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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Couch to 5K in Less Than 4 Weeks!

Do you want to lose weight? Feel less stressed? Be healthier?

There is no better day than today to start taking care of yourself!  I know it can be hard to find the time for yourself, but YOU ARE WORTH IT! When you take care of yourself, you feel good.  And when you feel good, everyone around you benefits from it.  My husband knows that when I go out for a run, I come back feeling good, and therefore I have more patience with the kids and I can handle the day to day stresses much better.

Here are 7 benefits of getting physical activity from the Mayo Clinic:

No. 1:  Exercise controls weight

No. 2:  Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

No. 3:  Exercise improves mood

No. 4:  Exercise boosts energy

No. 5:  Exercise promotes better sleep

No. 6:  Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life

No. 7:  Exercise can be fun

A cheap and fun way to get your exercise is running! 


Running is not like riding a bike.  You can't take a break for a few years and then jump back into it at the same speed as when you stopped.  I used to run almost everyday years ago and I was in the best shape of my life.  I can remember running a half marathon and not getting tired at all.  A few months ago, a friend asked me to do a 5K with her and I said "SURE!"  I wanted to start running any ways and I knew this would give me a push to get started.  I thought a 5K would be easy until I went out that first day to start my training. I thought I was going to die!  I couldn't run for even 2 minutes without being completely out of breath.  I came home exhausted and knew I needed to start off slower.  I'm not 20 anymore and I could definitely feel it.  I wrote a running plan and in 6 weeks I was running for 10 minutes straight with no problem.  Here is what I did:

Put on my favorite music, laced up my running shoes and started my timer..... it's time to RUN!
I try to run 3-4 days a week

Days 1 and 2
Walk 3 mins.
Run 1 mins.
For a total of 15 mins.

Days 3 and 4
Walk 3 mins.
Run 2 mins.
For a total of 18 mins.

Days 5 and 6
Walk 3 mins.
Run 3 mins.
For a total of 21 mins.

Days 7 and 8
Walk 3 mins.
Run 4 mins.
For a total of 24 min

Days 9 and 10
Walk 2 mins.
Run 5 mins.
For a total of 30 mins.

Days 11 and 12
Walk 2 mins.
Run 7 mins.
For a total of 29 mins.

Days 13 and 14
Walk 2 mins.
Run 9 mins.
For a total of 35 mins.

Days 15 and 16
Walk 2 mins.
Run 10 mins.
For a total of 38 mins.

Keep increasing your running time with each run.  I don't time myself anymore, but after 3 months I was running for 45 minutes while only walking 2 minutes to start and 2 minutes to finish.

Here are some other running plans I found:
Couch to 5K
Train to Run Long Distance
Couch to 5K

Make sure you always start and end with walking.
It is also a great idea to keep a journal of your progress.  Then you can look back and see how far you came from day one.  If you have back or knee problems and can't run, then speed walk.  TIME says you can add YEARS to your life with just 15 minutes a day of exercise!

I had such a blast running the 5K with my friend Lisa.  It feels great to set a goal and complete it.  My boys were at the finish line waiting for me and they looked SO proud!  They all said they want to do it with me next year!  It's one thing to talk to your kids about being healthy and exercising, but it's another to show them how.

You don't have to wait until New Year's Day to start..... Start Today!  Dishes need to be washed, laundry needs to be done, bathrooms need to be cleaned, but most importantly... you need to take care of yourself. YOU ARE WORTH IT!  Signing up for a run is great motivation to start a training program.  Here are some websites to look for a marathon near you:
Marathon Guide
Runners World
Running in the USA

There are many different runs you could sign up for!  Brandi and her family did a mud run last year and they had a blast running together!

There are also a lot of helpful running apps you can get for your smartphone...

Join the more than 12 million people who are using RunKeeper to turn their phone into a personal trainer in their pocket! Track your runs, walks, bike rides, hikes, and more using the GPS in your iPhone.

 iPhone Screenshot 2

Ghost Race
Training for a marathon? Looking to beat your personal best? Do you need that extra push? Stop running against the clock and start training against a competitor. Set the distance and pace you would like to beat and get ready to train! Keep track of all of your fitness activities from taking a walk outside to working out in the comfort of your own home. Monitor your progress with the built in history storage complete with weather details at the time of your activity.

 iPhone Screenshot 2
Cost: $0.99

Get Running (Couch to 5K)
Targeted more for beginner runners.  With three enjoyable workouts a week, in nine weeks you will be running continuously for half an hour, even if getting off the couch is a struggle today!

 iPhone Screenshot 2
Cost: $2.99

Fitnio is another GPS-based tracking and monitoring app for walking, running and cycling. The app records your activity and then displays distance, pace, caloric burn and also keeps an ongoing log of all workouts and also syncs with its website. Fitnio also provides an emergency contact option in the event that immediate help is needed during a workout.

 iPhone Screenshot 1
Cost: $1.99

Run Coach Pro
Run Coach Pro puts a personalized training plan in your pocket. Training plans are available for getting fit or race events (5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, and 50K Ultra). 

Cost: $0.99

Map My Run
MapMy is a fitness tracking application that enables you to use the built-in GPS of your mobile device to track all of your fitness activities. Record your workout details, including duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned, and route traveled on an interactive map. You can even effortlessly save and upload your workout data to any of the MapMyFitness websites where you can view your route workout data, and comprehensive workout history.
 MapMyRun apps

Cost: FREE

You don't need an expensive piece of equipment or a monthly gym membership to get the exercise you need!
Running or walking outdoors is also a great way to soak up some vitamin D!

US News Health says:
The sunshine vitamin may protect against a host of diseases, including osteoporosis, heart disease and cancers of the breast, prostate and colon. What's more, sunlight has other hidden benefits — like protecting against depression, insomnia, and an overactive immune system.

Make sure you put on sunscreen if running for long periods of time and follow these important safety rules from RRCA.
  • Don’t wear headphones. Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Your ears may help you avoid dangers your eyes may miss during evening or early morning runs.
  • Run against traffic so you can observe approaching automobiles. By facing on-coming traffic, you may be able to react quicker than if it is behind you.
  • Look both ways before crossing. Be sure the driver of a car acknowledges your right-of-way before crossing in front of a vehicle. Obey traffic signals.
  • Carry identification or write your name, phone number, and blood type on the inside sole of your running shoe. Include any medical information.
  • Always stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you. The more aware you are, the less vulnerable you are.
  • Carry a cell phone or change for a phone call. Know the locations of public phones along your regular route.
  • Trust your intuition about a person or an area. React on your intuition and avoid a person or situation if you’re unsure. If something tells you a situation is not “right”, it isn’t.
  • Alter or vary your running route pattern; run in familiar areas if possible. In unfamiliar areas, such as while traveling, contact a local RRCA club or running store. Know where open businesses or stores are located in case of emergency.
  • Run with a partner. Run with a dog.
  • Write down or leave word of the direction of your run. Tell friends and family of your favorite running routes.
  • Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown trails. Avoid unlit areas, especially at night. Run clear of parked cars or bushes.
  • Ignore verbal harassment and do not verbally harass others. Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.
  • Wear reflective material if you must run before dawn or after dark. Avoid running on the street when it is dark.
  • Practice memorizing license tags or identifying characteristics of strangers.
  • Carry a noisemaker. Get training in self-defense.
  • When using multi-use trails, follow the rules of the road. If you alter your direction, look over your should before crossing the trail to avoid a potential collision with an oncoming cyclist or passing runner.
  • Call police immediately if something happens to you or someone else, or you notice anyone out of the ordinary. It is important to report incidents immediately
Start running today and let us know how you are doing!  We would LOVE to post your progress to inspire others who read this.  Take a before picture and your measurements to compare with later.

Go HERE to read 101 tips to get you motivated to run.  You can do it... YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Happy Running xoxoxoxoxox


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