Step Outside Your Comfort Zone!

We humans tend to make ourselves comfortable. We take the easiest way we can find. But there are so many things we miss this way. In many cases it is the small things that make a big difference. Today I would like to show you how I have taken such a step and what has changed since then.

Step outside your comfort zone - Header Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

As a child I did athletics for several years. I did the standard disciplines and I really enjoyed it. But I never trained any endurance related disciplines besides the regular 3 laps to get warmed up.

Some day, at a regular tournament, my coach had me signed up for the 1000 meter runs. It was hell. That day, seven year old me decided to never participate in something like this again.
I kept this promise for 14 years until I successfully finished my first 10K last week. By choice.

From 0 To Running

If you had asked me during my school days what I would have despised most about sports lessons, I would certainly have answered with “endurance runs”.

Last September, I decided that I needed change. I wanted to get in general better shape and I wanted to really challenge myself. I thought that the most difficult thing I could try to stick to would be running. Simply because I wanted to prove to myself that I can do it, no matter how much I hate it.

At first I tried just to run regularly. But I quickly realized that I lacked planning and motivation. On Reddit I came across the C25K (Couch to 5K) program, which seemed to be tailored to my plan. At this point, I’d like to give a big shoutout to the c25k subreddit, the community is amazing and they really support each other. Definitely check it out.

The idea of the program is simple. Install an app that will help you train within 8 weeks so that you can run a 5 km run in 30 minutes without taking a break.

The training is based on 3 runs per week, with the training schedule becoming more intensive every week. Training here means changing between walking and running, whereby the running intervals become longer and the walking intervals shorter as you progress.

And that really works. While the programme is not easy, I think it is feasible in any case. I never thought I’d actually do this, but it works. After 8 weeks I exceeded my target and was ready for further progress.

We had a pretty cold winter in southern germany and running was quite difficult. In January, I got the flu and had to stop training. It took arount one month until I got myself together and decided to continue. There’s a follow-up app C210K available and I decided to try it out. However, I didn’t really manage to stick to the program as I did with c25k.

One day later, I signed up for a 10K near my hometown which will take place in early may 2018. This way, I forced myself to train for that. Surrender was no option and my goal was to do the whole thing without walking.

Eventuall, may came around and I was a bit behind when looking at my goal. I managed to run 8 KM and figured, I could do 10 at the run.

While the first few kilometres where quite heavy, I really got into it and made the full distance without stopping. Also, I did it in less than an hour.

Call to Action

Training alone and going through the program alone is not easy. If you have the possibility to do the whole thing with a partner and you can push each other, this will definitely help you. But even on your own, with a little self-discipline the whole thing is quite feasible.

But I don’t want to limit this example to my experience, I would say that it can be applied to many different areas of life. Think about why you loathe something. And then try to see the whole thing from a different angle and fight against the laziness. And I’m sure the odds are good that you’ll actually enjoy it. After all, we are growing on challenges, not on dull activities.