I’ve never been a runner…never! I never had the upbringing, nor training, for more than sprinting. Alright, who’s already laughing at me for the whole “upbringing” comment? I know, I’m laughing a bit as well. But seriously, this running thing does not come easy for some of us! Can I get an Amen?!?
When my son was a baby, I started walking at the local park with him because it was one of the only places I was guaranteed some peace and quiet from him. It was his one guaranteed nap of the day. I would walk and walk and walk. I refused to wake him up, it was wonderful! I got some exercise in (3 miles, sometimes more) and enjoyed fresh air for both of us!
As he got older, that long nap got shorter. I know, I hate when that happens too! But he was sleeping better at night, so that was a bonus! At about mile marker 2-2.5, he would start to get antsy, then fussy. He wasn’t quite to the stage where I could give snacks in the stroller yet, so I had to figure out some ways to get those 3 miles done in a shorter time. So I started running down the hills, then followed that up with running the flats. I had successfully found the sweet spot for my child’s nap and contentment to fit my 3 mile loop.
Now, fast forward about 4 years and I’m still doing this whole run/walk thing which is why I label myself a “Wannabe Runner”. I always stop when my legs hurt or I’m out of breath, etc. I’ve never really forced myself to push through. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve pushed through my fair share of pain in my past, but I always assume when running I should take a break when I got uncomfortable.
A month ago I joined a running club for the sole fact that my friend runs it, no pun intended. They have a C25k mini group for beginners. I debated about joining the group because I’ve done plenty of 5k’s in my time, but only one did I run the entire time. So, I joined! I may not be quite at the “couch” stage, but I started around week 3 or 4 because that seemed to match my current, stagnant, running style. I’m mid-week 6 right now and running farther than I ever have on the regular. Before you beginners get all discouraged, I’m talking like almost a mile. So, if you’re a beginner, a new mom needing some peace and quiet, or a wannabe like me, I highly recommend doing a C25k program.
As far as the C25k program goes, it starts with jogging 60 seconds and walking 90 seconds. Around week 4, you’re jogging 3 minutes, walking 90 seconds, jogging 5 more mins, etc. Towards week 6, you’re doing a 20 minute run followed by shorter duration runs to increase speed for your final 5k. My running group had us download the app through Zen Labs Fitness, and I’ve enjoyed having it tell me when to warm up, when to walk, how long to run, etc. If it weren’t for the app, I’m almost certain I would’ve stopped pushing by now. There’s something to be said about being told to “run now for _____ minutes.”
I have really enjoyed this program and am loving the improvements I see when I get out there and push myself with the help of this app! Wannabe to runner…in 8 short weeks! I wonder if there’s a C210k or C2 1/2 marathon app for that? 😉 That may be next!