Thursday, September 14, 2006

Couch to 5K? Count me in!

I used to love to run. There was a time in my life when I could (and did) wolf down a steak dinner and then go out and run 8-10 miles. Being a naturally competitive person, I enjoyed running races, but I also enjoyed just running with a walkman and an open road.

Ten years, three kids and 50 lbs later, I can no longer just take off down the road like I used to. I've tried probably at least a half dozen times to start running again, but I always end up doing too much too soon and quitting because of shin splints or some other issue preventing me from continuing.

Well, thanks to a website my wife came upon I now have a plan. The website is and the program is called The Couch-to-5K Running Plan. In a nutshell, it will "transform you from couch potato to runner, getting you running three miles (or 5K) on a regular basis in just two months." The plan has three workouts per week of about 30 minutes each. It starts out with alternating intervals of jogging and walking and gradually increases the time you are running until it's a non-stop run. The important thing for me in this plan is easing into it. Because of the way the intervals work, I am not killing my legs with a two mile run right off the bat. So far it's going very well. I actually repeated the first week just to give my legs the extra time to deal with the change. I'm nearing the end of Week 2 and I feel really good. I'm attempting to change my diet as well in the hopes of eventually getting back into a shape other than "round."

The weekend before I started I participated in the Dennis Donahue Memorial 5K and walked the 5K race. Just the fall atmosphere, the crowd at the starting line, and the day as a whole got me hungry. My goal is firmly in my mind now:

I want to run the Medina Twin Sizzler 5k, the Dennis Donahue Memorial 5k, and the Race for the Cure 5k next year...all under 20 minutes.


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