Good Matters™ Blog

Posted on January 12th, 2012

Couch Potato No More

Posted by Jess, Health and Specialty Inside Sales

Hello, this is Jess. I’ve been at Tom’s of Maine for almost 12 years, currently as an inside sales representative. That means I get to call many independent health food stores and speak with the buyer or wellness team members and share special promotions, product changes and additions to our natural toothpaste, natural deodorant, and other lines. I am always excited to talk to the retailers who help get our natural products to you, the consumers.

One activity I am not as excited about is running. I used to call running ‘a way to be bored while moving forward quickly.’ And then I began the Couch-to-5K running plan. And I did go from Couch to 5K! I heard about the online program months before, from a co-worker (my teammate Louanne) who had used it successfully. Then I found out it takes only 30 minutes, three times a week! Even I could fit that into my schedule.

A quick computer search landed me on the C25K website, and listed on the homepage are a multitude of possibilities – from pod casts which are free and can be used the classic iPod version (my choice) to Apps for iPods and Androids as well as an mp3 option for use with most digital music players.  (My mother uses the mp3 player option.)

I would suggest a warm-up stretch and cool down stretching, You can get suggestions for these on the Cool Running site Click on the training tab at the top – You will find many helpful training tips from stretching to clothing to a free running log!

I had definite challenges going from Couch to 5K.  I chose to run directly after work – before I even got home and became too busy.   As each week running interval increased – I would tell myself that I wouldn’t be able to do it.  Many times while running I would think ‘I’ve got to stop’. I would then “listen” to my body before any stopping happened! A quick check in on lungs (not tired) and legs (also not tired) and I would continue. It felt very good to finish each run!

I used the C25K Facebook page when I needed extra motivation. When I read about others excitement at each stage- or even each DAY – I would keep going.  Their support was amazing. After one run where my head kept saying I couldn’t do it – I posted on-line about my internal conversation. A commenter said he also struggled with this and that is what made running a mental sport – as well as a physical one. Simple but very helpful for me!

A few final notes: I did hurt myself twice. Even though the injuries were minor, I stopped running until I healed completely (no discomfort at all) and then began on a previous week when I felt better. I also bought new shoes. If possible – have your running stride analyzed to get the proper shoe!

I completed my first 5K race this past October.  I signed up for another in June – to keep my motivation for training -since winter running is more different than summer running in Maine!  This works for me. I hope you find something that works for you.

As with any new exercise routine check with your doctor or health care practitioner to make sure you are healthy enough for physical activity. And please share if you’ve found a website or app that helps you stay physically fit!

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