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I wanted to throw my two cents in, as the novice who is almost ready to graduate, hopefully to dovetail with what spice said. I think if I had read that post when I was starting c25k I probably would have given up already, but there are some important pieces of information that a novice should take into consideration. When I started, I did think I would lose a bunch of weight. I'm a chub, and I was quite sedentary, so I figured this was a big change, so I should lose weight. It hasn't turned out that way, for many of the reasons spice mentioned. However, there is absolutely no doubt that I am completely different than when I started. I am much fitter, I have lost a lot ofthe bloat and flab, and I look like a new person! And I am loving that :) But it has not been the miracle I thought it would be. However, I am now okay with that. The marked difference in my daily energy level and capacity to do my daily chores without having to take a break has been a revolution in my life. I love the changes so much that I'm motivated to eat better, do more active things (even beyond running) and make other, non-physical changes in my life. I am becoming a different person, beyond what some little number on a scale could have told me. I started with the motto, and I'm not kidding here, I wouldn't run if my house was on fire. Now I LIVE for running. All my life decisions now include my running. You can make big changes, but it will take more than 9 weeks to do so. Keep in touch with your doctor, celebrate your little achievements, and don't obsess so much over the scale. The journey will be a reward in itself.
C25K Progress: w8r2
Dumont Day 5k - 9/11/10
Terri Roemer Run, Paramus - 10/17/10
As a total newbie, I have to thank Chellion for the inspiration. I read spicegeek's post and I thought "why bother"! Seriously. Chellion, if I get results like yours I will be very pleased. Thanks again for the lift!
The C25K Program is a start- a damn good one, but just a start on the road to fitness. It's up to each individual to take it and build on what the program offers.
Wow. While there are absolute facts to what spicegeek says about weight loss in general, I have a huge issue with how the original post was worded. Such negativity!
I took on C25K when my daughter was 9 months old and I wanted to finally kick my baby weight without putting her in the daycare at my gym several times per week after her being in daycare all day while I was at work. So at the recommendation of a friend who successfully completed C25K (and lost weight), I thought I'd give it a try. I had always actually very much disliked running, and after the 1st week of C25K really felt like quitting. And honestly, had I read a post like this one at the time I am 99% certain I would have quit!
Fast-forward 4 months later, I was down 15 lbs and completed my very first 5K - not having done much else than the training prescribed in the program, although I will say I am a fairly healthy eater most of the time. However I had never felt such a huge sense of acheivement as I did crossing my first finish line, and I hate to think of the people the original post might have dissuaded from that same sense of personal accomplishment.
Now, in the year and a half since then I've run the Hood to Coast relay and finished a half marathon! Two very big acheivments I never would have even considered a possibility for me had I not given C25K a shot. Even during the C25K training I never thought I would go after running goals any larger than a 5K and dropping the baby weight. At the time that was it for me, but getting started with and simply learning how to run taught me that I loved the challenge of running.
So if you're reading this and considering C25K, PLEASE don't let the original post turn you off to it. Yes, its necessary to be able to walk at a good clip for 30 minutes before you start, and having a healthy diet is absolutely important, but this program is a fantastic stepping stone to becoming fit and maybe even becoming a runner when you least expect it!
I started with the motto, and I'm not kidding here, I wouldn't run if my house was on fire.
This made me LOL because my motto used to be "I won't even run if I'm being chased by a wild animal!" Now running is a vital part of my life!
I totally agree with Chellion, so much so that I activated my account just so I can reply. You have to remember how it is when you first started (or even looked into starting) running. For me, my sedentary lifestyle was like an addiction and quitting it was scary. You'll be replacing the known and comfortable. I personally HATED running for a long time. It was really hard for me, but was the only activity I could do without fitting other people and gym hours into my work/school schedule. Then, I found myself gaining more energy, accomplishing goals (even the small ones), tackling hills and distances I couldn't, having a healthy outlet for stress.. and eventually I found a deep love for running. This all took time.
Also, I was one of those people who started running simply to lose weight. I was completely delusional in thinking the pounds would melt off and I could easily work my way up to a marathon in a matter of months. Like I said... COMPLETELY delusional. However, once I was able to experience the other benefits (like watching my muffin top fade away) the prospect of weight loss became less important. I also didn't plan to change my diet, but as I became more invovled with running I experienced how certain food choices made for a better run which lead me to make those choices more often. Within a year I was down to a size I hadn't fit in since my sophomore year of high school.
I think a post like the original one is best saved for a reply to a person in the program who needs a wake up call, and even then it should be gentle enough to not encourage them to quit. Quitting to find something easier for many would lead them to return old habits. Especially on a beginner forum, you should be encouraging people not preaching at them. Yes there are harsh realities beginners will face, but that shouldn't be reason for them to not start running. Starting is the largest part of the battle for most.
Until I started C25K three weeks ago, I hated running. I laothed it, despised it; wanted nothing to do with it. Oh I'd run before - in basic training, a few forced laps in school. It was awful. All my previous running followed the 'no pain, no gain' mantra. Running literally made me gag.
I look at C25K as a means to GENTLY introduce not just the body but the mind, the emotions to the art of running. There's nothing awful about the progression of each session or week & if some for various reasons, stall out somewhere, no one forcibly removes your running shows or calls your name out at the next General Meeting of the Runners' Hall of Shame. If you get stuck, stay where you're at until you get where you're going... then move on.
I tackled my first session with a degree of nervousness now that I can only wonder at. But at the time, based on previous experience, it was appropriate... for me. Because they emphasize warming up, SHORT running stints & a lot of walking, the sessions in week one brought me... SUCCESS! By George, I did it! I started week 2 far more confident. Yup, I wondered if I could cope with 90 seconds. I could & did. I finish week 3 tomorrow. Week four isn't scaring me. The only run I'm concerned with now is the 1st 20 minute run at the end of week 5. And I figure if I can do that one, I've got the rest licked.
If along the way, I can't complete a session as it's described, I won't have failed, I'll simply have NOT succeeded completely on that day. And in many ways, it will be a success. Why? Because first, I will have given it all I've got at the time. I will have learned one or more valuable lessons. Perhaps I won't have slept enough the previous night. Possibly I won't have eaten enough. It might be a cramp is too tough to run through right then & there or I go out too fast. But I won't have failed, I'll have learned something I can apply later. The only failure will be if I give up.
And I won't have anyone to answer to but myself.
My little runs would be snickered at by an experienced runner. I'm not laughing, I'm beaming with pride & pleasure. I'm enjoying working hard but working within my limits. I derive a lot of satisfaction out of honest sweat. I'm thrilled by little things such as logging my runs. I'm eager for my next sessions. C25K has for me, taken the athletes' mystique out of running & made running approachable... and doable. For me, it's a first step. Some may reach the end of the program & decide they're perfectly happy running 3 times a week for 30 minutes or 5k the rest of their running lives. And that's perfectly okay & more than most people ever do. Some see successful completion as a first step & are looking forward to the next running challenge.
We all have different reasons for doing this - each equally valid. We share a community full of support, advice, resources & warmth.
C25K may not melt 20 pounds off us in 9 weeks. It won't equip us to run the Boston Marathon. It WILL permit us, with effort on our part to run either 5k or 30 minutes. It will help us find or regain a zest for life we may not have thought possible. I'm already amazed that the use of energy in RUNNING of all things gives me more energy for the rest of my day. That seems so counter-intuitive but it does. I'm interested in eating in a more healthy manner. I'm getting a far better quality of sleep. Life's little ups & downs don't seem as overwhelming.
When I hit the pavement in the morning, I try to open my mind to whatever new experiences that day's session brings. While most are still along the lines of: "If you keep your chin up breathing is easier, ya dimwit!", I still find small moments of utter joy. Earlier in the week I caught a glimpse of an urban fox scuttling through a park. This morning, I raced head to head with a butterfly for about 20 yards. It didn't matter at all that the butterfly won. I met a gentleman who started running on January 2nd of this year. It was his 75th birthday to himself & he told me he's never recieved a more giving present.
We may not be big time, serious runners... yet or ever. But every workout, we're going out there & we're DOING it. We're running for health, we're running for stress releif, for lowered blood pressure, for time alone, we're giving ourselves not one, but a series of marvellous gifts.
And ultimately, nobody can snatch that from us & it's not a gift we should hand back lightly. It's far too valuable.
C25K STARTED: 10/12/11
FIRST RACE PLANNED: ???
Excitement is slogging through a spectacular dry lightning storm
I'm happy I didn't read this before I started C25K, I might not have. I might not have lost the 48 pounds since April that I have (as of this morning). I might not have wanted to change my eating habits to feel better about the run. I might not have found it to be really hard and modified it to suit my needs.
All that might be true, but for me, I had to decide what was going to work for me, not someone else. I had to get up and run, start eating better and stop drinking beer & soda. I had to face 2 months off of running due to unrelated injury and not gain any weight back (in fact lost 2 more pounds) I had to start the program again in August. I have had to run each week twice, just to finish.
I have to do this for me and my family.
I have to make a choice each and every day as to what I like better, the way I was or the way I want to be. I sometimes do not make the best choices, but I am better aware of what goes in my mouth and the feeling of accomplishment each and every week of running.
I think spicegeek's intentions are good.
The bottom line is, we can not be governed by the nay sayers. If you want to accomplish something you have to do it, not someone else. When I need motivation I look at a pic of me holding my then 1 month old daughter. It looks like she is on the menu.... Words of encouragement are great, a kick in the butt is even better. I needed that kick to start.
I am on my second rotation of W4 D1 running it again tonight. After I will push a little weight after my run. I need to get on my bike tomorrow morning.
I need to keep moving so the fat bastard that I was never catches up to me again.
Don't let anyone discourage you from trying. Do you best, push your limits, you can achieve!
C25k Completed on 10-NOV-10
Veterans Day 5k 13-NOV-10 time 33:32
Turkey Trot 5k 25-NOV-10 time 33:18
Nike+ ID: jknow
What a positive and inspiring post, JKnow. Congrats on your weight loss.
What I love about running is the healthy habits follow. I eat better and drink water because I know it'll help my next run. I don't stay out drinking when I'm running the next day. These small things do add up to better health and eventually weight loss.
The first time I started running, I lost 1 pound in about eight weeks. But my body changed ... I was stronger and more fit. The weight was just a number. After that, as I kept at it and realized running wasn't my pass to eat everything in sight all day long, it started to come off more quickly.
Thanks SydKeigh! Out of all the things I have been called in my life, inspiring was never one of them.
You are right, small changes add up quickly. One healthy habit leads me to another. For me weight is more than just a number right now. I am not fit, but I am trying to get there. The only shape I was in was ROUND.
Something new for me is goals. I have 2 this year: 1. To be under #200 and to participate in (finish) a 5k by year's end. I have a 5k in mind (November) and it will be close to when I have finished the C25K at my slower pace.
I have NEVER been a runner. Hated it in the military. Wouldn't even cosider running unless I was about to be served a beat down... even then I might have taken the beat down. Always had shin splints. After my very first run n April, I went to a local running store and got fit with a great pair of shoes. They did the video analysis, fit me up and I have not had any issues with shin pain.
I don't know if I will ever love running, right now it is a heck of a lot of work for me. I'll let you know after my 5k...
C25k Completed on 10-NOV-10
Veterans Day 5k 13-NOV-10 time 33:32
Turkey Trot 5k 25-NOV-10 time 33:18
Nike+ ID: jknow
I am so disappointed in this post. If any people just starting or considering starting this program, please keep going! C25K has been absolutely life changing for me and many others. While this post may be factually true, I do disagree with one thing whole heartedly. If you are currently a couch potato and doing nothing, it WILL help you to be more fit than you currently are if you get up and do something 20-30 minutes three times a week. It is true, that to attain the goal of "perfect health" you will need to incorporate strength training, up your cardio minutes, learn healthier eating habits but there is ALWAYS a first step. C25K can be not only the first step, but a catalyst to living a healthier life in many other ways.
Well, I am in the group of the "wouldn't have done it if I had read this first." But I did it, am doing it, and I have lost weight. I won't waste time repeating what everyone else has said. Movement is good. It takes a lot of movement to lose a lot of weight. It's worth it.
I'm in Week 4, about to start Week 5 and this program inspired me to start Triathlon training. I was relatively fit before, but the running still kills me. Every single body is different. Doesn't matter if you're big or little, tall or short, fat or skinny, running is tough. Over time, it can help you lose weight. So can many other things. C25K gave me HOPE that I could one day be a runner. I think to open a post as a mod of this group in such a negative tone is to do a disservice to the new beginners out there who might read it as "LAW" and shy away from taking their first steps. Bad form, I think.
Keep moving everyone. Walk, run, bike, swim.. Do what you do. It will make you stronger.
Triathlete in training.
2010 Turkey Trot Houston 5K: 46:00
Austin Half Marathon: Finished 3:06:18
Bayou City Classic 10K: Finished 1:22:27
TriGirl Super Sprint Triathlon (5/8/11)
The greatest journeys answer questions that, in the beginning, you didn't even think to ask.
I read this when I first started, it was sorta a let down to what I thought I could achieve when I started this, but I stuck to my plan and changed what I was eating when I started c25k,so with doing both I'm losing weight.
I have to say this is very discouraging. I am not overweight, at least I don't think so. I am 35, 5'9" and around 150. I would like to loose weight- but that wasn't my goal in starting this program. I just wanted to gain strength and be able to run! I have been doing it for five weeks (with a break in between because I was sick), and I have to say- I still can't run 20 minutes straight. It's still a tough go for me. Perhaps it is because I am doing hills. But seeing this I feel like all the work I am doing isn't really amounting to much. I was hoping I was becoming an athlete. HAH! I guess I have to try harder.