Hey, check me out!
I went from being a couch potato to running a 5k! I see that look you’re giving me, I didn’t think it was possible either until I crossed that finish line! It all started when a friend invited me to do a 5k with him – that’s about 3 miles, Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a lot when you’re in your late twenties and haven’t run since gym class back in school.
Not to mention the barely-there energy and weight gain that adulthood seemed to hit me with.
Oh, and did I mention I had a month to get ready?!
Yeah, this King of the Couch needed to be 5k-ready in 30 days.
How did I do it?
The short answer is, baby steps! After getting myself a new pair of running shoes, my journey began. I kept a daily log of my progress along the way…
Day 1: I found a 5k training plan online that said to start with interval training, The idea is to walk for 2 minutes, jog for 1 minute, and repeat that over and over again until your jogs hit the 30-minute mark, Jogging for 1 minute was challenging enough! I got a long way to go…
Day 2: Ow, my body.
I’m so sore! And obviously out of shape… I did some light stretching as soon as I got out of bed, and that seemed to help, At my buddy’s suggestion, I went to the gym today and had my first session with a professional trainer, Outside of exercising, he told me I need to eat better and drink loads of water.
Day 3: I’m writing down everything I eat throughout the day, including snacks, Foods that fuel running include bananas, oats, peanut butter, broccoli, plain yogurt, dark chocolate, whole grain pasta, potatoes, and coffee.
Day 4: Man, my appetite is through the roof! Probably because I’m burning way more calories than before. My morning jog went really well 10 minutes! That included walking breaks, but still!
Then I hit the gym, and my trainer had me do speed work – running from one point to another as fast as I can, That was brutal…
Day 5: Sore today too after that insane gym sesh, I guess that’s just gonna be a regular thing for the next month, I found a running group online and joined them for the first time today, I was hesitant at first, but when I saw people of all shapes, ages, and abilities, I felt a lot better!
I upped the ante and jogged for 2 minutes at a time with walking breaks in between, Having the support of others really helps!
Day 6: Today’s Saturday, and I’m resting, It’s only the end of my first week of training, but I’m already feeling like my pants fit a little looser.
Day 7: My trainer suggested cycling as cross-training, so I went on a 3-mile bike ride.
Now I know exactly how long that 5k will be, It still feels like I have so much work ahead of me.
Day 8: Something amazing happened today! I jogged for 5 minutes nonstop for the first time in my life! I also got a glimpse of what people refer to as the “runner’s high.” Endorphins – you know, those happy chemicals you sense in your body after a workout – they were pumping through me like nothing else today! I think I’m starting to fall in love with running.
Day 9: My energy levels are through the roof! I no longer crave afternoon naps, Even my boss noticed that I was a lot more productive at work today!
Day 10: I did strength training at the gym, Lots of weights on my arms and legs, I’m already sore, I’m also starting to understand the relationship between food and performance, a connection I’d never made before.
Day 11: I weighed myself today, and I’m down 5 pounds! I’m convinced jogging is the fastest way to lose weight. My jogs are closer to 7 minutes long now.
Day 12: My trainer says my body fat percentage is gradually going down too! Before I know it, I’ll be a lean, mean, running machine! Oh yeah, and I ate a donut today Because I deserve it.
Day 13: I jogged for 10 solid minutes today and didn’t struggle at all! I’m getting there!
Day 14: Spoke too soon, Beyond exhausted, Skipping running later today, and I cheated again.
Seriously, what do they put in donuts to make them so irresistible?
I’ve learned that when I crave sugar and eat junk, I may momentarily feel better, but it always leads to a crash later in the day, Nap time can’t come soon enough…
Day 15: Today is the official halfway point, and I’m getting a new wind of motivation, (Or maybe panic that such little time is left!) Well, whatever it is, I jogged 15 minutes without stopping!
Day 16: Gym day, We did a full-body routine today, and I’m feeling pumped! Never have I been more motivated to drop the pounds than I was today!
Day 17: I went on two 15-minute jogs (with a 5-minute walk in-between) with a buddy today.
My trainer told me to be extra careful to stay hydrated, He said to divide my body weight in half, and then drink an ounce per pound, That’s 80 oz for me or a little over half a gallon.
Day 18: I’ve decided to start alternating drinking water with Gatorade since my runs are getting longer.
I have to replace those lost electrolytes! I’m also seeing some incredible muscle definition in my legs.
Day 19: I noticed today that my skin looks better than it has in a long time, It struck me kinda weird, so I looked it up, I guess exercise improves your complexion because it boosts blood circulation, Well, cool, I’ll take it!
Day 20: 10 more days until the big day! Making the jump from a 15-minute jog to a 20-minute jog was not bad at all, And did I mention that I sleep like a rock now?
No more long nights of tossing and turning – my insomnia left long ago,
That, and 5 more pounds!
Day 21: I’ve noticed that the backs of my thighs have been especially sore, and my ankles have been tight, My trainer showed me how to use a tennis ball to massage any problem areas, I do it to the bottoms of my feet, too, The last thing I need right now is an inflamed tendon, I sure hope this pain goes away in time, or this 5k might not happen for me!
Day 22: Phew, my legs feel better! Thank goodness, I was worried I’d pulled something, More experienced runners have encouraged me to take it easy, I’m told that if I can run 20-minutes non-stop, I should have no problem with the 5k, I hope they’re right…
Day 23: Nothing, I did absolutely nothing, It was beautiful!
Day 24: I finally went on another bike ride today, I should do it more often. 5 miles – done!
Day 25: I was feeling a little tight again, Rolled my tennis ball all over the problem areas, stretched, and went on a brisk walk.
Day 26: I ran 25 minutes nonstop!!! Listening to music while jogging helps the time go a lot faster, Any recommendations for my ultimate running playlist? Leave them down in the comments!
Day 27: I’m stocking up on pasta ingredients and bananas, Lots of bananas. I’m told the potassium will help balance the electrolytes I lose on longer runs.
Day 28: Tapering today, Everything I’ve read says not to overdo it in the days leading up to your first big race.
Day 29: I enjoyed a delicious high-carb meal with my new running friends, Ready for tomorrow morning, but I’m also nervous!
Day 30: I did it! I ran my first 5k! I’m so proud of myself!
I think my training program must’ve been just right because the run was relatively easy and enjoyable, I can’t wait to sign up for my next race!
Are you ready to lace up your shoes and start running?
Other than taking baby steps, reading what you eat, staying hydrated, and training slowly but surely, here are some other tips I can give:
– Invest in a good pair of running shoes.
If you need extra support, get some medical inserts for them.
– If you feel pain, whether it’s in your feet, knees, or any other part of your body,
The last thing you want is an injury that forces you to quit any sort of physical activity.
– Find someone or a community to run with, especially one that includes experienced runners.
Follow their lead and learn from them.
If you choose a friend to run with, it can be a great bonding experience too!
– Most importantly, get your doctor’s approval before you go from the couch life to running marathons!
You don’t want to shock your body into this new lifestyle.
So hey, if you learned something new today, then give the post facebook a like and share it with your friends