*The Life Of Vanisha was sent product samples for review purposes, all thoughts portrayed are her own.
When someone says to you “let’s go for a run”, what’s the first thing that goes through your head? Are you whizzing through the many things that you would much rather do than go for a run? Are you dreading the thought and cannot think of anything worse? Or is it something that you actually welcome the idea of?
For many of us, including me, it certainly isn’t the latter. As someone who is a regular gym-goer, it may surprise many that going for a run isn’t at the top of my to do list, opting for classes like Body Pump or Spinning, and just straight up avoiding putting my running shoes on and going to the park. Even when I use the treadmill at the gym, I much prefer doing a fast paced uphill power walk, than a run. I’ve always just associated running as just something I can’t do.
Anytime I’ve been out running with husband, well attempted to, he’s always outrun me, or I’ve always been the one slowing him down, or struggling to keep up. I’m hoping that any of you reading this can either mirror these opinions, or understand exactly where I’m coming from.
When Herbalife got in touch with a 5 week to 5k plan, I welcomed the opportunity to really test myself. I’ve now completed 2 weeks of this plan, and have been to able to slowly build up my stamina.
I’m someone who likes a structured plan when I’m working out, and although I’ve read many times about different 5 week to 5k plans, there were differing starting points. The one element that I did get from all plans, however, was that it took time to build up to being able to run 5k – it wasn’t something that was just going to happen overnight.
WHO ARE HERBALIFE
Ok, so admittedly, when I first thought of who Herbalife were, I thought of the direct sellers on Facebook who are forever posting about the benefits of such and such products. I never really paid attention to what was being posted, as I associated Herbalife with the other “healthy living” direct sales products that were available to us. And, as always, it’s only really when you do try out the products that you do take a different stance on things.
Herbalife focus their products mainly on improving nutrition and personal care, rather than having a main focus on weight loss. Many of their products are nature inspired, with a focus on wellness.
WHERE TO START WITH A PLAN
Starting any sort of fitness plan can be quite daunting at first, especially if you’ve either just got back into fitness and working out, or you’re a newbie and wanting to make lifestyle changes for the better.
As with any workout, always start off with a full body stretch and warm up to not only prepare your body before a workout, but to help you recover after a workout. The last thing you want is to be feeling sore a day a so after a workout. There’s the just worked out feeling, and then there’s the what was I thinking feeling.
Go through a circuit of jumping jacks, skipping or walking lunges, for example, for a warm up, and calf, shoulder and tricep stretches.
Prior to working out I had the formula 1 sport shake by Herbalife. The shake is a healthy meal replacement, so if you are looking to manage your weight this is a good shake to have before a run. The shake contains about 18g of protein, which can help grow lean muscle, and I mixed 2 scoops in almond milk (though you can use semi-skimmed milk). I tend to drink any protein/meal replacement shakes about 2 hours before I workout.
During your first week, this is where you’ll burn a higher percentage of fat as you’ll start to train your body to burn fat as energy. You’ll need to ease into running at a slow and steady pace, rather than being tempted to just zoom straight ahead.
I started off by running for 1 minute and then walking for about 90 seconds. I did this set for 30 minutes three times in the first week so that my body got used to it.
It’s important to gradually build both distance and intensity with the programme, and allow your body to really adapt to running. For someone who isn’t a runner, the first day I did this I struggled. Like, really struggled. It was foreign to me, and I was just counting down the seconds until it was over. But the feeling of actually getting through the 30 minutes is such a sense of accomplishment.
This week does get slightly easier, as your body should be used to the intensity of running. During the second week I found that I was actually eating a lot more healthier than I had done previously, and that I was actually paying attention to what my body needed, rather than eating what I thought would make myself happy.
In week 2 you should try to run for 2 minutes and walk for 1. Set your own pace, it isn’t race, it’s more about building up your stamina.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
As with any workout, always make sure you carry a bottle of water with you and keep hydrated throughout your entire workout. However, drink when you’re thirsty, rather than drinking large gulps as this will give you a cramp. During my workouts, I drank the Hydrate electrolyte drink, which helped give me energy and nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and B vitamins. You simply need to mix one sachet with 500ml of water and you’re good to go.
Always make sure you stretch before and after a workout, to really relieve your muscles from all the hard work it’s just been put under. You’re only really going to get what you put in to this workout plan, and the sense of accomplishment is amazing after each week.
I’ll be updating how I got on with the second half of the plan in the next few weeks.
Have you tried a 5 week to 5k plan?