Many people ask me how I got started with running and more importantly WHY in the world I would want to! I never really thought that I wanted to start running. I just wanted to lose weight.
It all started with Weight Watchers. Last year WW had a “Walk It Day” on June 6, 2010. The goal was to get people moving and WW members everywhere would walk a 5K (3.1 miles) on the same day. At the time the walk was announced, I had been working out by playing DDR on the X Box and other fitness games on my friend’s Wii. I had not really committed to serious exercise at this point. I was scared by the prospect of walking a 5K, let alone running!
I had a friend who was training for the Susan G Komen 3 Day breast cancer walk, so she encouraged me to go walking with her. Much to my surprise, I WAS able to walk a 5K and I did it the first time out! I began walking more and more every time I could. I was supporting her and helping myself get more fit and active at the same time, but it was also really time consuming.
That same friend is also a runner. She pointed out to me that I could burn twice the calories in the same amount of time if I was running instead of walking. She kept encouraging me and telling me I could do it even though I had NO interest in running at that time. I felt like I was still too heavy to run. I had lost 60 pounds by the end of May, but I still FELT too big. I didn’t want anyone to see me jiggling down the road! I also felt like I wasn’t in shape enough to run. I just felt like it was too hard and I would fail. Who wants to start something they are doomed to fail at? Not me! Thankfully my friend just kept encouraging me and offering her support.
Finally I decided to take the plunge. I made the commitment to run in the mornings before work (so fewer people would see me since I would be running outside)! I didn’t have the first clue what to do. Thankfully, there’s an awesome training plan out there for us beginners! The “Couch to 5K” training plan can be found at www.coolrunning.com. This is the plan that I followed and it WORKS!!! There are also tons of C25K smartphone apps available to make it even easier.
The site states that people get turned off of running by trying to start too fast. The program is 3 days a week and eases you into running. The program alternates jogging and walking and gets you ready for your first 5K in just two months. I absolutely recommend this plan to everyone. It’s great because you just do what they tell you each week. You don’t have to try to figure out how much you should do. You don’t have to worry about finding the “right” amount of time to devote to it. There is no guesswork. Just follow the plan. I’m a planner. I like plans. This plan works!
My biggest obstacle completing this plan was getting my head out of my own way. I was SCARED. Each week as my running times increased, I was SURE that I wouldn’t be able to do it. I complained to anyone and everyone that would listen that these C25K people were crazy and they didn’t know what they were talking about. Each week, I continued to surprise and amaze myself. I really COULD do it. That sense of accomplishment is like no other. It’s hard to explain how great it feels to prove yourself wrong over and over. Yes, it was challenging. If it was easy, everyone would do it. The point is…it’s a challenge you can overcome. TRUST ME…if I can do it, you can do it!!