By: Shana Adams (@bbgtonline)
I have a confession to make: I am NOT a runner. I found this out during middle school gym class when were required by the great state of SC to run a mile to test our fitness. I huffed and puffed and blew my confidence away with an abysmal twenty-three minute mile. I can hear the laughter clear as day and it killed any attempt at running ever since. I knew right then, at age 12 running was not and never would be my thing. More than a decade after my embarrassing attempt at running, I found two programs that I felt would help get me back on track. WALKB4URUN and Couch to 5K are great for beginners and here are a few reasons why.
Couch to 5k and WALKB4URUN are both designed to make the biggest couch potato run a 5k successfully by gradually pushing you into a full run each week.
Both programs require you to walk a good amount of time, then gradually run. The main difference between the two is the length of time (weeks) before you run. With C25K, you have a 5 minute warm up every week before you run. For example, the first week of running started with a 5 minute walking warm-up, a 60 second run, and a 90 second walk, repeating that cycle for a 20 minute workout. WALKB4URUN starts with 3 weeks of just walking. Giving you ample time to get used to being on your feet, especially if you’re coming straight off the couch.
Neither programs are intimidating in my opinion. You go at your own pace and do what makes you comfortable. With C25K, if I didn’t do well one week, I wouldn’t move on until I got somewhat comfortable. I did week 6 three times before I moved on. WALKB4URUN also lets you go at your own pace but I would recommend you speed walk during your first few weeks. Once you start running, you want to be used to the intensity.
Did I mention they are both super easy to start? If you have a smart phone, download the C25K app and start running today, it’s free. The only thing C25K lack is the absence of support. This is where WALKB4URUN differs. When you sign up, you’re a part of a community. Thousands of like-minded people all around the country are running with you, and this is evident in the virtual 5k.
I would recommend the WALKB4URUN and C25K program to anyone who is serious about getting fit and challenging themselves. I wouldn’t say either program made me a runner but they made me better by providing a challenge. I did complete my first 5k with a time of 47:17! It was such a great experience, because I started from the bottom…nah, I won’t do it. Whichever program you choose, I challenge you to go for it ladies and show them that Black Girls Run!