Doable New Year fitness challenge: CT5K

Couch to 5K 

It's that time of year again - we've all been cozy-ing up and chowing down and while you're relaxing in bed scrolling your Instagram feed, you start noticing a lot of buzz about the New Year and New Year's resolutions.  Queue eye roll.  Or not.  A new year can be a fresh slate, and what's so wrong with that? 

If you've had difficulty with resolutions in the past, a good start can be looking at the resolutions you've made.  Maybe you've heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals before.  The idea that a "smart" goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-based and Time-bound.  A goal of completing the Couch to 5K program fulfills all of these prerequisites.  It is also really more of an 8 week challenge than a full-on, change-your-life New Year's Resolution, but I find that more doable.  Just get to the end of 8 weeks, and if I like it, maybe I'll do more.

Personally, I've always had a tough time with running.  I think it's because when I started out, I would overdo it.  Then my knees would start hurting and that would be the end of the running.  Despite the fact that I've never been a consistent runner, I feel like the idea of "going for a run" resonates with me.  I WANT to be the kind of person who goes for a run.  So last year I did the CT5K program.  You run-walk 3 days a week for 8 weeks, gradually replacing walking with running - up to being able to run a 5K.  You can add in a day or two of weights, yoga or cross training on your off-days.  I followed the program, and guess what?  No knee pain.  Did I keep running for the rest of the year?  No (insert embarrassed emoji).  I like to change it up, and I do find if I don't build up gradually the knees get really sore.  But it started the year off on a great note, I proved to myself I could do something I've always had difficulty with, and it got me exercising outside in Canada in January.  That, to me, is a total success.

If this interests you, I used the CT5K app by Zen Labs which includes an interval timer.  If you have other ideas for fitness challenges or resolutions, comment below! 

Dr Kaleigh

Kaleigh BriggsComment