When my friend told me she was going to get in shape using an iPhone app called “Couch to 5K,” I laughed. Then I checked it out — and bought it.
Now, I’m no slouch in the fitness department, having spent many years as a martial artist and tango dancer. I see a personal trainer twice a week at BeFit, but we focus on strength and toning, not cardio. I had been searching for a good way to get my heart rate up on a regular basis, and — voila. Nine weeks later, I ran my first race.
The Couch to 5K program is a 30-minute workout, 3 times per week, for 9 weeks. On the first day, you walk for 5 minutes, then alternate jogging for one minute and walking for a minute and a half, for a total of 20 minutes, and then you cool down with another 5-minute walk.
The progression from there is very gentle, gradually increasing the ratio of time spent jogging, until by the end of the 9 weeks, you are jogging for 3 miles! It’s easy to back up the schedule and repeat days, to slow down the overall process if needed. There’s even a built-in virtual coach, giving you encouragement along the way.
I’ve told lots of friend about the app, and they love it too — if you try it, let me know, and I will run your first race with you!