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Friday Fitness: Go From Couch to 5K with H3

Today is my last day working full time at Hilton Head Health and my last blog post as well! I decided to focus my last Fitness Friday on my passion, which is running. I have been running since kindergarten and have since completed 9 marathons, a 50K and numerous half’s, 10Ks and 5Ks. One of my favorite things to do here at H3 is to introduce or reintroduce running to guests. Many people like the idea of running but do not know where to begin, or believe that running is just miserable and hard to do. The thing about running is that it is all about progression. You can’t always walk out the door and run a 5K or even a mile the first time around. It is an activity that requires investment and patience. (Hope I didn’t lose you there!) It can also be such an accomplishment and fun!

While at H3, I developed a Couch to 5K lecture and here are the highlights:

Proper shoes are essential for running; they support and bring stability to the foot as it moves through the running cycle. Here is a check list for picking out proper shoes:

  • Find out your arch – go to a running shop where they can measure your foot and find the best shoe to support your stride.
  • Shop late – our feet tend to swell over the course of the day. They also tend to swell at the onset of activity, make sure your shoes are not too tight.
  • Bring old shoes – by looking at the wear on the bottom of old shoes, a recommendation can be made on what will support you the most where you need it.
  • Forget fashion – try your best not to select shoes on colors and fashion. In the long run, you want what fits the best. Add color though some bring workout clothes.
  • Date shoes – replace every 6 months or 500 miles

Running form does matter! Forget the voice of your gym teacher in the back of your head yelling “heel, toe, heel, toe”. Check out this list and videos on how to create proper running form to run strong and injury free.

    • Head
      • Look ahead naturally
    • Shoulders
      • Low and relaxed
    • Arms
      • 90 degrees and by your side
    • Torso
      • Upright to promote good oxygen consumption
    • Legs
      • Slight knee lift, quick leg turnover, and short stride. Foot should land underneath body
    • Feet
      • Hit the ground lightly, between heel and midfoot.

        Check out Jeff’s videos on proper running form.




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Injury prevention should always be part of a fitness routine, a key part of that is stretching. Check out this video on stretching for runners.

Download this PDF for the plan I created for the Couch to 5K class. The workouts are based on intervals of running and walking. There are 3 workouts a week, lasting between 20 and 30 minutes. Always make sure that you include a warm up. The important thing is to progress with the program. If there was a challenging week, repeat it before moving on. Trying to do too much too soon could lead to injury or at least a miserable experience! Take the time to build up and enjoy the open road ahead!

Try out these intervals and consider adding a few speed bursts into your normal workout. Have fun and run relaxed!

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