November 1, 2023
If I can do it, you can too.
Josh here – welcome back to the conclusion of the Couch to 5k series. This past weekend, 15 weeks of training met the downtown scenery of Indianapolis as I finally lined up for the start of the Beyond Monumental 5k.
But before we talk about the results – a few lessons I learned along the way:
Take training one day at a time.
There were a few times over my four months of training I did some math. Math can be scary enough on its own, but when the numbers equate to miles I would have to run – that was a whole new ballgame:
- 97 total miles
- 5 average miles per week
For someone who had spent most of the pandemic in a bit of a stationary funk, running close to a hundred miles felt insurmountable.
So, I stopped looking at the total miles – and started looking at just the next run on my agenda. As I rounded the final turn and saw the finish line ahead of me, I didn’t even realize that I had just completed my 100th mile.
One run at a time, at my own pace, I went from the couch to completing a 5k. And if I can, you could too. Your training and time might look different, and that is fine. One of the most inspiring parts of the 5k was seeing 15000 unique individuals alongside me – running, walking and even rolling at their own pace.
Do it for you
Maybe your goal is a marathon, or maybe it is a single mile. Or maybe it isn’t related to running at all. Regardless, the second lesson I learned through this process is that I stuck to the training and crossed the finish line because I was doing it for me.
This whole series came into being because of an off-hand comment from a teammate. But I wanted to get moving again. And each step of the way, that was in my mind, keeping me from giving up. It might be common sense, but a goal is much easier to accomplish… if you actually want to accomplish it.
By the numbers
Short disclaimer – even if I had gotten injured the day before the race, or it had been canceled for extreme weather, I would be proud of the results of training alone. But it did feel great to hit my goals.
Before I started training, I set a goal of a seven-minute mile pace. Halfway through, with some miles under my belt in part 2 of the series, I adjusted to just wanting to finish under 30 minutes and finish my training without any injury. Adjusting my goal helped me stay motivated, realistic and safe:
Day 1 mile time: An out of breath 13 minutes
Day 1 5k Time: Not happening
Race Day 5k Time: 26:14 (8:28 average mile pace)
I also want to give a final massive shoutout to Rachel for helping me develop a training plan, checking in along the way and helping me work through any challenges. I could not have done this without her.
A few final questions
What was the hardest part of going from the couch to the finish line?
I had to deal with some pain/slight injuries along the way. It was really hard to rest my shin splints for the week before the race, but it paid off.
Do you have any plans to keep running, maybe a half-marathon?
I enjoy running much more than I did before this process, but 5k feels like a good distance. I get bored of doing the same thing for much longer than that. Maybe I will set a new kind of fitness goal to mix in with running.
Was it worth it?
I believe it is important to take on new things in life. Especially things that feel like they are challenging and out of reach. It was absolutely worth the time and sweat invested. I feel healthier and more motivated to take on whatever comes next.