a big step for couch-potato me

OK, I can’t tell you how much I stewed over writing this post, but I’m just gonna do it.  I’ve decided to start the Couch to 5K fitness program.  I keep hearing about it, how it can actually turn a couch potato (like me) into a fit person (something I’d like to be, but haven’t been since, oh, approximately 1995 when I spent an uncharacteristic year on treadmills).

A couple months ago I read a bit about it, how you start by running a minute and then resting a minute.  Then repeat, adding gradually to the running time week by week, until you’re fit enough to run a 5K.  (My hubby googled it for me this evening and we discovered it was something like 3 miles.  Alrighty then.)  Anyway, sometime this summer I tried it for a minute or two and found out I actually CAN run a minute without dying.  And I thought about it some more.  And decided it was too darned hot to start running, and waited awhile.

Then a couple weeks ago it wasn’t too hot, and I looked up the program again and found out there are podcasts available that walk (run) you through each weekly exercise session.  And I downloaded a Christian one and loaded it onto my zune and finally I was ready.  This week I jumped in and started.  Tuesday I ran/walked 1.2 miles. Thursday I did 1.75 miles–and I ran 8 minutes of the 25 minutes it took.  Which is almost certainly more than I’ve run in at least a decade.  While it was not exactly fabulous, it wasn’t terrible either and I actually think I can do this, especially if my 16yo son continues to be willing to keep me company. I’m aiming for 3 days a week, and I’m telling you about it because it doesn’t hurt to be accountable.

I’m not gonna make this the center of my blogging– or the center of my life.  But I thought it deserved at least a sidebar.  So keep an eye out.  I’ll keep ya posted  And by all means if you are on a similar journey, tell me about it.   I’ll read with interest.


  1. Longtime reader, this may be my first time commenting! Just wanted to say that the couch to 5k is fantastic. It really did turn me from a couch potato into a runner. 2 years ago I started, and last weekend I ran my third half-marathon. I never thought I’d grow to love running! I recommend it to everyone, no matter what your ultimate fitness goal is. It’s a great program, enjoy!

  2. That is just such a great idea. I had never heard of it before. I am going to do this. Thank you

  3. awesome! i used that program after my second baby to get back into exercise. Worked wonderfully! I then got “really into” running for over a year, then moved and haven’t run in 2 years! I’ve been trying to talk myself into starting again, as I KNOW that when i’m exercising regularly i have much more energy & my mood is much more positive (guess the stress reduction factor helps me a good bit!), but carving out the time and actually STARTING hasn’t happened yet….

  4. Good for you, Mary!

  5. I started C25K in May and am running my first half marathon on October 3rd! It’s such a great stress reliever and it puts me in a great mood. I love it.

    The first few weeks were hard but once I could run a mile without stopping it started to get much better. There are plenty of Thanksgiving 5K races, why not head to coolrunning.com and find one to register for as your goal race?

  6. Started a few weeks ago after finding the Christian link you posted. I love it. However, I haven’t gone in a few days. I’m moving and have been packing instead. My sister-in-law has been doing it for a while and is on week five or six, I can’t remember. Anyway, she ran 1.7 miles straight last week. Sooooo proud of her!

  7. OH NO!! God keeps putting this Couch to 5K fitness program in my face and here it is again!!! 🙂 Good for you, Mary, one of these, I may try it too.

  8. I don’t know if that’s what a lady in our neighborhood has done but it sounds like it. A few years ago I noticed her walking by every morning. (I can see the street from my home office.) And I saw that she would run a short distance, then walk more. She has kept at it and really slimmed down and toned down. I don’t know her but can see the difference. She looks great. And now she’s running most of the time.

  9. I just did a 5k race last weekend with 6 of our kids. It was so much fun. The olders were ahead but I ran the whole time with our 8 and 9 year old. The never stopped. I was just so proud of them.

    Go Mary!

  10. I’m excited for you! I know a lot of people who have had success with the C25k program. Let me know if you ever need a running partner!

  11. I just started this with my blessing of a next door neighbor. The kids started school this week and we two started this program. We have a long way to go, to go faster than a dogtrot, but we’re willing and the Lord is girding up our Joints! Seriously, we pray for this, as our loins are fine, but our ankles and knees worry us!

    take care
    Heather BT

  12. Oh my, this sounds like EXACTLY what I need to get off my rear! It’s been too hot to do much, but that’s letting up, ever so slightly. This sounds like something I could possibly stick with…not too intimidating, and no fancy equipment to buy. Thanks for posting this. I’m going to go download the podcasts and give it a go, too!

  13. I have done C25K twice, after the birth of my last two babies and it worked great. I am training now for my first marathon. Very excited/nervous. Congratulations on starting the program!! I am sure you will do great!

  14. Good for you!! I used to despise running. I’m talking despise with a capital H.A.T.E. After my first couch to 5K run, I thought, “I’m not dieing. I think I could do that again.” I think that’s the beauty of this plan — you aren’t miserable when it ends, so you’re willing to give it another go. Now, amazingly, I’m signed up to run my first 5K next week! You can do it!

  15. Way to go!

  16. I just finished the program…going from not exercising regularly to being able to run the whole time. So…it really works! : ) And yes…definitely keep an ample supply of sermons and music to keep you entertained…and get new shoes. So. much. difference. I totally recommend getting fitted at a running store. I thought they just charged more for the same shoes you could buy elsewhere…I ate those words after my visit there. LOL

    Good luck!

  17. so proud of you!! i started running after i married into a running family. i ran a 5k “turkey trot” our first thanksgiving. while it was tough, i had a lot of fun. though i’ve had several starts and stops (having babies is rough on the running routine!) i’ve come to really LOVE running. i’ve run a full marathon and am running my first half marathon nov. 6.

    i second the previous post about getting fitted for running shoes. it helps to have someone point you to the shoes that are specifically designed for your stride. it’s worth the extra investment to have good shoes that don’t hurt your knees.

    keep us posted on your progress! i’m so excited for you!

  18. I seriously hate running.
    I did week one, day one today.
    (Thanks to you.)
    I didn’t die.
    I’m going to do it tomorrow.

  19. Mary, you go girl. I did the program as well, and I took off 15 POUNDS in four months! Here’s a tip for you–you’re going to hurt a bit the first month and a halfish. This is normal. But DON’T GIVE UP. when it hurts, push through it. Ice the pain, take some Aleve/Advil, rest when you need to, but stick to your schedule. I promise it gets easier. i NEVER IN A MILLION years thought I would be a runner, but I’m kinda addicted now. I push my two babies in my big double jogging stroller (80 pounds altogether!!!) and I’m 4’10! So if I can do it pushing that big thing, you can SO do this.

    I love your books and site, you’re an inspiration. Keep up with the running!!!!!

  20. Haha, day 1/week 1 done today! I did almost die, though. I couldn’t do the whole 30 min, only 20. But I did start. Feeling great now, but oh man, that first hour after I was done was rough. Thanks again for the inspiration. Glad this is only 3 days a week!

  21. Yay! Congrats to you and keep it up! I am no fit athlete, but one of the joys in recent years has been running local 5K races. No, I will never “win”, but it’s really fun (well, I tend to be competitive with myself, so what’s fun is the atmosphere, plus competing to get a better time.). One tradition I’ve done the last three years is run a Thanksgiving morning 5K with my brother. Now that we’re adults and don’t live by each other, our little tradition of doing the 5K means a LOT to me. (Yes, he beats me! 🙂 But he always comes back and picks me up and motivates me that last .1 mile!)

  22. Wow, Mary!! Congrats!! 🙂

  23. we all have our own ways of jumping into, back into, or continuing with a fitness routine. i’ve done all three. i like the run/walk way of getting started. now i prefer fitness classes with a particular teacher (trainer, but not a personal trainer, it’s a group class) but I need to get a longer term cardio built in. sure i can do cardio but in class it tends to be in shorter increments. i don’t like running but swimming i can do. except for the “problem” of my hair. it’s long and i do like it to look nice so it requires some upkeep. not much but if i’m in the water then it does take more time than when i’m not.

    so for no, i exercise enough to maintain my fitness level but not enough to increase it. i’m not beating myself up over it b/c our workouts are hard and i can do them. still…i want to kick it up a notch. the question is: how hard do i want to do it?