I certainly tried to change and I have a thousand excuses for why these attempts were fruitless. I knew change wouldn’t come on its own. I’d become difficult to motivate. I knew I had to force this change.
So, I paid some exorbitant amount of money to register for a 5K (3.1 mile) race.
I knew this was the only way. If I pay a lot for something, I force myself to get my money’s worth. Historically, I’ve strictly applied this strategy to buffets. But it was time to use this character flaw more wisely.
Then I paid $1.99 for the Couch to 5K app.
It’s an app to help you incrementally improve your running endurance. It uses interval training, coaching you to run for a period and then walk and then run again, until you’ve been moving for roughly 30 minutes.
In the very beginning, you’re only running for a minute and a half before getting a three-minute walking break. With each workout, the runs get longer and the breaks get shorter until finally you’re just running.
I didn’t link the app to my Facebook. I don’t need validation. Couch to 5K offers that option though and I could see how it might keep one accountable. It will post updates on your behalf so your friends can motivate you in the comments or sit in quiet judgment of your slow progress.
This training intensifies only slightly with each workout as you log in three times each week.
As I’ve neared the date of my 5K, I’ve increased to five workouts a week and I’ve been lifting weights.
Eight weeks ago, I didn’t have the energy to lift my own bum from my easy chair.
The app’s encouraging little voice has coached me along over 50 miles. It took me more than nine weeks but that’s on me and the program itself seems to have held up. I’m satisfied with the results.
In my first weeks, two-minute runs made me want to die. I run more than three miles every night now and I’m set to take part in my first real race this weekend.