Over the years, as much as I wanted it, running never really clicked with me. I would get sore, injure myself, rest for one day too long, and before I knew it, another attempt at fitness – out the window. But then I discovered the smartphone app, Couch-to-5K (C25K, for IPhone/Android,) by Cool Running. This amazing app guides you from doing no/little exercise, to being able to run a complete 5K run, all within a 9-week period.
Now, I call myself an avid runner.
On your first day, the app instructs you to walk for 2 minutes, jog for one minute, walk for another 2 minutes, etc. You repeat this pattern until you have completed 20 minutes of exercise. Over the course of the next 9 weeks, the walking-to-jogging ratio slowly shifts each day until you are, eventually, jogging for 30 minutes, nonstop. These small changes in the walking/jogging ratios are barely noticeable as your body, slowly, becomes stronger and your endurance becomes longer. You exercise 3 times a week, alternating rest days with exercise days. You even get 2 days off to rest on the weekends! And, if you like running to music, you can use your own library and play it through the C25K app.
Since I completed the C25K program and running my first 5K, I have run over six more, have competed in two 10K’s, and am currently training for my first half marathon. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that running was something I would enjoy as much as I do. When I tell people how I started, I tell them that the Couch-to-5K phone app was the best $3 I ever spent and I encourage them to purchase the app for themselves.
For those of you, who have yet to embrace smart phone technology, don’t despair. Cool Running has an informative website that contains a free, written, running plan you can print and use without a smartphone. The site also contains a ton of helpful material, from podcasts to inspirational stories to community support. Just go to www.c25k.com for more information.
If you are thinking about running as a way to improve your health or if you are just looking for something new, pickup your phone and purchase C25K. It’s an easy to use program that has proven results. Who knows, you might become the avid runner you always dreamt of becoming. But first, you’ve got to get up off that couch!