Couch to 5k: Staying on track

Published on September 5, 2013

Updated on November 4, 2019

It is September and I am now in the final three weeks of my Couch to 5k program, and boy has it been an adventure. I have learned a lot about myself over the past six weeks. I have learned that my commitment to health cannot take a back seat to my life.

I am human and I am far from perfect, so staying 100% true to the program was not exactly easy. I have had my ups and downs. I want to go out and eat with friends and family during the summer and not have to worry about working out for 30 minutes, but it’s hard to get back on track when I skip workouts. Being a millennial, I made a list of reasons why I missed my C25K runs in hopes of getting back on track (and I did!)

1. I noticed I was far less inclined to work out when I ate terribly than when I ate well. I was more than happy to sit down and watch some Netflix instead of keeping myself healthy when I had less energy from unhealthy food.

2. I am tired!! I get up every day at 6 AM, and it is hard to work out when I stay up past my bedtime the night before. SLEEP IS IMPORTANT! All my loved ones will say that I am much happier (and healthier) after a solid eight hours of sleep.

3. Dinner with friends sounds way more fun than running, right!? Excuses, excuses, excuses.

Most of my problems had to do with planning for a healthy lifestyle instead of just trying to put one together on the fly. It is a lot easier to avoid the glowing lights of the fast food drive-through (I know. Those lights are mesmerizing!) when you have a plan for your meals. Work on planning your meals out on the weekend and have a fun cooking day on Sunday. Not only will this be way healthier, it will also save you some cash in the long-run.

I found that I had more energy to do my workouts once I started eating healthier and that I started sleeping better once I started staying on my scheduled workouts. It was like a big cycle of healthiness and happiness!

Finally, problem three, the excuses – I was making plans for happy hours (don’t forget about the 5k Happy Hour on September 12!), dinners, dates with the boyfriend and so many other things, but I was not making time for myself. So I blocked out a time three times a week for the C25K program on my handy Google calendar, and I held myself to those appointments. If I don’t make time for my health, who will?

The last couple of weeks have been far more on track with this plan in place, and I am ready to tackle week seven. I have to jog for 25 minutes straight with a warm-up walk in the beginning. I know it will not be easy, but this program hasn’t led me astray. I know that if I make time for my health that I will be ready to take on the Prevent Cancer 5k Walk/Run at Nationals Stadium come September 29th!

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