The couch to 5k program is one that has been around for a while, and it meant for beginner runners. I think it would be easy to start if you’ve been sedentary, and it’s even easier to start if you’ve been doing some kind of workout (for me it was the elliptical).
I had hit a -50 lb. plateau because I was just ellipticalling and walking, and my body was still being worked hard, but it was the same muscles and cardio routine. After Christmas and New Years, I gained a few pounds back and then re-lost them with the elliptical, but finally it was spring, and I wanted a new workout to help me continue to lose weight. I decided to do the C25K because I was taking on challenges, and running has been a life-long nemesis for me! I absolutely hate running. I feel like I should love it, my dad was a marathoner, and still runs, and my sisters are both avid runners… but it’s just not in my genes!
I can honestly tell you today, that I enjoy running, thanks to this program! It is so incredibly freeing to be able to look out at the horizon and know that you can run that far. It’s so nice to be out on the running trail in the early morning and see deer running by, I absolutely love it. I’ve still not run a 5k race for time, but I have timed myself on the trail.
Tip: Almost every time I run, I bring my ipod. I have a c25k playlist that's full of upbeat, motivational songs. Sometimes on a Saturday morning, I'll go without it because the trail is so quiet and I love nature, but for the most part, I need music to get me going.
So here is my review of the program…
I set up my schedule to run Tuesday and Thursday as soon as I got home from work, and Saturday and Sunday as soon as I wake up (around 7). It can be done on a treadmill, but I prefer to run outside on my bike/walk/run trail. You can either do the program by time or distance, I chose to do time because I’m a slower runner. Since I was running 4x per week, I did the program in 6 weeks.
Weeks 1 and 2 were very easy for me, and I had minimal soreness in my legs.
Week 3 was when it started to get rough and I had a few “I want to quit” moments.
Week 4 was when I really started to feel like a runner, I could do ½ a mile!
Week 5 was what scared me, a 20 minute run with no stopping. Really?! But, I did it!
Week 6 was 25 minutes, and I did it!
Weeks 7 and 8 were a bit easier for me, once I reached 20-25 minutes, I had no problem getting to 30-35.
In the end, my first 3.1 mi. run was 34:30, right now I’ve got it down to 32:00-ish. Working on speed is my current challenge. On my current workout schedule, I run Saturday and Sunday mornings, 3 miles each morning, just trying to get my 3 mile time lower and lower.
On the off days: For the 6 weeks I did the program, on the off days, I did 45 minutes on the elliptical.
I’m going to start the 10k training in September to get myself ready for the 10k my family runs every Thanksgiving.
Overall, I think this program is great. I had great success with it. It pushed me, but was never too much. I felt so proud of myself after I ran my first 5k, it was like nothing else I’ve ever done.CHECK IT OUT HERE!