Jun 25

How to: Train for a 5k Run, Plus Red Faced Runners 5k Challenge


We’re taking a quick departure from food today, but sticking with my hope that you will be inspired to live well. As many of you know, I made some big changes over the past year, in both eating and exercise, leading to a significant weight loss and a new-found dedication to exercise. Do I think everyone should start training for a marathon? Of course not! However, I do hope I can convince you to change up your routine a little bit and get your body moving. I am joining up with an amazing group of women (scroll down to find out who’s involved) to challenge you to train alongside us virtually, with the goal of all of us running a 5k in our respective cities on the same day. (Scroll down for the details.)

Don’t think you can do it? Think again! There’s some amazing information here (including a week-by-week training plan, using a walk/run format), written by Cindy BeMent, a running coach certified by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), fellow food blogger (Once Upon a Loaf), marathoner and friend, that will help to guide you on this journey. This lady knows what she’s talking about!

So, what’s with the name? Red Faced Runners? We all started chatting on Twitter (as food bloggers are apt to do) about running, and realized that each of us suffers from the same affliction…going bright red when we run. This haphazard meeting has turned into a group of women who support each other’s running efforts and commiserate with each other over hot and windy days, broken toes and sore quad muscles.

When it comes to running, we’re a bit of a motley crew. Some run a couple of times each week, some completed their first 5k races within the last few months, one is training for her first marathon (okay, that’s me) and one is a seasoned marathoner, with more miles under her belt than Forest Gump (yep, that’s Cindy). Whatever the distance and whatever the experience level, we are all in it for the same thing. To feel good about ourselves, to get stronger and to have the knowledge, deep down inside, that we can do anything we set our minds to. That’s a powerful thing.

When we first came up with the idea of kicking off a 5k challenge, one of us spotted some Wonder Woman socks online. Our running was making us feel super-hero powerful and we latched onto the Wonder Woman persona. Feeling in a giddy mood, we all decided to buy a pair of the socks and take a picture of ourselves wearing the socks. Here’s the result:

RWR WW Collage
Red Faced Runners (in random order): Cindy, Once Upon a Loaf; Amy, She Wears Many Hats; Kristen, Dine & Dish; Bridget, Bake at 350; Lori, Recipe Girl; Katrina, In Katrina’s Kitchen; Robyn, Add a Pinch; Carolyn, All Day I Dream About Food; Krista, Budget Gourmet Mom; Shawn, I Wash…You Dry; and me.

How to be a part of the challenge:
Step 1: Buy yourself some good shoes (see Cindy’s tips below) and print out Cindy’s training plan.

Step 2: Choose a 5k in your area on the weekend of September 8th and sign up. Sign up now…don’t wait. Commit to yourself that you can do this!

Here are a couple of sites that are helpful for finding local runs:
Running in the U.S.A.
Running Room (U.S. and Canada)
Running Races in Canada

Step 3: Get out there and start walking and running with us.

Step 4: Keep us updated on your progress. We want to hear how you’re doing, the good and the challenging. I would love to share a couple of your stories in September, so please keep in touch by commenting on my blog or emailing me at cookincanuck(at)comcast(dot)net.

For those of you on Twitter and/or Instagram, we will be using the hashtag #RFR5k to chat about the challenge. Also, we just set up a Red Faced Runners Challenge Facebook page. Please join us there for updates and support.

We can’t wait to do this with you. Go beyond your comfort level..I think you’ll surprise yourself.


Now, let’s move on to Cindy’s ten tips and training plan.  There is some REALLY helpful information here, so use this post as a resource on your journey.

Take it away, Cindy!

Yeah, I’ve got a few opinions on this running thing, beyond the miles and the minutes.

Sit down and relax for this one. Below are ten points I just had to share with you before you join us in the world of red-faced running that will hopefully help set you up for roaring success. We’re so happy you’re here! Now, read this:

1. Believe in the run
Running isn’t easy. But that’s why we do it. Trust me on this – you can do this, too, and it does get easier and can be immensely enjoyable, fun and even social.

Getting there from here will challenge you and test your patience at times. You will have doubts and you may want to quit. Often.


Live for the “firsts” right now – your first pair of custom-fit running shoes, your first 30-minute continuous run, your first run with a new running buddy. There will be so many, and (hopefully) you’ll never be here again. It’s a great time to become a runner and watch your body tighten and your mind toughen so fast it will make you giddy, so enjoy the ride!

Commit to getting out there, to pushing yourself a little further than you thought you could go. Your breathing will get easier, your stride will feel more natural, your mind will carry you all the way through the workout, if you just do the work. Consistency is the biggest key in running, so commit to the run (yes, the run/walk counts) — then hang on to your hat when the results start to surface. Very soon, you’ll be double-taking, but yes, that’ll be you in the mirror – you’ll be a runner, and you’ll be unstoppable.

2. Believe in the rest
I just told you to run, push yourself and commit to moving your body and mind repetitively. That said, you must also commit to parking it when you should or when your body is telling you that you’ve overdone it.

Improvement in running actually happens during the rest phase of the training process. Muscles, joints and bones adjust, heal micro-tears caused by exercise and grow stronger, denser and more resilient while you’re doing nada.

If your schedule calls for a rest day but you’re so pumped you’ve lost five pounds you’re thinking that sneaking in one more run will make you that much lighter that much faster, resist. Don’t go there.

There ARE heroics in restraining yourself and letting your body adapt to the new and increasing demands you’re placing on it. If you fear you’ll lose momentum, schedule weights, yoga, core work – even a dedicated stretching session – on your days off from running. It’s all going toward the same goal – making you better, stronger, faster than before (cue $6M Man bionic noise).

Resting when you should or when something hurts (beyond an ache here or a little muscle soreness there) means you’re running easier, farther and longer that much sooner – and doing so will net you more of every benefit running has to offer than pushing it when you shouldn’t. Less is more in this application, so believe in your rest days as invaluable tools in becoming a runner.

3. Respect must rule all.
Next to safeguarding your body, you must safeguard your mind. When you set out on this running journey, make sure that everyone you associate with respects what you are doing, at the bare minimum. In order to do that, you must lead by example via respecting your own efforts (I restate this in many times in this post in varying forms).

If anyone tells you you are getting too skinny and you look sick, you’re crazy to be out running in the middle of the summer, you will never be an Olympian anyway so why bother, and on and on – remove them from your life, or at least from your “entourage,” as I call it, if you can’t entirely. No exceptions.


The next rung up from respect is support. From the get-go, find at least one person who unconditionally supports what you are about to do in training for your 5K. Add him or her to your entourage and build from there. Let your entourage know what they mean to you and why they made it into your circle. But be selective and take your time in adding members.

Some of your entourage is easy to select from the start, others you need to observe and feel out as you go. You’ll know when they’re right. Don’t keep your journey a total secret. It takes a village to run a great 5K, but the size of your village is irrelevant.

4. Your body is your temple
Now’s the time to invest in the “you know you shoulds.” You’ve known forever that you should sleep longer, drink more water, get your doctor’s check-up, finally, and stop hunching over your computer at work. I could go on all day. Shape that all up — right now. Start fresh.

Treat your body like the incredible instrument that it is, with no exceptions. You can’t bash your bod through the long haul that each day brings and still expect it to perform for you out on the roads. Not gonna happen.

Take a day this week to inventory all the things you let slide when it comes to the way you treat your body. I’m not talking eating habits – that’s next. I mean the way you care for your body in its environs – at home, at work – in your car. Are you stuffing your feet into stilettos that about kill you on your walk from the car into your office? Driving with your shoulders in your ears and tense enough to bounce a quarter off of? Wolfing down dinner to get to your nightly housework? It’s time to take stock and make little but very healthy changes that will help your running. You likely can identify many things already – do it now.

5. Your kitchen is your place of worship
If this post were about proper nutrition, it would go on forever. While we’re not going to address the finer points of fueling yourself for a healthier life (you can find plenty of that right here on Cookin’ Canuck), do your homework and construct an eating plan for yourself that gives you a fighting chance. You must address both sides of the equation – the intake as well as the output – if you want to make this running thing stick.


Chances are, you can already name fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein including chicken and fish and plenty of whole grains plus water as go-to nutrition staples for fueling your body correctly. You know the saying “garbage in, garbage out?” It can’t be more true than in running. So, if you’re giving yourself the incredible gift of becoming a runner, your first step is into the kitchen for a good, hard look around. There’s no reason to even lace up your new running shoes if you’re not going to fuel right, 24/7.

6. Equip yourself
Raise your right hand and repeat after me: I will not buy clearance running shoes from the department store because they are pink and look fast.

First things first: find a local running shop (hereafter affectionately referred to as an LRS) and head in to get your running gait analyzed and your feet fitted for shoes based on how you run. There is no best brand, no single category of running shoe (minimalist, motion control, neutral, for example) that reigns supreme in running shoes. Finding the right shoe is a highly individual and personal process. The shoe almost seems to find you – tell me if you don’t agree, once you go.

LRSs can be a tad intimidating – they’re often staffed by experienced runners who log hundreds and thousands of miles a year and win local races. These are exactly the peoples’ hands you want to put yourself in when you start running.

Simply go in, introduce yourself as a new runner and state your intentions – you’re training for a 5K the second weekend in September – and they will, or at least they should – immediately welcome you to the running family and set about their most helpful and informative ways. If you feel uncomfortable or demeaned in any way, go somewhere else. It’s that simple.


Shoes are the first step – but don’t stop there. A properly fitting running bra, a water bottle, and shorts made of sweat-wicking material that fit you well and make you feel great when outside running public are a must, as are one to three tank tops and two-to-three pairs of sweat-wicking, durable socks. Take your time trying these on, even do a little internet research and ask runners you know for their prefs (or me – I have no shortage on opinions when it comes to running gear).

LRSs are great places for gear advice. It’s what they do. You’ll get familiar with technical fabrics like Climalite® and Dri-FIT and you’ll be happy you did. Running is hard enough on your bod without having to compensate for improper gear. Don’t make me bring up the word “chafe” – or worse. Running-specific clothing is it is built to last, and if you care for it properly, you’ll actually save money in the long run. Case-in-point: just two weeks ago, I finally wore a hole in a pair of running socks I bought 12 years ago. And as a marathoner, you can imagine how much action my socks get.

7. You run. You don’t jog.
Please banish the “J word” from your vocabulary. If you must quantify yourself within running – “Oh, I just jog,” or “I’m not one of those REAL runners,” or even “oh, I can only run ___, I just started,” in my opinion, you’re halfway to quitting already.


Take pride in what you’re doing – as I tell every beginning runner I work with (and many more advanced ones, as well): whether you walk it, run it or crawl it, it’s still a mile. If you run, you are a runner. Period. (Even if you walk/run – you’re still running and you will soon be a full-time runner, so take the title now.)

If you are uncomfortable talking about your running in public when you begin, then it’s fine to keep it to yourself. However, your SELF must know that you are a runner at all times. Own it big. You deserve it.

8. Get after it.
Hopefully, you’ve been busy setting yourself up for success in running by following the above tips. It takes guts and tenacity just to get ready to ‘get after it!’

Now, it’s game time. Bring your best, every single workout.You will quickly come to trust yourself to get through that next tough workout, to listen to your body and to make wise training and self-care choices if you start building your mental toughness from the beginning. It’s not rocket science, but it’s also not easy. Practice, however, does make perfect.

I tell every single runner I coach something I truly believe (and haven’t been proven wrong on yet): you can achieve so much more than you think you can. The key: you must believe. Even dream. Might as well – you’re out here on the road, anyway – let’s see what you’ve got!

Show yourself you’re determined as often as you can. Be tough on yourself – but don’t demand perfection. Demand progress in some area on every run, and demand consistency from yourself all day, every day.

You won’t always hit it every day, but if you strive to, you’ll get there more days than you don’t, and you’ll hit your pillow each night plenty satisfied with yourself as a runner.

9. Spread the love.
When people see the changes you’ve made in your life and how positively running has impacted you as a person, you’re going to get some groupies, mark my words.

Let them worship you – you’ve got guts and you’re doing something pretty darned special. They want what you have.

There’s always a new runner coming up behind you so throw your hand out and help them aboard. Again, there’s no qualification for being a role model in running. It’s not your pace, the number of miles or the races you’ve run – it’s the effort and the transformation they admire. They want to get into the exclusive club that you’ve busted your tail to join – can you blame them?

Get comfortable with being inspiring and mentor a new(er) runner. You’re already qualified. This is one of those amazing and unexpected properties of running that make it so awesome – bonds formed with others that are near-impossible to break. Just wait and see; it WILL happen to you.

10. Have the time of your life!
OK, do I really need to say it?

YOU’RE GONNA ROCK. Enjoy this time of your life, and though you might be plenty chicken, force yourself to be as fearless and celebratory as you can possibly manage in your running. Party over every single tiny victory that advances you along this road and builds that honey badger that is you, the runner. Share it shamelessly with your friends and family and dismiss any haters. I can’t be more serious.

I also can’t be more serious in saying I can’t WAIT to celebrate with you!

Now, go get it! Let’s do this.

The Training Plan:
This training plan is designed to get you from frozen-in-fear to 5K in a little over two months’ time. It’s about building a runner from the ground up. You see, my ulterior motive is to help you become a runner for life. “Why on earth would I do that?” you wonder. Just wait. You’ll see.

The following schedule is built on three workouts a week, the minimum number I believe to be beneficial for becoming a runner and for preparing your body safely to run 3.1 miles. Listen to your body at all times, don’t sneak in extra workouts or try to run multiple days on end. We’re getting after it and pushing ourselves, but we’re training smart, too.

To note: each workout should be preceded by a five-minute walking warm-up and ended with walking five minutes for cool down.

(To print the training plan, just drag and drop it onto your desktop, then print.)

Thank you, Cindy, for this treasure trove of information and inspiration. Now, GO RUN 5K!

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{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kristen June 25, 2012 at 7:44 am

I’m so happy to be doing this together! Thanks for setting it up, Dara and for all the great info from Cindy!


2 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 8:25 am

Me too, Kristen! Cindy put together some really helpful tips to get everyone kick-started.


3 TidyMom June 25, 2012 at 8:05 am

This is such perfect timing for me Dara! I downloaded the C25K app yesterday and went out at 6am this morning! – I walked more than I ran, but I did it!!
Kristen then told me what you guys were planning and I’m so excited to get some support!!


4 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 8:25 am

Way to go, Cheryl! Starting off with some walking is a great way to go. If you push yourself too quickly, I find it’s harder to maintain that motivation. I’m so glad you’ll be doing this with us!


5 Melissa June 25, 2012 at 8:23 am

This is a good post, but it’s my opinion that if a person is running many miles a day and starts looking unhealthily skinny, it’s not a bad thing to tell them so for their own good because yes, it’s possible to be too skinny. And that person shouldn’t be “removed” from the runner’s life for that. That’s just ridiculous to say.


6 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 8:30 am

Melissa, I do understand your point and I appreciate you sharing your point of view. In the past, I’ve seen friends lose weight (in a healthy way) and start to look lean and strong from exercise…then a family member or friend starts to tell them they’re too skinny and they shouldn’t exercise so much. Unfortunately, these comments have typically stemmed from jealousy rather than concern. I think these are the situations Cindy is talking about, rather than situations in which someone is losing too much weight or exercising obsessively. In those cases, it is definitely appropriate to voice concern.


7 Melissa June 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Yes, excessive weight loss/exercise (like running 20 miles a day and walking 5) was what I meant when I shared. Of course, healthy weight loss and toning are fine and it would be kind of dumb for someone to comment about and probably would stem from jealousy. Thank you for your response!


8 Lena H. June 25, 2012 at 8:43 am

Wow! Great timing indeed! I am so sick of thinking about all my great runs “way back when” — finally got myself up this morning to start the C25k program all over again (5th-ish time is the charm, right?).

So excited to find such a great crew to help keep me on track and motivated :)


9 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 11:23 am

Lena, good for you! It took me many stops and starts to get myself going, too. Once I got myself into a regular routine, I found that I really missed running if I took several days off.

We’re all here to support each other, so please keep me updated on your progress.


10 Cindy June 25, 2012 at 8:48 am

Hi, Melissa – Dara hit it right here as far as interpreting me. I should expand on my seemingly harsh statement to say that we often have people in our lives we can’t or don’t want to actually remove, but who don’t quite know what to make of what we are doing with this running thing. We can insulate ourselves from unfounded criticism if it does crop up (and in my findings it usually does) and mentally “remove” someone who is not supportive. Obsessive exercise and dieting is an entirely different situation and would definitely need to be addressed.

I want everyone to keep themselves as the focus in this challenge. When you undertake and have success with something like this, attention, comments and even criticism follow. Press on in your healthy ways and don’t be deterred by any negativity you may encounter.


11 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 11:23 am

Well said, Cindy!


12 Cassie June 25, 2012 at 9:31 am

This is wonderful! There is so much power in numbers. Fabulous group!


13 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 11:23 am

Thanks, Cassie! I hope you’ll join us.


14 Sara June 25, 2012 at 9:32 am

I so needed this today, I’m about to start my couch to 5k program. I have a long ways to go and weight to lose but it’s nice to know there will be some support out there.


15 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 11:25 am

Sara, these things are best when done one step at a time. I’ve been in your shoes and I’m here to tell you…YOU CAN DO THIS!

Please keep me updated!


16 bridget {bake at 350} June 25, 2012 at 9:40 am

I cannot tell you how much I love this post. OK…I can. I LOVE it!

“You run; you don’t jog.” Can I tell you how many times I have downplayed my running because I didn’t want to give the impression I was a “real runner?” My music mix on my iPhone is even titled “jogging” because I didn’t feel like I should put “running.” on there. I’m changing that NOW.

The “LRS”…I was so scared to go in there, but they DID welcome me with open arms. New shoes just right for me, and RUNNING clothes, not baggy old cotton t-shirts and yoga pants? They made me feel like a new person.

OK…I could go through every point here. Cindy & Dara….you both are a tremendous inspiration to me…and I know to many others as well. Thank you!

PS….on our red-faced runners day today, I ran my fastest pace EVER!!! And I ran it, I didn’t JOG! 😉 Ha!


17 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

Bridget, you are definitely a RUNNER and I am so happy to be doing this challenge with you! And you’re fastest pace ever today? Well, that just rocks!


18 Janine (sugarkissed.net) June 25, 2012 at 10:00 am

OMG…. I absolutely love the superhero socks! I’m thinking about joining you ladies in Sept. I’ve already started training for a 5k in Dec. I hit a road bump last week and need to get back on the wagon!


19 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 11:28 am

The socks are pretty darn fun, aren’t they? PLEASE join us in this challenge…there’s power in numbers. Then wear those socks in the 5k. Here’s the link: http://amzn.to/MkfnhR


20 Jordan June 25, 2012 at 10:05 am

I’m not a female, but I definitely found some great tips + points in here that are so relatable to anyone! I definitely felt inspired to jump out of my chair and hit the ground running. I’m definitely paying a visit to my LRS today!


21 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 11:29 am

Jordan, you don’t have to be a woman to join in our challenge! Go get yourself some Superman socks (seriously, they’re on Amazon) and join us in the challenge. We’d love to have you be a part of it. Please keep me updated on your progress.


22 Megan June 25, 2012 at 10:15 am

Good timing! I stopped in my training about a month ago at Week 7 and have been making excuses to get back to it.
I definitely agree on the gear – aside from wicking and proper fit, I find that my new running skirt just makes me feel good when I run (because I like to be cute, even with a red face ;))


23 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 11:30 am

Megan – oh yes, it’s such a good feeling to be rocking the running skirt, red-faced and all. I hope you’ll join us in the challenge!


24 Emma June 25, 2012 at 10:45 am

This is truly perfect timing… I recently started the C25K program and am on week 3. It’s really fun and makes me feel good about myself. I signed up to run my first 5K on my birthday in August, and I’m seriously thinking about signing up for one in September with you guys! Thanks for the inspiration!


25 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 11:32 am

That’s fantastic, Emma! Yes, PLEASE DO join us in September. I have a feeling that, once you run that 5k in August (what a great birthday present to yourself), you’ll be hooked and will want to run another one. Please let me know how your training is going along the way.


26 Shelby N. June 25, 2012 at 10:59 am

Like others have said, I totally needed this today. I recommitted to eating healthier and execersize back at the end of January. I did great in my eating and actually really well with working out too. However the last month or do I haven’t made it to the gym as often as I promised myself I would, and have let my eating habits slip as well. This morning when my alarm went off at 4:45 like it does 4 days a week, I just didn’t have the motivation to go. And this was after an entire weekend (plus Friday off). I need a kick in the rear… And you awesome ladies have given it to me. Currently at the gym I run 2-3 days a week ( just started not that long ago… Looked at other running plans and thought they sounded hard… Like runnin 5 mins at a time in week 2! Yours sounds so much more doable.) I’m excited to get started!


27 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

Shelby, I’ve been on that “roll over and go back to sleep” slide many times. It doesn’t feel good! I’m so glad that our challenge has inspired you and that Cindy’s 5k training plan seems doable. I’d love to hear how you’re doing along the way!


28 Carolyn June 25, 2012 at 11:25 am

This is such a great post, Dara and Cindy. Thanks for leading us, I love being a part of the group. We are gonna rock it, come Sept. 8th!


29 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 11:34 am

I’m thrilled to be doing this with you, Carolyn! Your story is so inspiring.


30 Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen June 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Dara- LOOK at what you’ve done!! You are a gem and I’m so happy to be “running” with you!


31 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Oh, Katrina…it’s so great to be on this journey with you. It would be a dream for us to run together in person!


32 patti June 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Hi there Dara. Thanks for the inspiration to actually get my butt in gear. I’m a former marathon runner with a herniated disc, so don’t know that I can join you all running but there’s no reason I can’t walk! Where are we to report to each other-is it twitter?
Do you have a different plan for walking? I was actually contemplating signing up for a trail half marathon in the fall that I had run in the past.
I have signed up with My Fitness Pal at your suggestion although i’m ashamed to admit I haven’t been journalling for a couple of months. Maybe this will give me the push!
Thanks again for your inspiration.


33 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Patti, I don’t have a walking plan on my site, but here’s one I found: http://blog.walkingspree.com/walkingspree/beginner-5k-walk-plan/ I hope you’ll join us in the challenge, walk or run!


34 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I forgot to answer the other part of your question. If you’re on Twitter, you can chat with us, using the hashtag #RFR5k. Otherwise, feel free to share your updates by 1) commenting on this, 2) commenting on future running posts I do during the summer and/or 3) emailing me. My email is cookincanuck (at) comcast (dot) net.


35 Amy June 25, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I can’t begin to tell you how much of an inspiration you have been to me. To watch you transform into a running supah star has been fun. And all of your other tips and words of encouragement—thanks bunches! Can’t wait to follow your marathon journey this fall. Woot woot!


36 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Oh, Amy. You’re such a sweetheart! I love that we’re doing all of this together. You have a lot to be proud of yourself, lady!


37 Julia June 25, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I’m super pumped you guys are doing this, and have the support of not only each other, but all of us. Great tips on how to get motivated and stay motivated!!


38 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Thanks so much, Julia! I hope you’ll join us on the challenge.


39 Michele June 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Wow! This is a sign from the universe!
I have been talking about running since the beginning
of the year but have successfully come up with
excuses that have held me back. No More Excuses!
I am printing this entire blog out and will
finally do it!


40 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Michele, I’m so glad you found motivation in this post. Cindy included some fantastic tips and thoughts…I might stick it on my fridge! We’d really love for you to be a part of the challenge. Please keep me updated on your progress.


41 Julie June 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Hi Dara! I just read both your post and Katrina’s post, and you ladies have left me feeling very inspired! I have always said that I “am not a runner,” although I have always thought that it would be great to be “a runner.” My husband is training for his 7th marathon, and he has been trying to get me to start running for years. This training plan might just be the ticket :) Thank you for sharing the tips from Cindy, and I just love those socks!


42 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Julie, I know how you feel. My husband is a marathoner, too and I’ve always sat back and watched him, until the last couple of years. Now I take joy in my own running, as well as his. BTW, you have to get a pair of the socks!


43 marla June 25, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Dara, this is such a great idea!!! Too bad my running career is over ~ I would have loved to join in the FUN!!! ( I need to track down those Wonder Woman socks! )


44 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Thanks, Marla. We know you’ll be with us in spirit, my athletic friend!


45 Cate O'Malley June 25, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Very inspirational post! Last May, I sprained my ankle. I was crushed because I had, at that time, lost 60 lbs and felt like I was closerthanthis to starting to add running to my work-outs. Now, a year later, ankle still swollen and sometimes sore, I am not on the same wagon. No longer doing Zumba five times a week, it’s been a hard wagon to get back on. I have done two 5ks so far this year, and am signed up for the Color Run (5k) in NYC in August and Virginia in September. Would love to start now … and run them!


46 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Cate, I can only imagine how frustrating that must have been for you. The fact that you’ve come back and already run two 5ks this year shows you’ve got some serious chutzpah. Well done!


47 Stef June 25, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I’ve recently been thinking about starting to run. This is a great place to start. Thanks! Quick question: When you do these timed run/walk combinations do you just stare at your watch the whole time or is there an app that you recommend that you can plug all of this into?


48 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Stef…let me ask Cindy about that.


49 Stef June 26, 2012 at 7:24 am



50 Cindy June 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm

Hi, Stef! I use my stopwatch, as the changes in effort level have to happen real-time. However, many watches (Timex Ironman series, for ex) have countdown timers you can program to keep track of th intervals for you. Some let you set patterns such as the ones in the workouts – whence you want that functionality, look for “countdown timer” or “interval timer” in the specs list.


51 Cindy June 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Sorry for the typos…I do NOT say ‘whence.’ 😉


52 Nutmeg Nanny June 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Good luck on your training! You are such an inspiration!


53 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Thanks, Brandi! We would love for you to join in with us.


54 polly June 25, 2012 at 9:34 pm

oh I am so excited about this. I am committing to you tonight to take this on. I love all the information you have shared. I am one step closer. I have a pair of running shoes that I got. Now I just need to put them into action. I would love to find a partner if you know someone that wants a partner. Thank you so much! I guess I need to figure out twitter.


55 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Polly, that’s great! PLEASE keep me updated on your progress along the way. As for a running partner, there is a site called Jogging Buddy that tries to link up people looking for partners. Here’s the link: http://www.joggingbuddy.com


56 ProGait Custom Orthotics June 26, 2012 at 6:05 am

I really enjoyed reading your post and I think it’s wonderful that you are all doing it together. It’s great to have a running buddy or two for encouragement! Go girls and guys if any decide to join in! :)


57 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm

You’re right…having a running buddy really makes such a difference!


58 Maria June 26, 2012 at 6:57 am

What a fun and inspiring post! Love it Dara! So proud of you and all of the red faced runners:) I have been running along with you…just not as far as I’d like thanks to joint pain after the baby, but I’m still doing my best:) I will have to look at races in September. Maybe the Utah bloggers can run one together:)


59 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Thanks, Maria! I know that joint pain was causing you problems, so I’m glad to hear that you’re able to do some running again. Hopefully your discomfort will subside over time. Yes, it would be fun to run altogether!


60 Jen @ Savory Simple June 26, 2012 at 11:10 am

You’re so inspiring!


61 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 26, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Aww…thanks, Jen. I am inspired daily by my fellow Red Faced Runner friends!


62 Katie June 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Thanks the the great post! I used to run in my life before kids (even did a couple of 1/2 marathons) but only just got back into it 6 weeks ago. It’s been challenging but enjoyable. I’m planning n running a 10km the same weekend as your 5km. I’ll enjoy following along for some inspiration!


63 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 26, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Way to go, Katie! That’s perfect that you’ll be running on that weekend, too. Even though it’s all virtual, it’s great to know that there are others running at the same time.


64 Rebecca June 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I love this post. I needed this post. I’ve been wanting to start running, to BE a runner, for so long. I really need to just start. I have a treadmill, and I was wondering at what speed you should run for running parts of the training. Does it matter?


65 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Rebecca, you CAN do this. I never thought I’d be able to call myself a runner and now…well, I’ve shocked the heck out of myself. As far as speed, it’s what you can comfortably sustain for the recommended period of time. At the beginning, I would recommend taking on a pace that allows you to carry on a conversation while running. Okay, it won’t be the most comfortable conversation, but a conversation none-the-less.


66 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar June 26, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Aww sadly there isn’t a race near Ottawa that weekend. BOO!! I’m running a half marathon on September 23rd…let’s just pretend that’s the date, haha.


67 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Katrina, way to go on the half-marathon. That definitely counts. :) Maybe you could set a 5k route around your neighborhood on September 8th and inspire a couple of friends and/or family members to run with you.


68 monica June 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm

LOVE this! My heart. So well done. And even if I don’t find a race on that day, I am so stoked for all of you…(I’m a lifer/runner. :))
Thanks for such a thorough job on this. I will pass it on!


69 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 30, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Thank you, Monica! It’s heartening to see everyone so excited about this challenge. Let’s hope many more lifetime runners come from this! And yes, Cindy did an amazing job with the information in this post.


70 Kim June 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

For everyone who’s afraid of running out in public, this is what has helped me to do go out and do it – and I’m 270lbs! http://flintland.blogspot.com/2012/05/hey-fat-girl.html


71 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Yes, I love this piece. It really does say it all. Thanks, Kim.


72 Lori @ RecipeGirl June 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm

You are amazing… for what you’ve accomplished with your body and your being… and for putting this together for all of us! I hope we are able to inspire many with our enthusiasm and encouragement. And it doesn’t hurt to inspire each other as well. Can’t wait until we can gather as a team and run together! XO


73 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Lori, you’re so sweet. It’s so great to have each other for inspiration and motivation. I can’t wait to have the chance to run with you!


74 Kathleen June 28, 2012 at 11:30 am

I am finally going to do a run, I have always said i don’t run unless someone is chasing me but i am changing that(more lazy than anything). Thanks to my sister telling me about this site i am finally getting motivated, also the socks. Couch to 5K here i come. Thank you for all the positive words.


75 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Kathleen, this makes me so happy! You can do this!


76 Colleen June 29, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I am excited to join you all, I coincidentally had started the C25K three weeks ago 😉

I love my 5K runner app and am going to get better sneakers when I get back from vacation.

I signed up for my 5K on September 8th, too!


77 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Colleen, that fantastic! It sounds like you are well on your way with your training and I’m so glad you’ll be joining us in the challenge.


78 Karen June 30, 2012 at 6:42 am

I’m in!!! I have been wanting to do this for a long time. After reading your post I’m out the door! Thanks ladies!!!


79 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Karen, I’m so glad to hear that you’re “in”. Please keep us updated on how you’re doing.


80 Mary Beth July 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I signed up for my first 5k this morning after “thinking” about it for almost a week. After reading everyone’s words of wisdom and encouragement, I feel more motivated and certain of success. I’ve always convinced myself that I’m a walker not a runner. No longer, I ran today! My husband is the first member of my entourage, he said it was a privilege to be asked.


81 Jess July 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Hi! I wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your blog, and just nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award over on mine! (I didn’t want to post this on your most recent entries since they were giveaways – didn’t want to mess up the comments/randomly generated winners) http://floptimism.blogspot.com/2012/07/paying-it-forward-with-versatile.html


82 Tickled Red July 6, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Okay you guys have me inspired and motivated to try. xoxo


83 Sarah @ Will Run for Pasta July 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm

So excited for this as I just started to get back into running, and I also love food bloggers so it’s a match made in heaven!!


84 Karen July 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Hi ladies,

Just wanted to share my post with my WONDER WOMAN socks :) Love’em!


85 Terri A. September 27, 2012 at 8:41 am

I have a question on the training schedule. In week 4, on the 1st and 2nd workouts, the last item is a 5 minute walk (which follows a 1 minute walk). Is that correct, or should it be a 5 minute run? Thanks! I’m only in week 2, but was looking ahead.


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