Thursday, June 19, 2014

#BeFearless - How to Successfully Complete Couch to 5K

Today Fitness Blondie issued a challenge for each of us to share a story of how we live fearlessly. As soon as I saw read about it, I knew I had to participate. I love the concept of #BeFearless, it's about not being afraid to try something new, to make a change and most importantly to love yourself regardless of your size. I think it's something that we all struggle with. If only I could lose these last 10 pounds I can stop stressing. When I loose 20 I'll let my picture be taken when we go on vacation. The next thing you know, years have passed and you're still hiding away. 

I'll confess, I'm terribly guilty of this way of thinking. I place a lot of pressure on myself, especially when my clothes aren't fitting the way I think they should. It's something I struggle with every day and I know I can't let it control my life. That's what #Be Fearless is about. 

It's also about tackling your fears and rising to the challenge, which is why I wanted to share my Couch to 5k story. When I think about the one thing in my entire life I never thought I would be able to do, it was running. I wasn't an athletic kid and hated gym class. But I always thought it would be cool to run. Just throw on a pair of shoes and go. When I did go, I would be doubled over and heaving with a 6th grade side stitch. You know what I mean, that pain in your side that you always got after running around like a lunatic at recess? I would get those after 2 minutes of running. Yep, two. But I decided to tackle the challenge. My brother runs, heck, I can run too. 

How did I make it though?

Schedule your work out times. The program is 3 days a week for 8 weeks.  Schedule them in advance! If you aren't regularly going to the gym or engaged in an exercise routine, it can be really difficult to get started. 

Find a Distraction. I did my training on the treadmill (which I probably couldn't do now). If you do, find something to distract you. I watched movies on my iPad and had my phone with the app running next to it so I knew when to run/walk.  Now I watch Netflix when I'm on the treadmill. Seriously, I've watched Spirit of the Marathon 4 times. If you need something to motivate you, that will do it. 

Run outside if you can. There's more to look at. If you have parks or greenways near you, utilize them!
Don't go out too fast. However fast you think you should run, slow it waaaaaay down. When I tried to run in the past I would go too fast, get a cramp and quit. If you start breathing too heavily and feel like you might die, slow it down.

Make an awesome play list. I can't run with just me and nature, I don't need tome alone with my thoughts. I need tunes. I'm a huge fan of 80s hair metal and have an all Bon Jovi play list. It's amazing.

I might have had this poster on my wall in the 80s.

Week 5, day 3 is going to suck. Be aware that it's coming. That workout is where you jump from running 10 minutes at a time to 20. I know a lot of people who haven't been able to make it over that hump. Slow way down and trudge through it. 20 minutes seems like forever but it's not that bad after you make it through and you'll feel AMAZING.

Get fitted for real running shoes. The right shoes make ALL the difference. Once you start running you can get knee and hip pain from the wrong shoes and some people quit because they think they have bad joints. More often than not it's the shoes. It took a while but I LOVE the Saucony Rides with an insert. It's perfect amount of support for me and I wouldn't have found the combo if not for my running store. Fleet Feet is where I get mine. I love them.

Learning to run is something that can change your life in more ways than one. There's absolutely nothing better than crossing the finish line at your first race. Give it a shot! #BeFearless


  1. What an AWESOME story. You went from not being able to run without being hunched over trying to catch your breath to running in a 5k. SO many people are going to find hope in your story because they want to start -- but have no idea how. You are a walking example of showing that all it takes is a little bit of hope and motivation. You go girl. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  2. Great advice! I absolutely agree, that 20 minute run seems like such a big hurdle but after you do it, you feel amazing!

  3. Thanks so much Liz! The #BeFearless project is fantastic! I love reading about how others are choosing to Be Fearless!