Couch to 5k: How to get moving this summer
At Georgia’s Own, not only do we care about your financial wellness—we care about your physical wellness, too, because being physically healthy is just as crucial as being financially healthy. Are you finally committing to your physical health and your dream of becoming a runner? You may have a goal of entering a race, or maybe you’re just tired of the gym and need a new way to exercise. Whatever your motivations are, if you’re looking for an easy way to get started, below are some great ideas to get you moving off of the couch to running a 5k.
I don’t run
We understand—running isn’t for everyone. But, it is a great (and free) way to get some exercise in and some calories burned. It should be noted, however, that running is considered a high-impact activity, meaning it can take a toll on your joints and muscles. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it—it just means you might be sore afterward.
When you get dressed for a good run, you will want to be comfortable. Even if it’s cold outside, you will probably get warm when you run, so dressing in light layers that you can remove along the way is a great idea. And, you need shoes that will support you for the long haul, so put away the flip flops and grab your tennis shoes.
Where should I go?
Where you run is up to you—you might find a nice park nearby, or maybe you’re more of a treadmill person. Running can happen anywhere you have the space. One note: you might want to consider occasionally changing your running spot so you don’t get bored, which is not very motivating for a run.
You will want to be well-hydrated before and after you run. But, don’t drink too much water right before a run, because that can make you feel sick. Drinking throughout the day is a good idea anyway, because your body needs the hydration. And if you’re going for a run—forget about it. Your body will thank you for the extra water while you’re running!
I keep giving up!
Motivating yourself to run is hard, especially if you are doing it alone. Try joining some local running clubs or ask a friend to join you on your next run to help you stay accountable and to make the run more enjoyable. You can even set up a running schedule with a group to help you make it part of your weekly routine. While you’re training for your 5k, consider rewarding yourself by opening a savings account to reward your hard, physical work with financial gain. Georgia’s Own has a number of savings accounts to choose from to help you reach your financial goals along the way. Consider this a motivator along your running journey.
How often should I run, anyway?
This is another area that is really up to you. We encourage you to start small, especially if you aren’t a frequent runner. Try setting a goal to run two or three days a week for twenty minutes and work your way up to more days for longer periods of times. If your goal is to run a race, start small there, too. Try to make your first race a smaller distance, like a 5k, rather than a half marathon.
How do I even start?
A lot of people feel lost in the process of becoming a runner. We love apps like C25k®, an eight-week running program which helps you start at a reasonable pace and gives you cues for slowing down, speeding up, and increasing your overall speed—ultimately helping you run a 5k. Most basic features of the app are free, so it’s an ideal tool for someone who isn’t sure they want to fully commit. C25k can be found on the App Store and Google Play.
You may want to add some tunes to your run as many runners find that they can pace themselves more easily to music, allowing them to meet their time goals and give themselves some breaks as they run. Multiple music streaming platforms, like Spotify, have ready-made playlists that will give you some inspiration.
What if I hate it?
You might not be a runner—and that’s okay. But how will you know unless you try? Using an app like C25k will help you master the basics, and you might just discover that there was a runner in you all along. And if not, you can still rest assured that you can hold your own in any spontaneous three-legged race challenges.
If you’re ready to get moving this summer, there are lots of ways to start! Running gets bonus points for requiring no extra equipment, being available 24/7, and allowing you to exercise while catching up on Netflix. Start small, and you’ll be running a 5k in no time—and reaching your savings goals along the way.