96 c25k

My best friend convinced me to sign up for my first 5K in the fall (Runner’s World Half & Festival). While I know I can run three miles now, it wouldn’t be pretty. I haven’t been able to afford a gym membership since I moved here, so I’m a bit out of shape. And though I prefer working out at the gym, I do like running outdoors, but I don’t like doing it in inclement weather. Snow, cold, rain, extreme heat and humidity…you name it, I don’t like running in it.

I’ve just never been a diehard runner. With a pair of permanently bad knees, I’m someone who simply enjoys going out for a run on pleasant days to get some exercise in the fresh air. I’m also always more motivated to go out running when I have a companion, which I’ll have in my best friend on race day, but for now I’ll be training by myself and self-motivation when it comes to running is not my strong suit.

So figuring out how I’m going to consistently train for this 5K has sent me looking for outside help. I know there are lots of 5K training plans online you can try, but it’s pretty easy to ignore a printed-out training schedule.

Ironically, it was while I was being a couch bum that a potential answer presented itself.

I was savoring one of the final episodes of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last week. His guest was actor Tom Cruise, and during the interview Jon explained to Tom that he was using a couch-to-5K app on his phone to help him train. I remember having heard somewhere else about the app—maybe even from the MacRunners newsletter—and I know there are other fitness apps out there, but it wasn’t until that interview that I realized this particular app could be the solution to my problem.

So thank you, Jon Stewart. And not just for 16 years of entertaining and thought-provoking television. Your idea prompted me to download the free app C25K from the Google Play store and I plan on starting its eight-week training regime in a week. I think using an app to track my training will make a lot of sense. I like running with my phone so I can listen to music, and I can stream my music through this app. It will also dictate the type of training I do each day, notify me when it is time to work out, and time my running for me.

I’ll have to adapt the plan so I can still work out at home on inclement weather days, because let’s face it, I’m not budging on that, but using this app as a guide is worth a shot. Fingers crossed I listen to the app’s encouraging running reminders every day (and don’t hit the mute button) so I can hopefully whip myself into shape by race day. Wish me luck!