I will be the first to admit that I am fairly out of shape. I was the kind of girl that loathed gym class (Team sports not my thing, thanks). I was more than happy to drop gym for my last year of high school. Meaning the last time I ran was probably in Grade 11, coincidently the same year where you are required to do a mile run. I remember my time was somewhere in the eleven minute area, and I felt like a corpse after it was finished.
After I dropped gym, my primary source of exercise was the fact that I didn't have a car. Public transport in my area is something to be desired, so my main form of transportation was my own two feet. This kept me at a pudgy but respectable weight.
And then I got a car.
It went downhill from there. My weight trickled up until one day the first number was a 2.
Knowing things weren't going to fix themselves (though it would have been nice), I started walking every day. I have three dogs, which is a motivation in itself. All three love walks, and they are the kind of breed who are prone to joint issues if they don't get exercise.
I walked once a day for about a half hour from January until June. At this point, I was hovering around 190 lbs and thought it was time to up the intensity.
I've always liked the idea of running. It looked freeing to just go out the door and run. But I've also heard the rumours that it can be bad for your legs and causes a myriad of injuries. I like to think of myself as a rational person, so I did some research. I was surprised to find that most sources were agreeing that running was actually good for your legs, as the pressure of hitting the pavement keeps them strong. So long as you remember to rest of course.
That being said, I decided to start Couch to 5K. For those of you who may not have heard of it, Couch of 5k is exactly what it sounds like. It is a running program that eases someone into running by creating intervals of walking and running. Over eight weeks, the walking intervals are gradually decreased, while the running is increased. In theory at the end, you'll be able to run 5 kilometers or roughly 30 minutes without stopping.
At the moment of writing this, I am currently on the third week of the program. My initial reaction is positive. So far, it's not quite as hard as I imagined it would be. That is even with the fact that I run outside on a road that is anything but flat.
I will admit that it will likely take me longer than the prescribed eight weeks to complete C25K. This is simply because I am being kind to my knees and typically giving them about two days rest between runs.
On a random side note, I do love my running clothes. I added a little financial commitment to the program by buying a bright green tank, some knee length black leggings, and a FlipBelt. I already owned a pair of decent running shoes. It really does make going out just a little more enjoyable.
I'm currently using the C25K app developed by Zen Labs Fitness for Andoid, and iPhone It's a free app (with a pro version) that talks you through your runs. You can also listen to your own music while using the app. It'll just pause and unpause the music for you when it's time for directions.
Personally, I love listening to podcasts on runs. A couple of my current favourites are Hello Internet and Stuff to Blow your Mind. But really you can listen to whatever you like best. Music, podcasts, audiobooks, of even just the rhythm of your steps. The important thing is to get out there and enjoy yourself!
((Update as I edit. Google tells me I have my first shin splint. It's not a bad one, more of a dull ache.))