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Opportunity to get fit in a group: Couch to 5K

January 5, 2011

I have learned that I need some external motivators to stick with an exercise program.

I have learned that fear and camaraderie are great motivators.

For example, say I sign up for a half marathon. If I don’t get out and train for it, I fear the exertion of the race will kill me. I join a running group to train with, and thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie as well as the gentle prodding from group guilt if I don’t show.

Last year, shortly after I moved here, I helped get the Western Wind Running Club started to serve as one of my external motivators. Unfortunately, shortly after the group got off the ground, I hurt my knee and had to lay off running for awhile.

I would *so* like to get back into a half marathon training program again, but I’m afraid I’ll push too hard and re-injure myself if I do.

Instead, I’d like to get a “Couch to 5K” group started here in Scottsing and get myself running more gradually. I was especially inspired to try to get something community-based going after reading this story in the American Profile insert in the newspaper yesterday.

The Couch to 5K program was put together by the folks at coolrunning.com. Here’s what they have written about it:

Too many people have been turned off of running simply by trying to start off too fast. Their bodies rebel, and they wind up miserable, wondering why anyone would possibly want to do this to themselves.

You should ease into your running program gradually. In fact, the beginners’ program we outline here is less of a running regimen than a walking and jogging program. The idea is to transform you from couch potato to runner, getting you running three miles (or 5K) on a regular basis in just two months.

I’ve started a Facebook group for the program: WWRC Couch to 5K, which will be the group’s primary means of communication. (The “WWRC” is short for “Western Wind Running Club.” You may also see me abbreviate “Couch to 5K” as “C25K.”)

Absolutely anyone in the area is welcome to join this group – especially people who don’t see themselves as runners.

I didn’t see myself as a runner until later in life. In fact, I had never even run a single mile until my late 20s. You can read the story of how I went from “schlump” to “runner” here.

Here are the details of WWRC C25K (subject to change, depending on group preference):

  • You don’t need a high level of fitness to start. We start out mostly walking. If you’ve not seen a physician in awhile, it’d be a good idea to check in before you begin.*
  • The group will meet twice a week: Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at WNCC Scottsbluff campus (near the main entrance) and Saturday at 8 a.m. at various locations TBA. (We will try to meet at the same place as the main Western Wind Running Club.) Participants will be responsible for getting in that third weekly workout on their own.
  • Here is a link to the training calendar. You can compare the shorthand on the calendar to the actual C25K page to make sense of it.
  • End goal: the Sharin’ O’ the Green 5K in Fort Collins on March 12 (the closest one I could find that would get the group training right away). You don’t have to run the Fort Collins race – it’s just a goal to shoot for at this time. There will be plenty of 5K races to choose from later in the year. As long as you keep training, you’ll be ready for any of them.
  • Cost: nothing but a pair of running shoes and some sweat, plus race registration fees if you decide to sign up for the Sharin’ O’ the Green.
  • Weather delays? Nope. There’s usually no weather delay for real races. You just need to learn to deal with the elements and learn how to dress to be comfortable in the cold. Part of the amazement of being a runner is the feeling you get when you’re able to conquer (or at least tolerate) the elements. (For safety-related issues like glare ice, hail, lightning or extreme cold, we may cancel a group run.)

FIRST MEETING: Saturday, January 8, 8 a.m., at the Monument Valley Pathway trailhead in the south part of the YMCA parking lot.

If you have questions, feel free to post them to this blog, and I’ll update the post as needed. Or, better yet, join the WWRC C25K group on Facebook.

Just think – someday, this could be you with a half-marathon finisher’s medal around your neck:

Me and husband after finishing the Des Moines half marathon in 2007.

All you need to do is take that first step, then another, and another . . .

See you where the rubber meets the road!

*Legal-type stuff: I am not a trainer or health care professional. You need to make your own decisions about what is best for your health. I’m just here to goad you a little bit into exercising.

Copyright 2011 by Katie Bradshaw

5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2011 8:09 am

    very intriguing… must think about this… can I commit fully?

  2. January 6, 2011 10:18 am

    even though I have never been a runner, I’m overweight, out-of-shape, and it has been 3 months since my son was born, this interests me

    would it be okay to join the facebook group even if we don’t jump in right away? I won’t be able to make the first meeting this Saturday

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink*
      January 6, 2011 8:03 pm

      Absolutely! That way you can keep in touch and jump in whenever you like. Just find the Facebook group and I’ll approve you.

  3. January 6, 2011 1:40 pm

    What a fantastic idea! Everything is easier to do with someone. I have guests for breakfast at 8 on Sat the 8th–often my guests arrive at 5:30–I’m with you in spirit as I race up and down these stairs doing laundry, making beds, cleaning up, etc., etc…

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  1. A wish fulfilled: distance race training classes in Scottsing « SCB Citizen

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