January 9, 2011

Busy Moms Guide to Couch to 5k

Yesterday morning I ran a local 5k as preparation for a half marathon I will be running in just 4 short weeks. With my mind very into my running goals, I think about how hard it was for me to get started in running. Let me tell you how it all began.

I never was much of runner. I played sports all my life but it was softball and cheerleading, neither of which required much running. Once I started nursing school, fitness was the last thing on my mind. I was constantly reading and working, eventually gaining 20 pounds. Right out of nursing school we started trying to have kids. After I had both kids I was ready to loose the weight I had gained not only with my pregnancies but from nursing school also. At 2 months post partum I decided my goal would be a half marathon. I was a busy mom of two kids under the age of three. Both kids were still in diapers and I was breastfeeding.

I started with no physical endurance but I started with a desire for change and a set goal. That was my motivation. I started walking in the afternoons with the kids in a jogging stroller. After a few walks I tried jogging, and painfully worked my way up to running two miles, then three. By the time I finished that first half marathon I couldn't run 13 miles, but I did run a lot of it. My son was 7 months old.

Starting a couch to 5k program is all about setting up a goal and slowly but steadily working toward it. So the most important part of starting is to decide to try to do one and sign up for a local 5k a few months out. With a specific date set, it easier to work harder for that set date. If there is no set date procrastination can move in to sabotage your goal.

For busy moms, the biggest problem is finding time to work out. Between work, kids, husbands, friends, family and household duties there is not a lot of time or energy left for ourselves. We easily put our needs and goals on the back-burner to care for the needs and goals of our family. For this we moms need support. Tell your friends and family about your 5k goal, invite them along even, make it a family goal, work at it together.

When I set my goal for a half marathon I told everyone around me. My best friends, my husband, and other family members, including Tiffany, my cousin who inspired my new goal. With their support and encouragement we completed my goal together, side by side we crossed the finish line.

Taking time out of the day to run is not easy. A quick run everyday though, will become part of the routine if done regularly. Start small, a ten minute walk everyday. Slowly work up to a longer time as your workouts progress. With a slow and gradual increase it is easy to get used to the idea of taking 40 minutes to work out. My best friend Candice felt as though her running time was her relaxation time away from everything; her time to think. As it became more routine it became an essential time for her to de-stress after long work days.

Heathy living became a lifestyle I wanted to portray to my kids. Living actively can be taught by setting a good example. Through running I was able to show my kids that it's good to exercise. Now my oldest wants to run along side me. I want to be someone my kids are proud of and show them that hard work and perseverance pay off. I want to be their inspiration to be something great.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


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