In all my life, I have never been able to run. Let me give you a little background about myself. Growing up as a child I didn’t get much physical activity. I didn’t play sports for school or the town. In high school, I did one year of track and field (really just field) and then fencing. In college the physical activity I did was lifting beer cans and food from the table to my mouth. After college I decided to get my life in order while I was on unemployment from my first job. My weight had become out of control and I needed to fix it. I started going to the gym taking cardio and strength classes. With the combination of exercise and eating right, I lost 80 pounds. At this point in my life, I was in pretty good shape, yet still couldn’t run. Since then I’ve had some injuries that are caused by over working muscles, so I’ve had to cut my gym time in half. I need to make sure the time I spend at the gym counts.
I decided I wanted to be able to run. I’ve heard of people starting the Couch to 5K program, but never heard the results. My thoughts were my friends tried it and either didn’t finish it or decided to never mention it. I looked at the plan and thought, this is going to be tough, but I can do this.. The program doesn’t seem so scary being it says if a week is difficult work on that week’s run until it’s something you can do and feel comfortable moving on. I went into this knowing it would be difficult, but I would push myself and if I HAD to, I’d repeat a week. Well, four weeks in I got sick. I had to take a week and a half off from the gym. I decided to start with the week I was on, and see how it went. I was able to continue with that week, and then move on to the next. Then I had a tough week at work, with a lot of overtime and didn’t get to the gym. Instead of stressing that I didn’t get to run that week, I made it a priority to restart the week of the plan I couldn’t finish. I’ve repeated a few weeks, but for the most part it’s become a competition with myself that I want to move on and I want to do more. I’ve grown to like running instead of groaning about how much it sucks.
When I first started I would make sure I would be at the gym at a time when a lot of people weren’t around. I felt self conscious running. I felt that everyone in that gym were professional runners and would judge me for the way I ran and how I would do a mix of running and walking. After a week or two, and looking around at other people working out, I realized I had nothing to be afraid of. No one was watching me, they were involved in their own workout.
I have my last run of the program to complete. I’ve completed two of the week 9 runs, and have one remaining. Now my decision is if I want to redo the program starting from the first week to increase my speed (substitute the walk with a jog and the jog for a run), or if I want to work on being able to run for a longer amount of time. I’ll make that decision shortly.
My verdict is, if you want to get into running this program is spectacular for it. You just have to get over the mental hang ups that you can’t do it or you’ll look stupid. You can do it, and you won’t look stupid…and if you do no one is looking at you anyway 🙂.