I’ve been walking/running 2-3 times a week since April 30th! I’m not going to lie that is pretty impressive for me!
Trying to strength this running habit I’ve been working on reducing the distractions while running, which means new gear! (Buying new toys/outfits is an “official” way to motivate yourself into running ;0) ).
Firstly, instead of trying to pay attention to the clock on my phone following the walk 5 mins, jog 2 min, and then walk 5 minutes again plan, I found a new app. A friend had mentioned downloading a Couch to 5k podcast to listen to, so the music and the instructions of when to run would be integrated. There are several of these free on the web. However, I wasn’t a fan because these were all with music styles I don’t like. Instead, I downloaded the free Simple Couch 2 5k app. It is a bare bones app, but I didn’t need a second GPS recording app since I already use the MapMyRun app. Simple C25K will allow you to run it in the background while also listening to your music and will vibrate and beep when you need to switch to running/walking.
The program is based on Josh Clark’s plan located here. That plan has you alternate between jogging/running every minute and a half for 8 sets. I’d avoided that plan originally, thinking it would be complicated to follow, but it is easy when the app alerts me. I’m still on “week 1” where I’m alternating jogging for 1 min/walking for 1.5 min, and the worst part is that I’ve only be able to do 5 sets so far… But, to be fair I was sick again this past week.
What is the use of your phone while running without an armband? I wait a while to make this purchase, making sure I’d stick with this running thing. I actually really like the accessibility of holding the phone in my hand while running or placing it in short or jacket pockets. I liked being able to look down at the screen to see how much longer I had.
In researching armbands I realized that I’d need one that would fit with my otter box case, because no way was I going to take it out of the case each and every time I went running. Surprisingly, I found one in which the phone is meant to slip into! The neoprene armband is offered on Amazon and made by Tune Belt. The sleeve is washable, has a clip to store the extra length of your headphones, allows your phone to slide easily in and out, AND you can use your phone through the screen! I’ve only run with it once, but it was pretty fantastic. The fact that the phone was away and less easy to look at meant I had to push myself to keep running till I heard the beep.
One of the most annoying things about running was having my loose shorts ride up my thighs. It didn’t feel painful, but it was just a distraction that took away my focus from running and correcting my running form. With Kohls gift card in hand I’d thought I would try out a run skirt (aka a tennis skirt). Basically it is a mid thigh length skirt covering spandex like shorts. The shorts of this particular skirt are loose so they still ride up, but no one can see that under the skirt so I don’t feel compelled to pull it back down.
After a few weeks, I can definitely say that I love my Vibram KMD LS Sport Five Fingers!! I can already tell that my legs are much stronger than they had been. When standing I feel much more balanced, like I feel more like a rooted tree. The awesome aspect of the five fingers is that they teach your body to run better, so I’m sure I’ve been building up better muscle and balance in my feet as well.
I purchased the special Injinji five finger socks, as I’ve heard and experienced that Five Fingers tend to develop a strong funk. I have only completed one run with the socks, but so far I was not a big fan. My five fingers are a size or so too big, so I thought the socks would even be good to help them fit better, but I just felt like my feet felt chafed and very uncomfortable.
A neat fact as well, is that the silver pattern on the back of the Five Fingers is actually reflective in nature. When husband returned home from a grocery trip the other night, he drove up our road, noticed a person jogging, and didn’t realize it was me! For those of you who haven’t seen me jog and then fallen to the floor doubled over in laughter, it is very goofy in nature. While on a quick hike the weekend before last Husband recorded a sample for your viewing pleasure.
I’m still not where I’d like to be on the Couch to 5k plan, I definitely feel like I should at least be fully able to do week 1 at this point, but I am encouraged that I am already seeing progress. My running form is MUCH better, my legs feel stronger, I don’t feel as much like I’m dying each time I run, plus I’ve already lost 5 pounds (and I’m sure gained more pounds of muscle as well).
My main struggle is feeling like it should be easier at this point. I’m very much at war with myself, mainly my mental self saying that I can’t do it. All to often I give in instead of jogging that next set.
Question for those of you who run on a regular basis, do you take water with you when you run these short bits? Or should I just drink water as I finish my cool down process? Also, what do you guys do to get past that wall? What do you do to keep yourselves motivated while jogging?