Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reviewing the Running Programs

Many of you are running, some of you are thinking about running and others are simply thinking about “thinking about running.”

Maybe you don’t have the right shoes. I thought that there was really no difference in what you wore on your feet, but I was slipping and sliding all over the place when I jogged in my penny loafers.

Maybe you’re worried about the fact that running down the street is the equivalent of a blacksmith repeatedly pounding on your knees with a mallet.

Maybe you don’t have “a runner’s mindset,” which I define as “having something seriously wrong with you.”

Maybe you’re confused about the various running programs out there to help you build up your running muscles. I can’t do anything about your footwear, kneebones or prescribing you something that will allow you to experience the elusive “runner’s high,” but I can explain the nuances of the different running programs out there so that you can make an informed choice about what’s best for you.

 I’m sure you’re familiar with C25K (Couch to 5K). It’s the standard program that most runners use to get their running “on track” (that’s a little running humor, no extra charge). It starts you off walking some and running a little, followed by walking a little and running some, followed by walking a bit, running a lot, followed by walk, run, run, walk, run, run some more… until finally you’re dazed, confused and running 5K at a time.

Next on our list is C25K, which is spelled the same but pronounced “Couch to 25K”. Be careful not to get the two confused.

Fading in popularity due to a weak economy, the C2401K program is designed to benefit you “farther down the road”. *

If you’re strapped for time, the C2.5K (“Couch to .5K”) program can be completed during a television commercial.

The C25KKK is… okay, better to just “skip” over that one.

The C2Y2K was all the rage a decade or so ago, but you don’t hear much about it anymore.

The C25KN22, popularized by the marvelous MizFit, requires you to run in a tutu.

With the C25KO program, a professional boxer comes over and punches you in the gut whenever you stop running.

The C2K-Mart program isn’t really that good, but for the next fifteen minutes, it’s 25% off.

The 5K2C program (which I actually invented and did over the last few months) is noteworthy because it starts you off running 5K and eases you back down to sitting around on the sofa.

Whatever program you use, just remember: it’s all about putting one foot in front of the other (putting one foot in front of the same foot is considered bad form).

*More running humor

Speaking of running, don’t forget to get out this Sunday and run yourself a 5K like my buddy Kelly and I are doing. Kelly’s doing it for a good cause, and I’m doing it because I’m a sucker for a good cause.


  1. As someone who's recently embarked on C25K (NOT 25K...just to be clear!), I can really appreciate this post.

    I'd forgotten about all the hype surrounding Y2K...ha!

    Hope you enjoy your run! (So can you run all 5K continuously, now that you've completed C25K???)

  2. And the "Divan 2 Diva" project!

  3. So appropriate since I'm on week 4 of C25K. And it's going to end with a race in a tutu!

  4. A day late and a couple of bucks short, As I have just completed week one of the C25K, I wish I would have seen the other choices a week ago...

  5. Glad I read this. I promised myself a full 5K on Sunday and misery loves company :) C25K was great. I finally made it through the program on my second try and you were right. It was the first 20 minute run that was the defining moment.

  6. Jack- is this your first 5K? The one youve been training for by starting the C25K?

    How exciting!! Soon you'll be running all kinds of crazy mileage!

  7. C25k isn't so bad.
    Just don't try running a 401k -- the extra fees are a real drag.

  8. Ha! And I'm a sucker for a sucker of a good cause,so I'll be cranking out a 5K loop around the old neighborhood. I think I'll drag Lady P. out of the shed and do an additional 5K lap and call it a biathalon.

  9. Haha! Love it!

    Kick some butt on your 5K!

  10. Great reviews Jack! Ever since the "incident" I've been trying to use the C25KN22 program as my defense. My lawyer never bought into it but now I can use this post as proof that it actually does exist! Thanks!

  11. The day I did "Run 5 minutes, Walk 3 minutes" was the day I wanted to quit. DON'T QUIT! You CAN do it! The next run of 7 and 2? Easy peasy. Just like that. So weird.

  12. Hilarious! Since I found your blog, I practice the C2JSH*T, and read regularly!!

  13. Everyone should give running a shot! I don't think I ever ran two steps in 38 years. Now I am can run 30 minutes not stop! WOOT WOOT!

  14. Love the C25K and it has helped me decide to do my first 5K at the end of the month. (Just hoping it doesn't snow by then!) And the C2Kmart isn't that bad...I ran plenty of the blue-light specials back when I worked there in college :)

  15. Thank you for this!! I am snorting with laughter! I have never been able to follow one of these running plans because plans tend to make my brain shut down. So I just go out there and do my own thing and if I end up finishing, great!

  16. Strong with the C25K young JackSh*t is. I better get photos on Sunday.

  17. OMG that is hilarious! Unfortunately, the 5K2C rings true for me, as I ran a 10K earlier this year, then fell off the wagon and have been struggling to get started again. Maybe take it slow and start with the C2.5K!

  18. LOVED this post - and I'll be out there and running something that'll probably add up to 5k in total (once I add up all the intervals) on Sunday.

    Just because, after 37 years of not being able to run, I finally *can*. Mainly due to that awesome wee C25k programme. Although some of the others sounds pretty damn cool as well :-D

  19. and now I wanna run backward.
    and start a REVERSE 5K to COUCH program.

  20. You should check out he Spartan Race just started training for it looks like a blast.

  21. Awesome post! I started the C25K (the original, to be clear), got to week 6 and was running 25 minutes at a time... and I have no idea what happened. I lost it.

    I'm going to start again though- it was good. and I never thought I could run 20 minutes at a time, let alone almost 30. Yea for baby steps.



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