Or for those who are getting back into the sport â€“ like me!
On Monday, Iâ€™ve got my four-week post-partum check up. Also known as the appointment that will or will not give me clearance to exercise beyond walking. Iâ€™ve got my fingers crossed that Iâ€™ll get the all-clear; I feel great and am very much looking forward to getting back into shape.
Iâ€™ve got multiple goals â€“ they donâ€™t all have to be achieved right away!
Get back into running shape â€“ I havenâ€™t run a single step for 26 weeks.
Return to swimming; I swam until a few days before delivery so this shouldnâ€™t be too hard, but I would like to increase my distance back to my pre-pregnancy normal.
Strength train and build muscle.
Do a sprint triathlon before the season ends.
Iâ€™ve been thinking a lot about how to tackle my return to fitness, and I think one word sums it up quite well: SLOWLY. I know that doing too much too soon could be disastrous, especially considering that my priority is taking care of Henry. Iâ€™m not looking to wear myself out or feel miserable on top of the mild sleep deprivation that Iâ€™m (obviously) suffering from. I also donâ€™t want to spend tons of time away from Henry and the Husband. On the other hand, I think it will be good for me to return to my beloved hobby and do something for myself. I just need to tackle my goals slowly to ensure success.
I want to work up to a 5K by the end of September. Iâ€™m planning to use the Couch-to-5K Running Plan; itâ€™s a nine-week walk/run program that assumes you canâ€™t jog more than 60 seconds at a time to start off with. Honestly, 60 seconds of jogging sounds really hard right now, so I may add a few weeks to the beginning of the program and start with shorter run intervals.
The walk/run method is exactly what it sounds like: you walk for a bit and then run for a bit. Some programs are based on distance (â€œrun for 0.25 mileâ€) and others are based on time (â€œrun for 30 secondsâ€). Others donâ€™t follow a strict interval program and encourage you to simply run until you need a break. Over time, you decrease the amount of walking and increase the amount of running; the goal isnâ€™t necessarily to totally phase out walking. There is NOTHING wrong with walking breaks! In my book, youâ€™re still a runner even if you take walking breaks.
I really love the walk/run method because it keeps you from feeling physically and emotionally burnt out. Walk/run is also great because you see true improvements each week. Itâ€™s very motivating! Attempting to run 2.0 straight miles right now would probably be extremely DE-motivating because Iâ€™d crash and burn within the first 500 yards. But I could probably walk/run 2.0 miles and finish feeling pretty decent.
Hereâ€™s a quick summary of other 5K training plans for beginners that encourage the walk/run format.
I could look at this experience – having to rebuild my running endurance back from nothing – and be annoyed, but honestly, I’m very excited. I’m looking forward to proving to myself that I can do it all over again – and have fun at the same time.
Have you ever used a walk/run training plan? What did you think of it?