When you are working to stay in shape, or get in shape, it is good to challenge yourself with a goal to motivate you.  It is great to schedule your workouts and follow the routine, but to get yourself out of your normal routine is always good.  The thing I have always loved about working out is the sense of accomplishment I feel each time….YES each time I do it.  It does not matter whether I ran my 3 miles or lifted weights, I always have a sense of pride and success when I am done.

Setting a goal to finish a 5K, 10K,  a Mud Run, or even a 1/2 Marathon or Marathon may seem impossible, but I say no it is not.  If you have ever thought, “Oh I could never do that!”  then now is the time to do just that.  Whether is a 5K or a Marathon, set that goal, pick the race and start training.  YOU can do it.  Now is the time.  Find some buddies and do it together.

Okay, Okay, I know I lost some of you at 5K.  If you have never been a runner, I know the thought of running 3.1 miles sound crazy.  I am thinking more of the training you would do to get to the end result.  How many calories you will burn, how consistent you cardio will become. When you are done just think of the shape you will be in.  It gives you the motivation to stay focused, stay consistent, and achieve something you thought impossible.  That is something you will never regret.

Now let me suggest something to you.  If you are a walker then try to build into running a 5K.  If you are neither, then work to walk the 5K.   I am a runner at heart, and have been running consistently my whole life.  Since I was 10 I have loved running.  Every year for the last 11 years I have found at least one race to sign up for each year.  For the last 3 years I have gone from 1/2 Marathons to Marathons.  This keeps me motivated and driven to keep moving forward.  Now I understand running is not for everyone, but I love walking equally.  In fact walking is my therapy.  I walk with no music, no distractions, just my thoughts.  I feel like I discover a little more about who I am when I walk outside, one with nature.

Today there are so many programs to follow to go from Couch Potato to 5K in so many weeks, and I think all that is wonderful.  It is good to have a guideline to follow, but keep in mind everyone is different and there is no one size fits all when it comes to training. You have to do what works for you and you have to listen to your body during the process.  Your body will guide you on how you are doing.

As much as I have trained over the years I have been exposed to many different ways of training.  Heart rate monitors, strict programs to follow, Garmin watching to tell you how far you ran, how fast was each mile, etc.  Bottom line to reach your goal of a 5K, I am an old fashioned gal.  I step outside, push start on my stop watch and walk/run a loop I love and then stop the timer when I am done.  I take note of how long it took me.  I don’t worry about how fast was this mile verses that mile.  I just care about how long did it take to get from point A to B.  Over time my body get faster and faster.  The walks/runs become easier and easier.  My body naturally let me know how I am doing.  The more you do, the more you body can do.

Keep it simple, face a challenge head on.  You will be surprised at how easy it really is.  The biggest obstacle to face is not the 5K, it’s the not trying that will hurt more then the sore muscles and joints in the end.  Life is fast and the time is now.