Tag Archives: couch to 5k

Getting Back Into Running After Time Off

Okay, my prolonged absence from personal fitness and the running world in general is a little more than “a little time off,” but the same principles apply. Let’s review. I’ve always been an avid fitness junkie, but then married into a toxic environment and gained over 100 pounds. Yes, you read that right — OVER A HUNDRED POUNDS. Yikes. So then I got divorced, then remarried, got back into fitness and started fixing that problem. Then had a baby. And another baby. Before you know it, I’m back to about 70 pounds above my goal weight.

So here I am, the 27-year-old mother of three who is, like a shocking number of women, totally unhappy with her physical fitness. After brief improvement followed by pregnancy, I can’t even jog slowly to the next block without feeling the burn. It’s truly square one for me. This is where we restart the journey that is this running journal.

One big tip for restarting…

The biggest thing I can say when you’re getting back into regular exercise and getting into shape is don’t expect too much of your body. At one time, I could take off cold and run for five miles. Now I warm up thoroughly and am short of breath within about 1/8 mile. Feel out what your body wants to do today, and push just barely beyond that. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor about the exercise you want to do to make sure there are no major health concerns first.

Finding your way off the couch

Alright, so here we are getting started. Obviously, the biggest thing is to hydrate, eat healthy (note: this does NOT mean crash dieting…if you’re not sure what it means, let me know and I’ll do some food posts), and start off steady. If you push too hard too fast, you’re just going to end up sore and you’re not going to want to exercise.

Want to join me? Have you been doing anything up to this point? No? Go walk around the block, then come back and read more. I’ll wait. Don’t want to even get up and go outside? Try this, it’s even available for download right now:

Are you back? There’s your start. If you feel like you can’t even walk around the block once a day, walk in place beside your desk for five minutes. Try to take the stairs a little faster. Park a few more spaces away from the door.

My plan — first, I need to find the key to my treadmill. Wyoming has had a nasty winter this year, but I’ve been blessed with an office and jewelry studio space. This means that I can walk or run on the treadmill even in the dead of night without bothering anyone — at least once I find out what the kids did with the key. Happy exercising, and feel free to let me know how you’re doing.

How to Develop a 5K Training Schedule

Sticking to a regular exercise routine can be difficult if you don’t have a plan. The key to maintaining your exercise schedule is to make realistic goals that you know you can achieve. Many women choose to train for a 5K because this is an attainable goal that can be reached with just a little training and hard work. Developing a 5k training schedule can help you lose weight, get in shape, and also feel good about yourself. If you are ready to go from couch potato to 5k you will need to follow a few running guidelines.

The Right Shoes

Perhaps this isn’t your first time training. If you have struggled with running in the past, you may have been wearing the wrong shoes. Inappropriate or ill-fitting footwear can ruin any attempt at developing a 5k training schedule. If you experienced pain or pronation (rotational movement) in your feet, then you probably did not have the right running shoes.

When you run, it is common for your feet to swell up to half a size larger than your normal shoe size. When buying running shoes, you may want to consider trying a slightly larger pair to account for this swelling. A properly-fitting running shoe should allow you to wiggle your toes, but also provide plenty of heel support. With the right pair of shoes, you will transform yourself from a couch potato to a 5k athlete.

The Right Form

Now that you are ready to actually start your 5K running schedule, it is important that you do so correctly. Poor running form can cause injuries, which could be a serious hindrance to your running routine. Try to push off the ground with as much force as possible and be sure to straighten your neck and back. Keep your shoulders low and loose. Some people naturally have the right running form, but if not, simply try to focus on maintaining a balanced posture.

Set Realistic Goals

Of course your ultimate goal is to run a 5k, but you will need to set realistic benchmark goals along the way. If you are totally new to running, you can try alternating walking and running when you first start training. Run for one minute and then walk for one minute. You can continue to train like this until you feel comfortable just running. Start with three days a week and gradually work your way up to five days a week. Make sure each workout includes a warm-up and a cool-down.

Start Training and Stay Motivated

Once you start your 5K training schedule, it is important to stay motivated. Whatever motivation you choose, make sure to focus on that idea when you train. If weight loss if your motivation, then think about how good you’ll feel when you are in good physical shape. If your motivation is endurance and strength, then focus on these positive benefits while you run. It’s possible for anyone to go from couch potato to 5k if they work hard and train on a regular basis.