m4s0n501

I’ve been a fairly active person throughout my adult life (after college). I was never a gym rat in any sense of the term, but I was in decent shape at least. Michael and I used to go to the gym a few times during the week–I took step aerobics and kickboxing classes–and on the weekends. I felt pretty good about my fitness level. I started taking spinning classes to try them out…

…and then I got pregnant.

When I was seven weeks pregnant, I started having some bleeding problems. I pretty much had them all the way up into my second trimester, and it was always a bit unsettling. When it first started, my doctor suggested that I give spinning a rest, so I quit the class. And since it was the dead of winter and I was in my exhausting first trimester anyway, I didn’t have any issues becoming a bit sedentary for a while.

But as I reached the second trimester, the weather was just beginning to improve, and I began walking. Long walks with Tessa that I enjoyed thoroughly. And then Michael began joining me, and from then on, we walked nearly every evening after dinner, about 3 miles. All throughout the spring, the summer… it was routine. And even as I grew hugely pregnant, it still felt really good to get out and walk. I was in good shape going into labor, and all was good.

Then Nora was born, and well, priorities shifted. Majorly.

I give major credit to people who have small children and still maintain a course of regular exercise. Gym time? I still cannot fathom it. Working full time with a child makes life a bit of a whirlwind–we rush home from work, work quickly to get dinner on the table, and bathtime–all before she goes to bed at 7:00. It’s mad dash. And when she’s in bed? Well, that’s time for everything else we need to do. Dishes, cleaning, laundry, home improvement projects, and hey… some relaxing.

My weight is absolutely fine. My fitness? Not so much.

I’ve been wanting to get back into something, but didn’t want to go back to the gym. Walking is still good and I would do it, but since we can’t go together anymore (after Nora’s sleeping), it seemed pretty boring.

Enter C25K. That’s Couch-to-5K, for those who may be unfamiliar. It’s a training program to take you from being basically a couch potato to being able to run a 5K.

Let me preface this by saying I AM NOT A RUNNER. I hate running, in fact. But so many runners kept telling me that they started with something like C25K and that it made them looooove running. I’m not convinced, but I committed to giving it a try.

I started by downloading an app on my iPhone. Specifically, “C25K Free” (shown below):

The way the program works is this: You run three days per week. The running is done in intervals–walk, run, walk, run, repeat several times until you’ve reached 30+ minutes of total activity. The intervals start off pretty easy, with 1 minute of running, then 1.5 minutes of walking during Week 1. Then, they gradually work their way up to be longer periods of running and less walking, until you complete 8 weeks and can supposedly run a full 5K.
The nice thing about the app is that it prompts you when to begin running and walking so that you don’t have to be watching the clock. I downloaded some music onto my iPhone from my iTunes, and the app will automatically quiet the music for a moment to speak over it to give me my prompts.

Now, I’ve only completed through Week 2 Day 2 at this point (Week 2 Day 3 is next), but I have to say… I’m liking it so far. Do I love running? No. At least not yet. But I do feel pretty good when I’m doing it, and afterward, so there are positives. And 30ish minutes three times a week is not too much to ask.

On nights when it works out, Michael and Nora have actually come with me. Michael walks/runs next to me with Nora in the jogging stroller and it’s nice to get out and enjoy a little bit of the nice evening weather with them. We can only do this when we have something SUPER simple (like leftovers or sandwiches) planned for dinner, and when Nora is in a decent mood, but it’s something.

I hope to continue through the summer and into the fall–by then, I’ll hopefully have accomplished the 5K goal, and hopefully I’ll have become “addicted” to running. I’m still very much a skeptic about that, but we’ll see how it goes.

By winter, we hope to have our basement in order and we have plans to buy a treadmill.

I’m prepared to put some miles on these shoes!

Those with kids: What do you do for exercise? Do you find it to be as challenging to work into your schedule as I do? For everyone: Are you currently challenging yourself in some way when it comes to your fitness? Have you ever done a C25K program before? If so, were you successful in completing it? Did it make you love running (like everyone says)? Were you able to keep it up after the program was over?

 
m4s0n501

19 Responses to C25K

  1. nikinikinine says:

    I spin two times a week and I have a stairmaster in the basement that I use once in a while when the kids are napping and I’m not doing some other chore. My spinning is my sanity and I gave it up for a looooong time after the kids were born and I needed a little sanity back. Taking time, whether you SAH or you work is freaking hard to do. Hard. Hard. Hard.

    I did a C25K program twice before, I never finished them. I was a runner before and still sometimes now. So the C25K moves a little slow for me. And I end up overdoing it and then just abandoning the program and straight up running. But I know people who never ran a day in their lives that started it and completed it and a 5K. Not sure if it made them love running though LOL

    As someone who loves running, I can tell you that it becomes a love when you can head out the door with no path in mind and just go without feeling like you want to die, collapse, stop, etc. It’s great exercise obvs, but it’s great therapy too :) GL!

  2. Ashley says:

    I wish I could run, but I just don’t have it in me! Hopefully I’ll get there. I was going to the gym before I had my son, but had a miscarriage and that set me back. Was going when I got pregnant with my son, but was so sick I couldn’t keep it up…. he’s now 2.5 and I’ve been going to a women’s gym for about 3 weeks and so far so good… do I love it?! No. But it gets me active and out of the house! Hoping to fall in love with it, but odds are I won’t ;)

  3. During the winter/spring it was a lot easier for me to work exercise in – Elle loved going for runs in the jogging stroller, so we did that on the weekends and some evenings after work. When we aren’t able to take advantage of the fresh air together, though, it’s a priority for me to go to the gym, in the mornings before work. It’s way too hot now (we live in Florida) to go out for runs on the weekends, and I can’t go in the evenings (DH works nights). While I do some workout videos, I get bored with most of them quickly and don’t rely on them often – I use them more to add variety to my regular running/elliptical/weight lifting routines. Finding the time to workout is a huge challenge, but it keeps me sane and I enjoy the fitness, too :) I started running about 5 years ago and really do enjoy it – I’ve run several 5Ks, a 5 mile race, a 10K and a half-marathon relay. I find it much easier and more enjoyable to run when I’m training for a specific race, too. I’ll never break any speed records, but there’s a definite high when I cross that finish line, and I love knowing that I’m setting a good example for my daughter by staying active.

  4. Just came across your blog the other day and really enjoy it. I too am starting the same program as you and really like it so far! I’m on week 3, day 3 and it feels like it’s moving at a good pace (I’m not a runner either). I too am hoping for a love of running to develop. =) Good luck!

    Sarah
    http://www.sarahrachelleekstrom.blogspot.com

  5. I am a bad person, I guess, in that I don’t care about my fitness level – I care about weight. I did what the app seems to tell you to do; run then walk, run then walk, except my version was much less structured. I ran to the end of the street, turned the corner, walked to the end of that street, turned the corner & ran…rinse repeat. Combine that with calorie counting, and I lost the baby weight for my first kid. My body didn’t look the same though, so maybe I should think about toning/fitness after my next one is born, haha.

  6. Ive done a program silimar. I started having never run a mile in my life. I ran my first 5k in March and first 10k at the beginning of June. I’ve also completed several races in between.

    Right now I’m training for my first half marathon this fall. I’m a believer! I hate runnin while in doing it, but I love how it makes me feel and what it’s done for my body(I’ve lost 62lbs!)

    I also am a working mom to a two year old daughter. I am out running at 6am during the week and take one exercise class during the week and one on the weekend! It’s hard, but I’ve made the commitment to myself and it gives my girl some one with her daddy!

  7. Amanda says:

    I have done that one before. It was good but definitely did not make me love running. Like you, I work full time (7-5:30) and struggle with trying to fit it all in. After not doing anything for the first 9 months after my son was born decided enough was enough. I love being active and it was killing me. I found Crossfit and it has been amazing. There are gyms nationwide. My husband has become very helpful. He gets dinner ready so the second I walk in the door we eat and begin the bedtime routine. It’s been great and I’m glad I’m doing it. I have my “me” time back!

  8. Mary says:

    Yes!! Super challenging, and also very rewarding!! I find going at night or early morning when my son is sleeping is the easiest, as I also work FT. I have found that if I don’t think so much about it and just make it part of a routine I am much more sucessful. That is the key for me, making it a priority, and it is a sanity keeper too!! Good luck Heather!

  9. diana says:

    I have run on and off since middle school when I joined the track team. I hike, mountain bike and run for exercise now. Right now I fit runs in by going right after work and either handing my 1 year old son off to my husband or taking him with me in the jogger. He loves going in the jogger but it is hard to fit it in when I also have to get him fed, bathed and to bed. I have to plan carefully to get it all in, but it works out most of the time. I ran my first race when I was in college and after a few years have started racing again. My first 5k was last summer when my son was 4 months old and this year I ran my first half marathon. It really comes down to making an effort to fit exercise in, but realizing that as a working parent it wont always happen and that’s okay.

  10. Michelle says:

    I tried C25K. It just wasn’t for me. Like you, I’m NOT a runner. I just couldn’t get into it.

    I have a 6 month old and work full time, meaning life is VERY hectic. I’ve been trying (< -- that's the keyword!) to to the 30 Day Shred 3 or 4 times a week. That really kicked me into shape before I got married, and it appears to be doing the trick again. AND it only takes 25ish minutes, which is fantastic!!

    Between that and long stroller walks when it’s nice out, I’ve gotten myself into decent shape.

  11. Sue says:

    Hi, Heather!
    I’m a long time reader (from Road to the Aisle!) but I rarely comment. I have a 15 mo old son and I squeeze in my workouts whenever I can. Since May, I’ve been doing the Cto5K program and I’m now on week 8. I’m not a runner either so I think I find it even more satisfying that I actually can run 28 minutes without stopping. I hope to keep it up through the summer and fall, but I can say that at this point, I still don’t really love it. I get up at 6am to get the run in before I go to work, which makes me very tired in the evenings, but I am tired in the evenings anyway so I guess it all works out. Good luck with the program! Before the Cto5k program, I did the 30 Day Shred three times a week (HATE Jillian Michaels…love the work out!) or I took a step class at night twice a week, which means that my husband had to be home to put the baby to bed. Finding time to work out is tough with a baby- just do what you can!

  12. I’m one of those that started C25k and never considered myself a runner. I actually just talked about C25k on my blog and how running has changed my life! :) Now I have done three 5ks and one 10k…and have my eyes set on my first half marathon in November.

    I highly recommend signing up for a 5k when you’re almost done with C25k. It’s good to have a goal to focus on. That was the only way I finished and continued on after C25k. 5ks are everywhere and they get addicting, so be warned! :)

    In addition to running, I do a lot of strength training because I just love lifting weights and getting leaner! I’m starting ChaLean Extreme next week – needed a better challenge and someone more fun than Jillian’s 30 Day Shred/Ripped in 30. :)

  13. Leanne says:

    This is a great post and something I really struggle with too. I’ve always walked 20-30 miles a week and when I got pregnant last year I continued, only cutting back a little bit in the 3rd trimester. My little man is 5 months old now and I don’t walk quiet as far, but am still walking everyday. I wish I could wake up early and go before he wakes up, but he’s still nursing. I usually go as soon as I get home from work with him in the jogging stroller while my hubby makes dinner or after we put the little guy to bed. It’s tough to fit it all in and I wouldn’t be able to continue any kind of exercise if I didn’t have support of my hubby. We also have a fantastic (BOB) stroller that makes bringing the baby with me so easy.

  14. Becky says:

    I HATE running, but a few years ago I decided to run the 5K that my family always walks in. I started the C25K program, but stopped using it pretty much right away. I always had endurance, so it seemed silly for me to run for 60 sec, walk for 1.5 min, etc. So I just started running until I was tired (or really bored).

    When training for my 5K’s (because I will not run any other time of the year), I always start with walking for 5 minutes and then I run. If I get too tired, I walk for a few minutes and then run again until I hit the 3.1 mark.

    Do I love running? Nope. Nope. And Nope. I never will love running. Once we got a dog last year, I have run with her pretty frequently just to get her out and burn some energy.

    Signing up for a 5K is a great goal to have and it does get me in the work out mode. Good luck!

  15. I can definitely relate to the mad dash phenomenon. Pre-Ryan, I always worked out at nights (right after work, before dinner) and on the weekends. Night just doesn’t work for me anymore – there’s no time before dinner and I can’t workout on a full stomach. So I get up at 5:30 every morning and run on my elliptical for 30 minutes before I get ready for work. It’s not ideal and I’m not a morning person, but I do find that it sets me in a good frame of mind for the day and frees up my nights and weekends to focus on my family.

    I also do sneak in some pushups and situps every evening before bed to maintain a bit of tone, although I do wish I had a better weight routine that didn’t involve going to a gym, which just doesn’t fit into my schedule right now.

  16. Erin O. says:

    I’ve not done this particular program, but when I signed up for my first half marathon, I followed the training guide that came with it. Since then, I have consulted with several serious runners that I work with and have been able to sort of make my own training plan.

    I don’t have kids yet, but I work 12 hour days. That said, my training isn’t always consistent, but I still love getting outside!

  17. Kerri says:

    I did the C25K program starting last August and ran my first 5K on Thanksgiving. It was awesome! I am not a runner but using this program I did start to enjoy it. Unfortunately I injured my hip and haven’t been able to run but I am having it fixed in August and plan to use this program again to get into it. Hope you enjoy it!

  18. Kristy says:

    I first started running with C25K 3 years ago. I hated running (and honestly still do), but I’m pretty ahtletic otherwise and enjoy doing something that challenges me. I am by no means the fastest, my form sucks, but I just suck it up and do it. My husband, on the other hand, is a natural runner. 8 minute miles are nothing for him, he barely breaks a sweat. But it’s something we can do together. Signing up for my first race was a big motivator, and I stuck with only 5K races for a few years. I’ve finally “graduated” in the race world and completed my first half marathon this past May. It’s hard, it’s torture at times, but you get such a big feeling of accomplishment when you cross that finish line. And getting a nice collection of medals going helps, too!

  19. Meegs says:

    You’ve inspired me… I just downloaded the app and plan to start Monday!

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