Tag Archives: running

Couch to 5k – my 2017 do-over

I am starting 2017 off with a couch to 5k do-over.  Last January, I had an epic fall and was not allowed to exercise for 3 months. By the time my ortho finally released me for exercise, I had gained weight and lost most of my fitness.

I tried to get back into the routine of running and going to the gym regularly, but it was tough to find the motivation.  Everything was really hard and I felt defeated.  My workouts throughout last year were inconsistent at best.  I managed to get through a half marathon in October (barely) but that was it.

I must admit, I am a bit disappointed in my current level of fitness and how I handled last year in general.  I started going to the gym again in mid-November and it feels like I am starting over.  Things that once were easy now feel impossible, but instead of getting frustrated and quitting like I did last year, I am going to be kind to myself (words I preach but rarely live by) and start the couch to 5K workout plan again.

The couch to 5K plan is how I started 7 years ago when I began my journey to lose weight and get fit.  Honestly, it has been around so long I don’t remember where it originated but for those of you unfamiliar with it, it is designed to help the average person to run/walk 3 miles over a 2 month period incorporating intervals of running and walking (gradually increasing the run intervals while decreasing the walk intervals).  You can find a great outline of it here. 

There are also a number of couch to 5k (C25K) apps and podcasts to choose from.  I personally will be running along with my girl Chubby Jones who I have mentioned before.  She has several versions of C25K on her podcast and a great mix of tunes to go along with it!

Have you done couch to 5k?

Do you have a favorite app or podcast that you use to workout?

Easing Back Into Running

So you took a break from running. Maybe you were injured, maybe your body needed some rest, or maybe life just got in the way for awhile. Now you are ready to make a comeback!

 

START WITH LOW MILEAGE
If you have taken more than a couple of weeks off, starting back with the same weekly mileage is setting you up for an injury. Scale back for a few weeks and allow yourself to ease your mileage back up about 10% each week.

 

SLOW DOWN
Don’t worry about speed. There will be plenty of time to build your speed back up later. In your first few weeks back you should run at a comfortably easy pace. If you are having trouble finding a pace that is comfortable, you may want to try run/walk intervals, but even with intervals, focus on a slow, steady pace. Going too fast, too soon, can result in injury.

 

MAKE TIME FOR RECOVERY
Taking rest days to recover is paramount in an injury free return to running. Try not to run more than two days in a row at first. Use the days in between for cross training or take a day off. Make sure you have at least one day off each week to give your muscles time to rest.

 

CROSS TRAIN
Incorporating weights, cycling, swimming, yoga, etc. into your training will allow your running muscles to rest while still building overall fitness. Cutting out one run per week and replacing it will a spin class did wonders for my overall fitness and significantly improved my running!

 

FOCUS ON CORE STRENGTH
No one likes core work. Ok, maybe there are one or two masochists out there who enjoy it, but for the rest of us it is a necessary evil. Strength in your core improves your running form, which improves your efficiency and reduces your risk of injury. So suck it up and do a few planks or crunches before dinner, in commercial breaks, in the middle of your day…basically whenever you can fit in in. 10 minutes of core work a day will do wonders for your posture.

 

BE PATIENT
You are making a comeback. It will take time. Have patience with yourself and take as much time to get back into running as you need. Listen to your body and take rest days as necessary to allow your body to recover so you can start your next run even stronger.

 

STAY POSITIVE
It is easy to be hard on yourself. When you are coming back after an injury or having taken some time off, its easy to fill your head with negative thoughts such as “I used to be so much faster,” “This used to be easier,” etc. Try to keep a positive attitude and replace those thoughts with positive ones such as “I ran more today than yesterday” and remember to be grateful that you once again are able to get out there and run!

 

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