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Couch to 5k

fitness Oct 15, 2019

Originally Published on 9/12/19

Friends, I’m on week 6 of Couch to 5k and I’m totally digging it. If you’re interested in running and don’t have any clue where to start, Couch to 5K is for you. It’s sometimes abbreviated C25K, and now that you know that, you can sound extra cool at parties. You’re welcome. Always come to me to be sure you sound cool at parties. I gotchu.


The program starts slow for beginners. The first workout is:

  • run for 1 minute
  • walk for 1 minute and 30 seconds
  • repeat 8 times

Each workout slowly escalates into running for longer periods of time over the course of 9 weeks with 3 runs per week until eventually you’re prancing your way across the finish line of a 5k, leaving everyone in the dust. Get that medal, gurrrrrl. It’s kind of amazing looking back and thinking about how hard I thought the first workout was, and then here we are in week 6 and running for 10-20 minutes at a time. I’m not gonna say it’s easy, I’m just gonna say I can do it. And you can too.

Now I’m at the point where the “long” runs – I have trouble calling it that, because a long run is 5+ miles in my head, but anyway – are 20+ minutes with no walk breaks. That’s over a mile of running, and just like when I was training for half marathons, the first mile is the hardest, then something clicks and it becomes natural. It’s a weird phenomenon and I don’t understand it, but I know if I can slog through the first mile or so, ima be alright.

I’d say at about week 4 is when it starts to get real. The runs get longer with significantly less walk time in between, and I am HERE FOR IT. Running is my favorite way to workout. I love that I can lace up, grab my headphones and just go – no waiting for a class time or figuring out a workout in the gym. I can go any time, literally just right out the door. So easy. Well, not easy. Convenient is a better word.

Y’all, I run for my body and my mind. Back when I started running the first time, I had just gotten divorced. Running was my therapy time where I worked through my thoughts. Now that I’ve gotten past pain and scar issues after my surgeries, it’s my therapy again. (New here? Read about my knee injuries and surgeries here.) When I finish a run, I’ve got a good sweat going and I feel damn near giddy. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t able to get this feeling for so long due to all of my knee injuries. Maybe it’s because I’m moving forward after Jason dying, literally step by step. Maybe it’s just because I got a good workout. Maybe it’s a combination of all the things.

As far as my mombod goes, I haven’t lost any significant amount of weight, but I have noticed that my butt’s a little perkier. I can feel my muscles getting leaner too, but the real change is in my mind. Running makes me mentally stronger, which is everything. I’m showing myself that I can do it. I’m showing myself that I’m worth it. I’m showing myself that I’m capable of moving forward, of doing hard things and reaching my goals. AND YOU ARE TOO, BOO.

I linked all of my running faves in this post. Check it out if you need new running shoes, a sports bra to keep everything in place or other various running gear I’ve found and liked along the way.

The App

The app I use is Active Couch to 5k. It’s $3 and I don’t have any complaints. You can repeat workouts as needed and it logs all of them so you can compare. You can sync it with your Apple music, but I don’t do that since I play music through Amazon music. It has GPS and tracks your total distance completed as well as your distance running and walking separately. It also tracks your pace for running and walking separately, then gives you an overall pace per mile. It’s thorough and well thought out and I like it.

For New Runners

This is the second time I’ve done this program, and I stand by what I’ve said since the beginning, it’s hands down the BEST way to get into running. It’s a slow build, which helps prevent injuries and burnout. When I did C25K the first time, I was overweight and actively trying to lose some serious poundage. I had just had my son and I was fat and out of shape. I doubled up on the runs, repeating almost every workout to build my endurance because if I didn’t, I couldn’t hang. I wouldn’t be able to finish the next workout. I’m here to tell you that’s okay. Do what you need to do to get it done. Eventually I moved on to half marathons and became a legit runner – if my chubby ass could do it, you can too! I went from a size 12 to a size 2, and I credit a lot of that to running. I definitely worked out in the gym at least 4-5 times per week and cleaned up my diet too though. That is of course, until I tore my ACL playing soccer and then spiraled down with injury after injury after that. Neat.

For Injured Runners

C25K is a good way to get back into running if you were injured. I know this, because I’m living this. Obviously you need to listen to your doctor and physical therapist, and more importantly YOUR BODY, but in my case, once I got my scar pain sorted out in my knee, I was MORE THAN ready to start running again. But how do you start over when you used to run miles at a time? A pre-workout warm up was a 1-2 mile run for me, and if I was just running that day, I’d do around 3-5 miles. It seemed so out of reach when I started C25K again, but with time and consistency, I’ve improved significantly (and with no knee pain!). C25K pushes you to build your endurance back up, while also pacing you so you don’t overextend yourself and risk another injury. CanigetanAMEN. Mama is DONE with ACL surgery. D.O.N.E.

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