I’ve never been athletic in my life. I was always overweight, probably since I was 8. I have not-so-fond memories of junior high track and field… the 1500m run was just evil. I did have a stint of fitness when I was 19-20 and really got into weight training. I fell out of it due to moving cities. It’s not like I didn’t have access to a gym, just not the gym that I was comfortable with. What a cop-out, I know!
About two years ago, my husband (Derek) and I decided to get fit and buy a treadmill. I was averse to the idea. I preferred an exercise bike as I had success losing weight biking in the past. I gave in and soon we had picked out a treadmill and even put it together as a couple (beer was required).
As with anything, I began to do some heavy research into learn-to-run programs. One requirement… the program had to be free. At the time, I also didn’t have any electronic gadgets that could help train me (i.e. iPhone, iPod, etc.). Unfortunately, I can’t find the program that I started with. Essentially, it was a run for a minute, walk for a minute program. The second week you add an extra minute to the run portion. The end point is being able to run for 10 minutes and walk one minute until you hit 5 km. I think I only got up to the 8 minute run, which worked for me.
I should also add that my wonderful husband set up a TV & DVD player in front of the treadmill, along with a wireless headset. I would play DVD sets of one of my favourite TV series, ER. This definitely kept the motivation going. I always wanted to get on the treadmill to see what was happening on the next episode. One episode would be about 42 minutes. Derek went to Montreal for a week and I was finding myself on the treadmill twice a day! (Right after work then after dinner).
This was my running program for the longest time (I’d say 1 ½ years):
Walk: 5 minutes
Run: 8 minutes
Walk: 1 minutes
Run: 8 minutes
Walk: 1 minute
Run: 8 minutes
Walk: remaining time left in episodes (about 11 minutes)
During this time, I would cover at least 5 kilometers.
Now, we have a computer screen set up instead of a TV and I watch shows (read: Coronation Street) on Netflix. I’ve been running off and on for two years now and since I started, I’ve lost just over 15 lbs and gone from a size 12 to a size 10.
This November, I had attended a conference, which included a motivational speaker. His talk was mainly about goal-setting and envisioning yourself once you reach that goal. I decided at that point, my goal would be to complete a marathon. Completely crazy, I know, since all I was able to run at that point was 5 km.
So now that I have decided to run a marathon, where do I start? How about a 10k? I shared this goal with Derek, who was very supportive and pretty excited, I think! For Christmas, he got me the Running book by John Stanton (published by the Running Room). It is such a good read, and anyone interested in starting to run, or improving their current run, READ IT!
I had a glance at the 10k training programs, which include a 10k gradual build, a 10k To Complete (so not finishing in a certain time, just finishing it full stop) as well as 10k finish in specific times. Even the gradual build program looked intimidating. So I reverted to my good friend, the 5k, especially since I still wasn’t running in 10 minute intervals. There is a beginners 5k program and then an advanced program. I opted for the advanced. I plugged the entire program into my new iPhone (using the Adidas miCoach app) and off I went. Then a few weeks ago, I realized the 10k race was at the end of May. I flipped to the 10k programs and made note they were 13 weeks long. That meant I needed to start soon. About 8 weeks into my 11 week 5k Advanced Program, I have now swapped over to the 10k in 55 Minutes Program. Today was my first day and I will blog about it, either later today or sometime tomorrow.
I will try and blog as much as I can throughout my training journey. I think it will keep me motivated to continue and follow through with the planned race.