Have you been giving some thought to taking up running? Getting healthy in the new year is one of the most often made New Year’s Day resolutions — but few people ever follow through with it. But if you’ve been hounding yourself to get fit, it’s never too late in the year too start! You can still go from a couch potato to a 5k run winner in just 4 weeks. How do I know? Well, my husband and I did just that!

If you’re like me, once you hit your 30’s, you noticed that it became markedly harder to keep your youthful, thin figure. With each year that passes, luring you closer to 40, it becomes harder and harder to not only get in shape but to stay in shape. We’ve heard and seen it with our parents and as much as we all want to believe that we won’t be victims like that, we keep putting off getting into shape until an easy task becomes an all our war against our bodies and diets.

At the end of 2012, we made a goal to run our first marathon in September 2013, the Berlin Marathon. And I personally had never been a runner in the past — nor was I too fond of the idea of starting to run.

Anyone who has ever begun reaching toward any goal in life knows you have to take baby steps instead of giant leaps if you want to stay motivated. So our very first running goal was not to start running and keep going…but to schedule our first 5k race about 4 or 5 weeks after we started running. As luck would have it, we found a 5k cross country race that was nothing like we’d trained for — but we still managed to beat our goal of finishing in under 30 minutes — and happened to finish first and second in our age groups. I finished second amongst the women with a time of 29:14, 9th overall and 6 seconds faster than my husband. 😉

About two months later, we ran our first 10k. And just 6 months after we started running, completed our first half-marathon with a time of 2 hours 8 minutes and 30 seconds! If you have been thinking about running your first 5k, there’s no time like the present.

beginner-5k-trainingI’ve put together a beginner to 5k in 4 weeks training schedule (which was loosely inspired from this Women’s Health weight loss running plan) which can help anyone who is thinking about starting to run become a runner. Whether you’ve run before and loved it or done it and thought it was terrible, running is a great way to lose weight, reduce stress and generally feel better about yourself. But here’s the thing; you’ve got to start doing it to actually become a runner. And getting past the 9th run is often the imaginary hurdle that means you’re going to stick with it or not. With this schedule, you’ll breeze past that run, build up your “tolerance” to running slowly so that you don’t feel overwhelmed with the distances right off the bat and be well on your way to a healthier, better you.

So what are you waiting for? Get going!


Here’s what others have to say about the training plan:

“I love your website and want to thank you for everything you have posted and your encouraging words. I have been really reading your running posts and love them. Thank you so so much that is perfect and just what I was looking for. Keep up the great encouraging work!” — J G


Note: I’m not a doctor or a personal trainer. If you have health issues or think you need medical attention, you should seek professional help instead of listening to the advice of strangers on the Internet. If you begin training and have underlying medical issues that you are aware of or choose to ignore, you will likely only further hurt yourself.