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Working the C25K Program: Tips

Consolidating these here for the many people that have asked my advice for going from couch potato to runner on the C25k program:

1. Make sure you have decent running shoes. Other equipment that I have AND LOVE: wicking socks [asics], running skirts to look good while running and prevent chafing or riding up [skirtsports.com], wicking sports bra and tops [any sports store], garmin fr60 watch with heart rate monitor and shoe pod [the only way to objectively measure gains in cardio fitness- as you move through the program your resting hr should go down, your ability to stay below 170bpm during cardio should increase, your return to resting hr after workout should quicken, etc. also tracks mileage, pace, time, etc. you can buy on amazon.com]

2. Make sure your form is anti-injury: midfoot landing [versus heel strike] and try not to push off with your feet so much as lift them up using your leg muscles for each stride.
3. Make sure you stretch stretch stretch before each run. I do 10 minutes of yoga stretching before I run.


4. Make sure you warm up walk enough. I have finally gotten to the point where I can run after just a 5 minute warm up walk, but for the first gazillion sessions of this program I had to do a 10 minute warm up to get my muscles ready to run or I had hip flexor pain on my right side.


5. HYDRATE. I hit a wall early in the program b/c i wasn't drinking enough water. i used to drink like 1 glass a day, now I drink 50-80 oz a day. makes a big difference- if I forget, my ability to run the next day goes down the toilet.


6. Don't give up. Don't think you have to accomplish each session goal in a single day. My method is to keep repeating a session until I achieve it.  Almost every session is a challenge in pushing myself past where I think I can make it.

7. Unless you can actually keep a 10 minute mile pace, you will have to switch over to the distance goals sometime late in the program, otherwise at c25k graduation you won't actually be running a 5k.

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