Week 9, Day 1: I Made It!

Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts.”  Steve Prefontaine

Average Heart Rate:  136 bpm

This week is my official graduation in the Couch to 5K plan: I run for 30 minutes straight!

After Week 8, it was really easy.

By the way, if you notice, I have hardly any posts in Week 8. It’s not because I’ve been skipping runs. It’s because it was the holidays and I was way too busy to publish blog posts. But rest assured, I’d been sticking to the plan.

That’s why I’m in Week 9 now.

Looking back, I can hardly believe I’m the same person who, 10 weeks ago, was so out of shape I had to invent a Week 0.

Back then, just walking would send my heart rate beyond the aerobic zone.

Now, I can run for 30 minutes straight and not even come close to my maximum target heart rate. Plus, I’m running faster than before.

If you’re reading this wondering if you can do Couch to 5K, trust me, you can. It’s the perfect workout for you if you’re totally out of shape. You can go at your own pace. Stay in a particular week for as long as you want. Only move forward when you’re comfortable.

It was a big help that this winter has been unusually mild. Right now, as I type this, the temperature is 7C (44.6 F).

But even on days when it was too cold, I found I could do the C25K workout inside my home. No, I don’t own a treadmill. I would just run back and forth inside my house, from the family room, through the dining room, to the living room and back. I’d turn the TV on and run in place.

I know this is not as good a workout as running outside on the pavement (neither is running on a treadmill), but you know what? It’s still heaps better than sitting on your butt!

The bottom line is, you need to be committed to this program. Scratch that, you need to be committed to your health.

Sometimes, life gets in the way. We’re too busy. Maybe we get a cold or flu and feel too sick to run. Maybe there is a blizzard — and you wants to run then?

Whatever. If you miss a day. Go and run today. If you fall off the wagon, get back on. Don’t let any excuse stop you from completing the program. The only reason I will accept is if you became physically unable to run.

Keep going.

That’s my single piece of advice.

And now that I’m about to complete Week 9, I’m going to follow my own advice. I’m going to keep running 30 minutes, three times a week.

I wonder if there’s an app for that?

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