Thinking of running? It’s the season to begin 10 week programs. Most people seem to use the Couch to 5k plan, but I’d like to recommend another plan. The Couch to 5k plan is popular and I have used it twice with my Weight Watchers members to train for a 5k, but the First Steps plan from Runner’s World is the one I’d recommend. It’s the one I used myself a few years back and it’s the one I’m using with the kids and a few of the judo students and coaches we’re training with for this year’s YMCA 5k Run.
The time intervals are clear and easy to remember. And remembering the intervals in the middle of a training session is pretty important. The weeks build endurance steadily, with no sudden jumps. The Couch to 5k plan has at least one week that contains an abrupt shift.
When I did the plan, I was explicitly not training for a race. I wanted a no-pressure entry into the world of running. I took about 16 weeks to complete it since I repeated any week that felt hard. But the plan will train you enough for a 5k: being able to run for 30 minutes + the excitement of the event= all that you need.
We’re one week into the plan for the kids. The rain, the snowstorm, and now the oodles of meltwater have made this an exciting week to be training as a family. But the kids are excited, remembering how wonderful and powerful it felt to finish the races they did last year. We’re warming up for a great season of running, and possibly even triathlons. Tias is definitely doing some of the Kids of Steel events again, and Sandra and I just might put our toes in the water. Rainer’s got races and travel plans coordinated and cross referenced all over the prairies. He’s training to qualify for the Boston Marathon, a true achievement in the amateur world. He needs to shave 11 minutes off his marathon time. We’re all crossing our fingers for him.