Last year my friend Becca asked me to be her running partner for 5ks. She wanted to a run every month, including a half marathon. I told her she was on her own for the half (hahaha), but I’d definitely do the shorter runs with her! So in January, we started with a 7k trail run in below freezing weather. It was FANTASTIC!
Let me tell you how nervous I was going into this race. I was thinking, man it’s a trail run in January it will only be serious runners. I can barely do a 5k how am I going to do 2 more kilos? But, the race was definitely not what I expected. Definitely some serious runners including a few from my Crossfit gym, but also some people who had walked it the year before and were just there to improve their time.
I finished the run. It was grueling with some serious hills and terrain, but I’ve never had more fun while running (because remember I hate running). Since January, Becca and I have completed runs every month including two in May. Unfortunately, as Mid Missouri is boiling hot during the month of July, we couldn’t find any local runs that we were really interested in, so we will skip July but we already have plans underway for August (literally named Hotter’n’Hell 5k) and I just found another 5 miler that sounds fun for September.
I don’t run often. In fact I still have not completed the c25k program because I’m just not disciplined enough to make myself run everyday (especially in the current weather) though going to Crossfit has helped. My slowest 5k this year was 51 minutes (at the time I had two of my fastest miles but the last mile was straight uphill with a 14 percent grade), my fastest was 46:00 even. So even from pre-injury last year I have shaved over a minute off my overall time. Considering I don’t practice running, I’d say that’s pretty damn good.
The best part about running is that it’s free. You don’t need a gym membership, you don’t need fancy equipment (in fact I hate running on treadmills). I used to run on a high school track, now I go out onto the paved or gravel flat trails in town. The 5ks do add up but they usually give out a free t-shirt and sometimes other sweet swag. Not only that but running will also translate into better metabolic conditioning overall. The best way to get better at metcon is to do more metcon (arrrrhhhhhh!!!!! This is my agony)!
I would definitely encourage anyone looking to start a low cost fitness regime to download Couch to 5k (c25k) app on their phone, put on some gangsta rap and handle it. C25k starts with 60 second intervals of running followed by 90 second intervals of rest and increases week by week. If you need to repeat a week you are able to repeat is as many times as you need. If you need to work up to running for 60 seconds, then turn on week 1 and run as long as you can and repeat week 1 until you can comfortably run all the 60 second intervals with just 90 seconds of break in between. You’ll improve faster than you think.