We are kicking off our Couch to 5K Virtual Program.
What is Couch to 5K? It is a 9 week training program geared to take you from the *couch* (not running) to running a 5K. Each week consists of three *run* days. Each run day has a warm-up, intervals of walking and running, and as the weeks go by, you will be doing more running than walking, ending with ALL running. We do this all *virtually*.
What do you mean *virtually*? By virtual, we mean online. Together, we will *virtually* complete our workouts, supporting one another online, through Facebook posts and posts published here.
When do you start the program? The week of January 12th. You pic which set of days work best for you.
How do you get started? Oh, this is a loaded question. So many people ask me- How do I become a runner? What do I need to do? Where do I go to look for information?
I will try to make this easy for you, starting with my TOP 5 THINGS TO DO TO BECOME A RUNNER:
- Commit to a training plan. Since we are using the Couch to 5K training plan, you should too! Those of us who are runners here (and elsewhere) used this exact training plan on our road to becoming a runner. The plan works. Read the entire article in the link, scroll down for the training plan and print it out.
- Schedule your runs. Yes, pull out your calendar and SCHEDULE your runs. Make sure to skip a day between runs. So, run M/W/F or T/Th/Sat or whatnot. Do what works for YOUR schedule but make sure to write it town/type it in.
- Find and purchase a good pair of running shoes. Not all shoes are meant to be run in, seriously. Running in the wrong shoe can make you hurt more than normal or worse, lead to an injury. That being said, running shoes can be expensive- I get that. In all honesty, I did not buy my first pair of real running shoes until after completing Couch to 5K- I wanted to make sure I was going to stick with it before spending a butt load of money on special shoes (I ran in cross-trainers then). However, now I won’t run in anything BUT running shoes and specifically, the right running shoe for me. You can read about choosing the right shoe here. We highly recommend visiting a local running shoe store in order for assistance in this area.
- Aches and soreness. Be aware of the fact that you will most likely encounter some aches and soreness as you begin this journey. Your body is not used to running. Running is hard. You are using muscle groups in a fashion that you have not used them before. Aches and soreness are a normal part of the process. However, there are some pains that are NOT normal. Stretching, yoga and foam rolling can keep your running legs in a happier place.
- Join our running community on Facebook! Run with the Sisterhood is our sister running page. We post motivational and inspirational pictures/quotes, ask question, answer questions, share stories and generally have a good time. We have a daily exercise/run check-in and talk about all things running. Our members include seasoned runners, new runners, fast runners, slow runners, runners who are injured, runners returning from injury, those who are thinking about running and everything in between. Make sure to ask questions- we have a wealth of knowledge in our community and more than likely, someone has experienced exactly what you are asking. We have a second FB page for all the participants of Couch to 5K- Run the ‘Hood C25K Group. It is an excellent place to check-in for your daily/weekly runs and commiserate with others who are doing the exact same thing you are-becoming a runner! The majority of this group are newbie runners.
- Leave a comment down below letting us know that you want to participate in our Couch to 5K Virtual Program.
- Print out the Couch to 5K Training Plan (scroll down a little ways for the training plan). There is a printer-friendly version of this page as well- towards the top middle of the page.
- Join our Facebook community- Run With the Sisterhood- an excellent place to ask questions from veteran runners, get support, motivation and inspiration. Don’t forget, all of us that are veteran runners now used to be newbie runners too! Also, join our community specifically for Couch to 5K participants- Run the ‘Hood C25K- an excellent place to check in, chat with other newbies, and ask questions.
- Read about my New Runner’s Checklist and my You Are Awesome post.
- Think about what 5K you want to register for as your goal race for finishing the Couch to 5K program. We highly recommend the Shamrock Shuffle 5K, our very own Virtual Race, complete with swag bags, shirts and medals! We timed it perfectly to coincide with the completion of the Couch to 5K program.
That’s it for now! If you have any questions, then ask below. Also, good luck!!!!
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I’m a runner, on my way to becoming a marathoner. I am 42 years old and have found a peaceful acceptance of my body. Through running, I have discovered who I am, besides a mom to three kids and a wife to one. I truly enjoy sharing my love of fitness with others while empowering and motivating women to conquer their fear of the unknown. In my spare time, I manage the Run with the Sisterhood Facebook page, work here and there for Zooma Women’s Race Series, and work part-time at our local YMCA.