I hate running… So I signed up for an 8k.

Seems natural, right?

No seriously, I hate running. Not just like I don’t enjoy it, but while I’m running, I just hate everything. I can’t say the word “hate” enough.

But after watching all my friends run races and triathlons, I decided I should give running another try. So I looked up races in the Portland area and found one that sounded fun (a run over the Fremont Bridge with free beer at the end for all participants – right up my alley). The only problem was that it’s 8k instead of 5, which is what I had planned to do. But it’s in April, so hopefully I have enough time to gear up.

Anyway, the reason I’m telling you all this, Internet, is because I found this really cool program that I’m sure everyone knew about except me… It’s called Couch to 5k. The best way I can describe it is using the metaphor of lifting weights. If I wanted to bench press 100 pounds by April, it would be stupid for me to just go to the gym every day and max out on the bench. I would probably hurt myself, first of all, and if I didn’t I would most certainly not look forward to the ritual. The best way to do it would be to do 10-20 reps of a lighter weight (say… the bar?) and increase the weight gradually over time. That way I would get stronger every day and in the end bench pressing 100 pounds wouldn’t make me feel like I want to die. And maybe along the way I would start to enjoy the feeling I got from the weight lifting, since it was challenging but not impossibly difficult.

Same thing here. I run 3 times a week for a half hour. Each run is broken up into running and walking intervals. In the beginning, It was one minute running, one walking, one running, etc. Then each week the running periods get longer and the walking intervals get shorter. Pretty soon (from what I’m told), I’ll be running 5k without even realizing it. Okay, that might be a stretch.

But it’s great. And there’s a bunch of different podcasts you can download to make it super easy. I’m into Podrunner Intervals, because they include music with BPMs that speed up when you’re supposed to be running and because they have a training system for an 8k, too. But there’s a whole bunch of Couch to 5k podcasts available if you want something different.

Anyway, after 4 weeks, I’m still enthusiastic. I would highly recommend it. And that means a lot coming from someone who hates running.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “I hate running… So I signed up for an 8k.

  1. J.Lee

    Proud of you!!

  2. tommy the truck

    Ah, Milo….
    Milo of Kroton: was “the most illustrious of athletes…” (Strabo, Geography, 6.1.12). Born over 2,000 years ago in an ancient Greek colony of southern Italy, he won the Olympic wrestling championship six times between 540 BCE and 516 BCE. So great was his strength that once, when a building collapsed, he supported the roof while his friends escaped unharmed.

    The story of how Milo got his strength has been told for over 2,000 years. Briefly, his father gave him a bull calf for his son to raise. One day, his father asked him, ‘How big is your bull today?’ Milo ran outside, picked up the calf and carried him inside to show his father. Each day, his father asked him ‘How big is your bull today?’ and each day Milo ran outside, picked up the bull and carried him to his father. This went on for a number of years. As the bull grew, so did Milo’s strength.”

  3. Michelle

    Awesome, Megan! Are you running with someone? I’d like to get in on this Fremont Bridge-running-beer bonanza. Those are 3 of my favorite things about Portland.

  4. Julia

    That’s fabulous! I should give that a try, since I also hate running. My sister did the couch to 5k program and also thinks it’s great.

  5. abby

    I have to admit, I also hate running. You inspired me to give this program a try. Not sure if I’ll do an actual race, but it would be nice if I were physically capable of running more than a mile.

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