Couch to 5 K--my new workout plan

Posted by  | Wednesday, July 13, 2011  at 6:54 AM  
Truthfully, I never thought I would be writing a blog post about my exercise routine here at POH. And I especially never thought that my post about such exercise would involve RUNNING. That is a topic for other, healthier people than me--people who run, who enjoy it, who have been doing it for years. You know who you are, and I know that isn't me!

I am not a runner. I have been at best an inconsistent exerciser. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine recommended the Couch to 5 K plan. I thought it sounded cool, but pushed it out of my mind. Then recently, another friend completed it, and I started thinking about it again. I decided I was going to attempt it. Big gulp! After telling my husband, Nathan, about it, he started looking into it as well. Long story short, he and I are going through the Couch to 5 K plan together, and it is going well!

Couch to 5 K is a walking and jogging/running plan that moves you from not running to running 5K at the end of nine weeks. The workout is set up to be completed in 25-30 minutes, three times a week. You are encouraged to rest in between workouts (and believe me, that's helpful!). You can walk and jog as fast or slow as you like. The first week you walk for 90 seconds and jog for 60 seconds for a combination of 20 minutes. Anyone can start there! Every week adds on the previous week--so week two, you walk for two minutes and run for 90 seconds. You can repeat weeks if you need to, which we have done. Nathan and I took Fourth of July off, and had a hard time completing our scheduled walk/run that week. We decided to repeat an earlier week and to not worry if we didn't complete the program in 9 weeks.

The Couch to 5 K plan has many 'pros'. Everyone can do this, no matter what level of fitness they are at (Nathan and I are not fit--not yet!). It has been very helpful to have my husband working through this same program with me. We don't exercise at the same time--I get up and exercise while he does his daily quiet time, and then he exercises while I shower and get the kids breakfast. Though we are not running side by side, we are discussing it and encouraging each other. My sister is doing Couch to 5 K as well, and we cheer each other on via Facebook and emails ;-) One thing that I must recommend if you want to undertake this program is to invest in the C25K app. If you have an IPod Touch/IPhone/Android device, the C25K app is very helpful--you can listen to your music and the program will give you prompts for your next walk/run, etc. I am loving getting outside early in the morning, hearing the birds chirp and sing, smelling the fresh air, looking at the beautiful flowers in all my neighbors yards and just experiencing nature.

There are really no 'cons' to the C25K program, but if you are looking for something to help you drastically lose weight, this will not do it. I believe you would have to combine Couch to 5 K with calorie reduction and strength training on off days to get a solid, continual weight loss. I am happy with my current weight, and do not need to lose much, so that does not bother me. However, I want to have a healthy heart and body, so that I might serve my Savior and my family well. This is where I am starting.

Thanks for letting me share about my new favorite workout program! What do you do to get healthy and stay healthy? We all know how hard it is as moms to make time for exercise--I'd love to hear how you make time for physical fitness.


Katie McSpadden said...

Thanks for sharing this! Michael and I have 3 children and I have struggled with finding time to work out. We tried P90X, but it was way too time consuming. I just started Leslie Sansone's Walk Slim dvd. It gives you the choice to do 1, 2, 3, or 4 miles of walking. I love it because it only takes 30 minutes to do 2 miles and a cool down stretch. I am trying to keep my focus on being healthy and not on how fast I can loose weight. I need to loose about 20 pounds. I get very discouraged when I don't see results fast!

Lauren said...

I'm way late in reading this, but I love to run! I find that walking in the midst of running is more difficult for me. I do better to run and not stop until it's time to cool down! When I first began running more seriously about seven years ago, I would run an additional .2 miles each time I ran each week. Slow build up, but it didn't involve any walking, though interval walking/running can help burn calories. I ran an official 5K race a couple of years ago, but I just don't want to give up my Saturday mornings to run with others. Official races can be great motivation for those who need it though!
Running doesn't necessarily take off the weight quickly. There's a lot of muscle built when you first pick up running, so the numbers on the scales might not go down for a while.
Have fun!

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