Finishing Couch to 5k and 31 Days of Exercise

I recently hit 31 days of exercising every single day.

I know because I’ve been keeping track of the habits I want to forge thanks to the Coach.Me app (highly recommended).

That is a streak that I can be proud of.

And one that wasn’t always easy for me to keep alive.

Sometimes I had to really drag myself to put on my running shoes and get out the door, or make myself do just a little exercise in my office.

But now I am seeing the benefits in my energy levels and confidence as I see tangible improvements from week to week.

“Being fit and healthy, There’s nothing like the endorphins from being fit, and the incredible endorphin rush that goes with that.”
– Richard Branson

Daily Habits

I am not doing anything particularly crazy, strenuous, or earth shattering here.

Just doing at least a little bit of something every single day, with no excuses, and trying to retake control of my life and get healthier… Especially after a year of road tripping and eating lots of tacos in Mexico.

My routine at the moment is to run every other day. I find I am more likely to do it if I run first thing in the morning before I have a chance to get tired, distracted, or busy with other things.

Couch to 5k

I just finished off the Couch to 5k (C25K) program and am now once again running 5k’s or about 30 minutes.

It has been awhile since I’ve been into running… Back in 2014 actually, while last living here in Medellin.

I started the C25K program a few weeks into it, since I’m not completely out of shape.

In the past, I started at Week 1 and worked my way through all nine weeks, and I really believe that it is the best program to start running if you are not a runner.

But I also didn’t want to jump in too fast or do too much, since I’ve been out of it or so long. That’s just asking for an injury.

Over the course of the month I’ve gone from doing 1.86 miles in 21 minutes (with walking breaks) to 3.28 miles of pure running in 30 minutes.

I can track my progress thanks to the RunDouble application, which I also highly recommended.

On my non-running days I dedicate myself to doing the 100 push-ups program.

I’m currently doing about 90-some push-ups over five sets.

A month ago I was only managing around 60 in those same five sets.

Yeah, I’ve always been pretty sucky at push-ups. And progress is much slower than I’d like, but at least I am seeing improvements.

Even those little improvements encourage me to keep moving forward.

Rewarding Success

Since I finished the Couch to 5k program, I wanted to reward myself for a good job. But instead of going out and buying a whole chocolate cake or starting a new series on Netflix, I went out and bought myself a new pair of running shoes!

I managed to pick up a cheap pair of Adidas shoes from Medellin’s El Centro for just 100.000 pesos (about $30), which will keep me motivated moving forward with my running plan.

After the Couch to 5k

You might be asking, so what’s next after you finish the Couch to 5k program?

Good question.

For many people, it can be great to just maintain those 30 minute runs a few times per week. That is an awesome and worthy goal in and of itself.

I decided however that I wanted to up my game and will bump up my training for a 10k.

I’m already registered for the Corre Mi Tierra 10k in Medellin on April 24th.

I’ve got new shoes.

I’ve been running for more than a month now.

I’m committed.

Since wrapping up the Couch to 5k program, I have begun RunDouble’s 5k Improver training for the next few weeks until I start 10k training.

The 5k Improver is basically interval training where you train your body to work harder and recover faster.

The first week sees you running 300m as fast as you can and walking 100m to recover and then repeating that process over a number of sets.

Each week sees the running intervals increase slightly.

I will be working bringing my pace down from about 9 minute miles over four weeks.

Since starting the interval training last week, I have run two 5ks with an average pace of 8:24 and 8:16, so I am already seeing improvements.

In a few weeks I will begin the six week training program to build up to a 10k, which will be roughly an hour of running to get me ready for the race.

Identifying as a Runner

So far the RunDouble program has served me very well, and I am excited to continue training with it and improving my fitness and health as a runner.

“As a runner,” did I really just say that?

I have never really identified myself as a runner, even though I’ve taken it on at various times throughout the years.

We are basically what we define ourselves to be.

How we define ourselves today helps predict our future behavior.

So yeah, I’m a runner.

Future Goals

I’ve passed one major milestone: running a 5k. Which I’ve done a number of times now.

The next milestones are:

  • Run 5k
  • Run 5k under 8 minutes per mile (dropping 1 minute off of my current pace).
  • Run 10k
  • Run in an organized race (already registered)

And then?

Who knows…

But there is the Medellin Marathon in September

What habits are you currently forging (either positive or negative)? What habits do you want to build and how can you implement doing it (even just for a few minutes) each and every day?

 
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Ryan

Author, Writer, and Head Honcho at Desk to Dirtbag
Ryan is an author, adventurer, and wanderer. Originally from Seattle, he headed to Washington D.C. where he spent five years working for Congress before heeding the call of the wild. He set out living in his pickup truck and road tripping across the American West. Since then he backpacked through Colombia, drove across all of Central America, and also wrote a best selling book: Big Travel, Small Budget. Right now you can find him driving his old truck across all of South America -- support the adventures by visiting the D2D Shop. Follow the adventures on social media or read more.

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