Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wanna Run a 5K?


Spring is here and just like the daffodils, new runners are starting to peek out and see what's going on in the world!

Twice in the last week I have had someone say to me, "I'd really like to run a 5K.  How do I start?"

I always direct new runners to the Couch to 5K program from coolrunning.com.  This is the program I used when I starting running.  Katie followed the same program last fall when she set a goal for herself to run an entire 5K.  She succeeded in running the HerTimes 5K without any walking or whining.  If it worked for us, it can work for you too!

A couple of tips for using C25K...

1. Don't look too far ahead on the schedule.  When you're on week two, the idea of running for a solid 20 minutes will seem like craziness.  Remember, you are building up to that distance. You're not supposed to be able to do it already!  If you could, you wouldn't need this plan.

2. Don't be afraid to tweak the workout.  Seriously, the running police are not going to come and get you if you need to walk up a steep hill during an interval when you're supposed to be running for 90 seconds.  Just do the extra 30 seconds of the run later in your workout.

3. Don't be afraid to adjust the schedule. Did week 3 seem really hard?  It's okay to repeat it before you move on to week 4.  The ease with which you progress through the program will really depend on your level of activity before you started.  If you are literally just getting off the couch, cut yourself a break and take your time.

DON'T go out and run as far as you can, as fast as you can on day one.  Many people get excited and tear up the roads only to get really sore on day two and declare, "I'm just not a runner."  Take your time!

DON'T compare yourself to people who have been running for years.  Really, that's just silly.  They were beginners once too!

DON'T be afraid to sign up for a race.  Races are a great place to talk to people who are as excited about this running thing as you are!  You don't need to be a speed demon.  You don't even need to run the whole thing.  You can run a little/ walk a little at your comfortable pace and then proudly wear your new t-shirt around all day!

Are you ready to run?


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