By Aryn Lloyd, ACE Certified Health Coach, Rock Valley Physical Therapy
QC fun runs and 5K walks abound starting in the spring, but I am a mom of two energetic kids so it seems my girls could play catch me if you can all year long!
The minute I put my kids to bed, I sit down on the couch and put my feet up. Whew, am I wiped!
Then, I look at my watch and realize I haven’t met my step goal that day, and it is only 8pm. Once I sit down on the comfy couch, there is a very slim chance I will get back up the rest of the day. Can you relate?
Feeling wiped out can cause some setbacks when it comes to energy levels and motivation. Active minutes decrease and sitting minutes increase when you’re exhausted. Your level of endurance during exercise can also suffer.
With warmer temps and the race calendar in full swing, what better time to see if running is a good fit for you?
Try a 5K
A 5K is usually the shortest road race available. 5 Kilometers is 3.1 miles. 5K races have become popular because a wide range of ages and abilities can participate, and you can complete the task with limited time and resources.
Starting in late February and early March, the Quad Cities has a 5K race about every weekend through November. Check out the Cornbelt Running Club’s calendar for events!
Training to Run
5K training programs are popular because you start small, with a gentle and gradual introduction to getting your body moving again, called interval-load training.
You alternate between walking and running during training sessions, to get the muscles in your legs – as well as your heart and respiratory system – more attuned, and used to the increased exercise load.
Short segments of running, mixed with short segments of walking, allow your body to gradually become comfortable running for longer segments. The intent is to eventually run a full 5K race, 3.1 mile distance run, or for some, to run a full 30 minutes without walking or stopping.
5K training in many respects isn’t as intense as many other exercise programs out there, and you can celebrate measurable progress and success along the way without feeling like you missed the couch.
In as little as 6 to 8 weeks, you could be running your first 5K!
Definitely part of the increased interest in running is due to Smartphone Apps like the ones mentioned above.
There are also many QC running groups with weekly running meet-ups, and local races often supporting a charitable or worthy cause.
Many races are adding in more fun and adventure including Color Runs, inflatable fun runs, and adventure races. Check the Cornbelt Running Club’s race calendar to find many local races. Also, you can inquire about running programs at your local running club or fitness store.
Use Your Couch Time to Plan!
You set your environments up for success or failure when it comes to being more or less active. The couch can often be an energy sucker and encourager of physical inactivity.
Take a look at your daily patterns. Consider saving the couch for the reward after the workout.
Use the couch time to plan for your next run or exercise session. It’s a great place to plan your next running route, message a friend or two to join you for a run or, better yet, sign-up for your first 5K event this year!
|Aryn Lloyd is a Health Coach for Rock Valley Health. A Type 1 diabetic, she has led many chronic disease programs, including the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. She lives in Davenport with her husband, Ben, and their two daughters, Britta and Klara. You can read Aryn’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|