5 thoughts on finishing the C25k Program:
1. This program works. It does, and it’s that simple. You go from about a total of 8 minutes running (with lots of walking in between) to 30 minutes of running, but the change is gradual and as you go you build not only strength and endurance, but also confidence that you can do it. This is the most important thing.
2. But you have to do it at your own pace. The program is designed to be done over a 9 week period. However, the beauty of the program is that you do it only for you. So if you need to take a week off, repeat a week, or stop completely and pick it up 2 months later, you can. It’s that easy! There’s no drill sargent or PE teacher making you run. You do it because you want to. I was lucky in that I was able to finish right at the 9 week mark. I didn’t have to fight a cold, overcome an injury or miss time due to a vacation. But if you do, so be it. The program will be waiting on you when you are ready.
3. Find support. My husband was great about supporting me as I spread my baby wings and started this journey. He always made sure to ask how my run went. But…he couldn’t be less interested about going out and doing it himself. I was looking for a little extra support and motivation so I joined up with an awesome group of ladies on the Active.com forum. The trials and jubliations of this group have really kept me going. The Beginner’s group on the Runner’s World forums is another great place to look for motivation.
4. Celebrate your successes. One thing I and many others noticed in the online forum is that we were all so quick to bemoan our misses and downplay our success. I think this is the curse of being a woman. However, one of the blessings of being a woman is seeing and encouraging others when they need that helping hand. We all need to work on patting ourselves on the back more. So your 25 minute run was hard? Remember when you couldn’t run 5? Celebrate what you are able to do everyday.
5. Pick a new goal. During the C25k program I have learned that I work best with a plan. I’m looking at a few different options for extending my endurance, with an eye towards a half marathon sometime in early 2011. I know, that is forever away and maybe I could do one sooner, but I really want to treat my body right and slowly seems to be the best way to do that. Of course, I also need to get in lots of swim and bike training for triathlons, but again, find what works for you and do it!