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Tips for Brides: Couch to 5k Training Program

10.23.2009

If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or good ol’ blog, you may have noticed that I’m doing something totally out of character. I’m RUNNING. Like walking really fast, to the point where it no longer qualifies as speed walking. Yes, running.

My sister is right, we were not built for running. We were blessed with longer torsos and shorter legs. I know sprinters don’t necessarily require model length legs, but I’m not a sprinter either. But you know what? This is a test in pure will power.

It’s crazy. And sometimes I think I’m crazy for taking it on.

Back in January, in the months leading up to our wedding, I enrolled myself in a 4-week boot camp. You can read about it here. While I didn’t love the workouts, and in fact dreaded every moment that involved running, I felt so refreshed and accomplished after it was over. And it started at 6:30am. As in it was still dark. Not being a morning person at all, this was amazing. And as much as boot camp wasn’t a joy, it was a challenge I willingly undertook. I even signed up for two more sessions. If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I HIGHLY recommend Ala Vie Fitness. They have several camps around the Bay Area, and all the coaches are awesome! Think Jillian Michaels without all the snark.

So what do you do when you want to run, but your only experience with running was the required fitness tests during PE in high school? The Couch to 5k.

Seriously. While I pushed myself in boot camp to run the short loops around the park, I knew that I didn’t like running, I wouldn’t like running, and continue to still be at odds with it. However, this program is the perfect solution for a novice runner. Shoot, it’s a great solution if you spend the majority of your day on the couch. It’s all about the baby steps!

I’m currently at the end of Week 4, and I NEVER thought I’d be able to run, willingly, for five minutes at a time. Heck, at the very beginning, I was skeptical of making it through the two minute intervals. By next Friday, I should be jogging for twenty minutes straight. I’m going to line up a serious playlist to get me through that day!

So if you are thinking about this program, here are my tips:

  • Start the program with an open mind.
  • Get fitted with proper running shoes to prevent injury.
  • Make a playlist of upbeat music to get you through intervals. (This really helps when you get to the 5-minute intervals)
  • If you’re running on a treadmill, don’t look down at the time. Otherwise, 30 seconds will feel like 3 hours.
  • Stay hydrated! I bring a 32oz water bottle with me. (Plus, it’s 1/2 your daily water intake goal!)
  • Ask a friend to do the program with you. The more the merrier and less you can get out of it.
  • Think about how you’ll be able to take in your wedding gown and more energy for the dancefloor!

While I’m not currently training for an actual 5k race, it has been something I’ve wanted to do before. So while it won’t be possible by the end of year with business, family, and the holidays rushing straight for me, I’m definitely going to look into it for early 2010!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Couch to 5k.

Never say never.

Happy Friday!

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