Couch to 5K

The other day I was reading Self magazine and eating a brownie (because that’s the only way I can get through seeing all of those skinny women working out) when I came across a website, coolrunning.com.

I finished my brownie and hopped on my computer to check it out. I’m not a runner, but I liked the idea of burning off brownies with a quick 30 minute run.

If you’ve been following my weighty issues, you know my history of hating to work out. I mean, I hate it. I could fill pages of how much I hate it. But hating it is no longer an option. So I’ve been trying for a long time now to find something, some kind of program that would inspire me to move.

“Couch to 5K” is a program to get people to do exactly that: get you off the couch and running. Basically, if you follow their schedule you could be running in a 5K (about 3 miles) in 9 weeks. It sounded simple enough, so I decided to forgo the 2nd brownie and start running.

Yesterday was my first day. Here’s the deal: you warm up with a brisk 5 minute walk and then you alternate 60 seconds of running with 90 minutes of walking for 20-25 minutes. You do this the first week, 3 times a week. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Easy enough for an exercise hater such as myself.

One of the things that I like best about this program is that the idea of it doesn’t overwhelm me. I can do 3 times a week. I can do 30 minutes. I can accomplish that and anything that I choose to do over that (let’s say, cross train on an elliptical on the other day) will be counted as bonus points and bonus points are always a good thing. It’s like getting a gold star next to your A+.

Now, at first I thought that keeping track of all of those seconds was going to be a pain, but it was actually really easy. Over the next 3 months I’ll continue increasing my running time, walking less and less until around week 9 when you’ll hopefully be running about a 10 minute mile. (You can check the program out for yourself here.)

Here’s my goal: I want to try and do it in 8 weeks instead of 9. Overly ambitious? Perhaps. But I’m not a total couch potato. I do lead an active lifestyle, just not active enough to effectively burn off brownies. And the ice cream. And the chocolate souffles.

Does this suddenly mean that I will start to like working out? Of course not. I mean, I’m not crazy! But something has got to change and I’m hoping that “Couch to 5K”–a program with a goal–will help me get off the couch, put down the damn brownie, and start running away my weighty issues.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

I don’t get paid by coolrunning.com to promote any of this, by the way. Just letting you know.

One Comment

  1. Rita

    I downloaded an app on my iphone from Felt Tip Inc. I just plug my earphones into my iphone and run… a woman's voice tells me “Run now” and then “walk now” at the appropriate times… all while I'm listening to music on my phone (her voice slightly mutes the music when she speaks).

    I love it! No keeping track of minutes!

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