C25KHappy Monday! One week into my 21 Day Sugar Detox. It’s been…well…hard. Thankfully I’ve stuck to my guns and I’m still plugging through. But I’m really hoping the next 14 days go by quickly. Let’s just say I haven’t been in the best of moods without sugar. Ah well.

For today’s Motivational Monday, I wanted to share what I’ve been doing as far as fitness. Believe it or not, I’m running.

I know, I know. I swore up and down that I would never run. That zombies would have to be chasing me. But I got bit by the runners bug about a month ago. And decided I wanted to try it again.

And the good news is, it’s actually going pretty well. I’ve been forcing myself to take it really slowly. My “running” pace is normally only about an 11 – 12 minute mile. And that is mixed with a lot of walking. But so far not only have I been able to complete my 30 minute workouts, but I’ve had practically no asthma issues.

I say practically because I did have one issue when I tried to take my running outside. All of my running has been on the treadmill but one day it seemed like the perfect weather to give outside a shot. Big mistake. I got about 10 minutes in when I started to feel my throat close. I was able to push through but it was super uncomfortable. Has that happened to anyone else before? I was even having trouble swallowing.

Anyway, it’s back on the treadmill for me. And for those who are interested in running with me, I highly recommend the iphone app I’ve been using.

C25K Free

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C25K by Zen Labs is  basically just your typical couch to 5K running program. After a 5 minute warmup, it alternates sessions of running/jogging with sessions of walking. And each week it increases the running portion and decreases the walking. For a total of 8 weeks. By the end of 8 weeks you should be able to complete a full 5K run (in about 40 minutes).

Now there are a ton of C25K programs out there. The reason I’ve been really loving this app is specifically for its UI. As you can see in the screenshots, the small circle on the left shows how much time has elapsed, the middle circle counts down remaining time in your walk or running session, and the circle on the right shows the total time remaining.

It’s incredibly easy to follow along. Even the colors change from red to green as you alternate. Although you don’t necessarily have to be looking at the screen. You can select to have either a voice command, beeps or just vibrate to let you know when to switch. The app will keep running in the background if you want to use your phone for something else while you run. For example, like watching funny cat videos.

music c25k Most of the time I prefer to listen to music. Another pretty nifty feature is you can access your music playlists from inside the app. I created a “workout” playlist to listen to while running and put it on shuffle.

And yes, that is K$sha. She is a staple in my running playlist. So are Brittany Spears and Adam Lambert. No judging.

Anyway, the best part of this app is that it’s free. Yup. Completely free. Sure that means you have to deal with the ad at the bottom of the screen. But honestly, I hardly even notice it anymore. It’s just a small banner. No popups.

No the company is not paying me to write about them. They don’t even know I exist. In fact, I don’t even remember where I originally found this app. I had downloaded it a long time ago and discovered it while cleaning up my app folders.

But I’ve been enjoying it so much that I wanted to share. I have it on my iphone but it’s also available at the Google Playstore and the Amazon app store.

Let me know if you use it and what you think. Maybe we can give each other some running tips. My goal is if I keep using this, I’ll be able to complete my first 5K race in the spring. We’ll see if that actually happens… 

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