Determining a Plan
Ok…so after I set my goal to run a 5K, I knew I needed a plan. It was not feasible for me to just start running 3.1 miles, and thinking about making that leap seemed a little overwhelming when I was doing good to run for 10 minutes without stopping. Fortunately, I found a plan for people like me. 🙂
There are all kinds of running and training plans online. You can try Googling to find one, or check out sites like HalHigdon.com and RunnersWorld. Here’s the plan I used when training for my first 5K:
I can’t remember where I found it, so I apologize for not giving credit to whomever created it. As you’ll see this is a 5-week plan. When I decided to run the 5K, I actually had 10 weeks to train. In order to stretch the training out over 10 weeks and keep myself on track, I just did each week twice. (Ex: Week 1, Week 1, Week 2, Week 2, etc.) I found that to be very effective for me. It gave me two weeks to master the longer runs and also made me feel that I was being more gradual in building up the distance. (Truth be told, I was scared to jump the half mile in distance every single week.)
I liked this plan for the 5K because it gave me up to four rest days a week, which kept me from getting burnt out on running. Also, you’ll notice some days have you running for time and some for distance. I think that’s a nice mental trick. Some days it was good for me to think, “I can run for 20 minutes!” rather than “I have to do 2 miles?!”
Another thing to remember, too…give yourself a break and don’t be too hard on yourself. If you miss a day or can’t quite run for 20 minutes straight on that day, it’s ok. You do need to push yourself, but don’t give up if you don’t quite make it one week. Just keep pressing on. You’ll eventually get there!
I found it helpful to write down everyday that I ran, including the distance and time. It really helped me to see my progress. I kept track of all my runs in the “Notes” app on my iPhone and I used the stopwatch feature of the “Clock” to time myself. If you don’t have a handy phone application that can help you with that you can easily time yourself using a watch and then drive the distance in your car, tracking it with your odometer. (I recently found a cool running app for my iPhone that I love. I’ll talk about it more in another post, but feel free to check out their website in the meantime: RunKeeper.)
And, of course, another important piece is finding people who can hold you accountable to your plan and goal. And, that’s the topic of my next post.
- Next up: Finding Friends