The last time I jogged with earnest was back in grade 6. I remember I had bright blue jogging pants and super long hair I tied back in a low ponytail. I joined the “running club” which meant that we ran everyday at 7am in the hallways in preparation for a larger group run/competition. I did it for a few months but decided that waking up at 7am was not my cup of tea. I missed the group run or competition too, and never ran again.
Since then, I hated any kind of running to the point that my legs screamed with agony only after a minute or two. The treadmill became my sworn enemy.
After deciding on my 3 month challenge, I realized I needed to add in extra cardio on days/weeks I was not working out more than twice a week. So without spending any extra money, I decided that jogging would be the best option but on my own dead slow pace. As long as I was going faster than standing still, I would be okay. It helped that while browsing pinterest, I came across the program below. It was exactly what I needed, something that started super easy and worked up week by week to a final end goal. It was a “SMART” goal. 🙂
Instead of 8 weeks, I pushed it out to 12 (since for 3 weeks I worked out 5 days a week). I got to the 7th week in the program in week 12 by skipping most of week 6. I wasn’t super strict with the program, I tried to do atleast 2 runs a week (on weeks when I worked out twice in the gym). I figure week 7 was like week 8 but with a small break, so its still counted as finishing. 🙂 Of course, now that I can run 30 minutes, I am going to add it to my regular weekly workouts and add in hills plus other interval training.
I found that running outside in a park was the best option. It was secluded, I could be “one” with nature and the grass/dirt allowed for cushion while some challenge with slopes and hills. I tried running downtown but it was too noisy and I felt like everyone was gawking at me. I quickly abandoned that and opted for the quiet park. I also had to have house music blaring in order to get through the first 2 minutes (which is the hardest) and then keep going. At around 15 minutes, you feel the urge to laugh because of all those glorious endorphins. I also carried my iphone and timed the whole thing so I knew when to take the breaks.
I find my thoughts and self-talk are always positive when jogging. I also find my mind clears itself to the point where things I have been mulling over become clear.
Overall, this was TOUGH. Some days, I would get back and collapse on the floor while dripping with sweat. It only got slightly easier at week 4 when my leg muscles began to get used to it. But, as you go from week to week it does get harder but challenge is always good!
Week 1: Run one minute. Walk 90 seconds. Repeat eight times. Do three times a week. Week 2: Run two minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat seven times. Do three times a week. Week 3: Run three minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat six times. Do three times a week. Week 4: Run five minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat four times. Do three times a week. Week 5: Run eight minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat three times. Do three times a week. Week 6: Run twelve minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat three times. Do three times a week. Week 7: Run fifteen minutes. Walk one minute. Run fifteen minutes. Do three times a week. Week 8: Run thirty