.

So what are my plans now that I have graduated?  I will continue to run 30 minutes with 5 minute warm-up and cool-down walks but will start running four times a week for the next month and then increase to five.  With graduation accomplished I feel like I’m now ready to tackle the 20 best hikes around Colorado Springs.  And, the book even has a checklist in the back to check those hikes off when they are completed.

I am so motivated by lists!  I plan to take you with me on each of these hikes so you can experience a little bit of the region I live in.  Would you like to come along and enjoy the scenery.  Naturally, I plan to take a pair of trekking socks along in my backpack to knit when I stop for rest breaks!

9 Comments on “Couch-Potato-to-5K Graduation!

  1. Thanks for this post! I have just finished a grueling condensed master’s program and need to get back into shape for my mental and physical health. I’ve been putting off exercising until I was done (I know I shouldn’t have but I couldn’t even knit the last few weeks it was so stressful) and now it’s time! I understand what you mean about how running makes you feel. Last year I began running and really enjoyed it. Reading your post has spurred me to begin again. Tomorrow! Off to read the program.

  2. Congratulations on completing the program. My husband loves running too but not me. I am more a walker. Of course, I will love to come along on your hikes & share the gorgeous scenery. Happy running.

  3. Yay for the couch-to-5k program! A friend told me about it in spring of 2008. And yes, it really worked for me. Turned me into a serious runner by the end of the program. I am addicted. IT WORKS! But you don’t need me to tell you that! =)
    I had a serious health issue that prevented me from running for months on end. But now I am back on the program… week 5, here I come!

  4. Congratulations on your graduation! Keep up the great work, and enjoy the hikes in those beautiful mountains.

  5. Yay, Rebecca!

    There was one summer when I got really into running several years ago, when I was between jobs and still had a prepaid gym membership. By the end I was able to run 4 miles straight and I felt great. Then I got a full-time job and it kind of put an end to my running. I’m really determined to start running again (though it’ll probably have to wait until I’m no longer breastfeeding — I think that’d be some major discomfort!), so I’m glad to hear you speak so highly of the Couch to 5K program.

  6. This post is as good as any to respond to a comment on a post from my blog DownFromTheMountain. You wrote :

    “Such a pretty shot of the Sierras! My mountain bike is still hanging in the garage. Wish you lived here so we could go biking together. I can’t convince the hubster to get a bike and hate doing it by my lonesome. ”

    I meant to say, that HEY… we could both start riding together again , in spirit. I have so far to go (sooo far) to get remotely anywhere near the riding fitness I was even 8 years ago. But, nowhere better than the present to get started. AND, trail riding, or road riding on your mtn bike is the best cross-training for your running. You could then do a duathlon or something, if you so choose.

    ~Jen

    ps. By the way, the mtns in the background of the photo are not the Sierras, but the mtns NorthWest of the Napa Valley: Mt StJohn right in front, in the next range Mt. StHelena and Palisades, Snow mtn in far distance. The Sierras are about 150 miles east of Napa Valley.

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