Well, hello there!
As we start our latest Couch to 5k training in preparation for our fall virtual race, I thought some introductions were in order. Or RE-introductions as it were. My name is Bari and I’m a runner. Sometimes I’m training for marathons or half marathons and other times I’m on a bit of a break, but I still love to talk about running and encourage newbies in their quests to become runners. For the past couple years, I have been mentoring a fantastic crop of rookie runners over on Facebook in a virtual C25K training group. This group has grown by leaps and bounds over time with quite a few runners even sticking around to move past the 5k distance. Pretty freaking awesome if you ask me.
Yes, I know many of you know me from writing about running and whatnot here at the Sisterhood and some of you may even be in my C25K group, but did you also know we have the most amazing Sisterhood Facebook page dedicated to all things running? Our Run with the Sisterhood page is a running community that encourages, supports, and motivates one another. We answer questions, post funny cartoons, provide a place to post your daily sweat sessions, and do our best to be YOUR go-to source for running-related info and motivation. I’ve been focusing most of my attention on our C25K group, but beginning this week, you are going to start seeing me at Run with the Sisterhood on a regular basis. I’m so excited to take our training group to this bigger and super-encouraging group and wo-man the page with Lisa!
With the start of our September fitness calendar, encompassing both C25K, strength, and abs training, I wanted to get everyone up to speed on how the next 9 weeks or so will play out. If you missed the post regarding the calendar with descriptions of all the exercises, you can find it here. To join the C25K portion of the training, you will need to find yourself a copy of the program. There are too many apps available for iPhone and Android to list here, so just head to your favorite app store and do a quick search. They are all a bit different but the end result is the same. You are looking for an app that has 3 days of running per week and completes in 9 weeks. I suggest a paid version or else your app may only go to week 3 or be full of ads. If you want to go old-school and print out the schedule, I recommend you visit Cool Running here.
Because strength training is so integral to becoming a HEALTHY and INJURY-FREE runner, I want you all to stretch a bit outside your comfort zones and give this a shot. You’ll see we have running on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, but you can choose your run days to be whichever work for you. I just ask that you have a day off in between each running workout.
On these “off” days, you won’t really be resting. Oh no. This is when you will be making your body stronger. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, you will join us for virtual (except you’re really doing it) strength training. We have the plan set up for any fitness level so you all can participate. No excuses! On your strength days, you will do each move in the set with little to no rest before moving on to the next exercise. Yes, these are tough but they are moves YOU CAN DO! If you need to take a short break, do it, but only for a few seconds and then keep going.
For the first 3 weeks, I want you to AT LEAST get through group A each time. Each set of 5 exercises will most likely take you around 5 minutes to complete so work up to 3 sets with about a 2 minute break between sets (ie, do the 5 moves in group A, rest for 2 minutes, then go back and do them again). By week 4, I would like to see you add group B and shoot for 3 sets (do A+B, rest 2 min, do A+B again…etc). If you need a break between the groups, go ahead but not for more than 2 minutes. You should be SWEATING when you get done.
For the final 3 weeks, you will be getting through the entire list and doing at least 30 minutes of strength training twice a week in addition to your cardio. If you can only get through 1 set of group A to start, that’s totally ok. This is your baseline and you will improve. Add in some walking, a swim, something to get you to 30 minutes of movement for the day. Got it? Don’t be surprised if you are a bit sore the next day. Get your next run in anyway. Moving will make the soreness better.
So to recap:
- Download a C25K app.
- Get fitted for a real pair of running shoes at a running store (honestly, the best equipment you will ever invest in to keep your body healthy).
- Plug the strength workouts into your calendar.
- Join us at Run with the Sisterhood to check in and keep us posted on your progress! I can’t wait to see you all there.