The Thirty Initiative

By AndreAnna

Ok, I mentioned I did something crazy – something that I was going to elicit all of your help with. It’s not starting for a few more weeks but I wanted to give you all apt notice so you have no excuse to back out.

I signed up for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in October in my area, after Jamie inspired me to do so when she signed up. There’s not a woman on this planet who doesn’t know someone who has been affected by this – or any other – cancer.

Here’s the deal. I have six months. And in those six months, I WILL train myself to RUN the entire 5K. Not jog, not walk briskly, run. Race.

I can run on the treadmill upwards of two miles before I have to walk, and at my fittest could run almost the full 5K. On a treadmill. I have failed miserably each and every time I’ve tried to run outdoors. But I am going to challenge myself and learn to run outside. I am going to follow the Couch to 5K program which thankfully has an app for my iPhone, which allows me to make my own playlist while the program alerts me when to walk, run, etc. You can also download podcasts to listen to to alert you rather than keeping an eye on your watch. The link above has a ton of resources, articles, and forums.

The concept of the program will take a non-runner to be able to run for 30 continuous minutes (about a 5K) in 8-9 weeks. You have to commit to at least three 30-minute sessions a week.

So, I’m starting an initiative: April is a 30-day month. This program requires 30 mins each day of training. I’m here and now pledging that in the month of April, I will exercise AT LEAST 30 minutes EVERY day.

30 minutes a day for 30 days.

I still plan on taking my kickboxing/aerobics classes 3-4 times a week as I do now, but the other days I am planning to train with the C25K program.

Here’s where you come in: For those of you who pledge to do this with me, I will keep a running log and tally of your weekly exercise after you post it here. For every five hours you log, I will donate $1 of my own money towards my race. Think of how quickly that can add up!

Thirty minutes is quick – it can be the Shred DVD, a brisk walk with your dog or family, doing the elliptical in your basement, cleaning out your garage, raking – I don’t care how you do it. I just want you to do it with me. And if you would like to start the C25K program with me, that would be awesome too. I am starting on April 1 as I am travelling for work the last week in March.

Please pass this post around to your friends, sisters, mothers. Maybe we can get a lot of people off their couches and to get motivated to move in April for a good cause!

Are you in?!?

42 Responses to “The Thirty Initiative”

  1. Sarah Lena Says:

    I am so proud of you!! It’s a great cause and a worthy effort! I will check my calendar and see if April is a doable month for me.

  2. Megan Says:

    Dude, I have never made a legitimate workout commitment before — just the kind where you’re like, “I’ll do this a lot!” in your head and then it kind of fades away into never doing anything. I’m AWESOME at that. But I am totally doing this with you, I am in!

    It doesn’t hurt that I went to my general physician today for the first time in a year or so, and she looked at me and shrieked, “LOOK HOW GOOD YOU LOOK! OH MY GOD, YOU LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT!” I last saw her when I weighed 168, and I’m down to 145.8 now. It doesn’t feel like much of a difference, but to have someone shriek about how I look amaaaazing? Dude, that is some awesome motivation.

    Let’s do this! <3

  3. ikate Says:

    Girl – I am so in. Seeing as I am going to beach in 4 weeks and will be putting a bathing suit on my pasty self, I just started a 30-minutes a day commitment myself. 30 a day of something (Curves, Shred, TTap or treadmill) is on my schedule this month. I should be able to continue that in April (given that I will be on vaca for a week).

    And you can so do this. If I can walk 60 miles (in the Breast Cancer 3-day last year) you can run that 5K!

  4. catnip Says:

    I’m in! You know I’m already focused on getting healthy and fit right now and I’m going to continue to do it. I can definitely commit to working out a minimum of 30 minutes a day every day in April!

  5. Krissa Says:

    Aw man, I’m in – but a month too soon! I signed up for my first ever race of any kind, ever – a 5k, the first weekend in April. SO, I’m still totally in, though, but just early.

    FYI, treadmill vs. street running – I did this, too. Then my roommate pointed out the obvious, which is: on a treadmill, you automatically have a pace, and it is doing some of the work for you, no matter the speed, because it moves whether you want to or not! Out on the open road, it is all your steam mama. For me, this has always meant burning out from running too fast, and hating it. SO, armed with knowledge, my Nike+, and my little dog, I’ve finally just decided to gramma-run it – slow, small steps that barely count as a jog, just to get my body used to moving this way. And actually, I’ve already spead up my pace naturally, just getting used to the exercise.

    You can do this – you can RULE this. I’m excited to read along in your training! Don’t forget the importance of a break day, too, though. :)

  6. Cass Says:

    I will bring you a book :-)

  7. Jamie Says:

    I’m DEFINATELY in! My race is on May 9th, so I’ll be needing to train hard all April. The catch is, I’ll be on vacation in Mexico the last week of April, but hey, I can run on the beach for 30 minutes right??

  8. Jamie Says:

    oh my goodness! I recently had the same 30-is-approaching-oh-my-god epiphany, and signed myself up for the Rock-n-Roll Chicago Half Marathon. Mind you, I could barely finish a 5K last year, so this is going to be a challenge. A big one.

    My race is on August 2nd, exactly two weeks before my 30th birthday! I’m running to benefit PAWS Chicago, the city’s largest no-kill animal shelter.

    For more information (or to donate), click here: http://pawschicago.kintera.org/2009marathon/johnsonjamiea

    I’m so excited that you are doing this – I will need the support of your updates for sure.

  9. diane Says:

    I am so in! I have been looking for something to make actually do the couch to 5k, instead of just printing it out! April is perfect.

  10. Shutter Bitch Says:

    Dude, my husband has been training in the last few weeks to take the POWER test for police training and I was “borrowing” his goal and time frame to motivate myself and have a definite date to be improved by. Now, I haven’t been running, but doing 30DS and Turbo Jam but I’m getting up at the god awful hour of 4:30 am and moving my lard around in sweaty and unsightly ways.

    Maybe by doing this, I can have my own goal, my own reason to do something instead of borrowing his, aside from overall health and weight loss, that is. But I’m not a runner, so I’d be doing the couch to 5K thing also (just looked it over this afternoon actually). I thought I hated running. I have knee/foot problems, but I want to be a runner. I have a list of ultimate goals, which include such impossible things as size 8 pants and losing 100 pounds, and one of those ultimate goals is to run. With the weather warming up, perhaps now is the perfect opportunity. This would give me a reason. A REAL reason. My own reason, which could perhaps be most important of all.

    I’m cringing, squinting my eyes, and very hesitantly hitting the submit button that yes, I’m in fact in.

  11. Kellie Says:

    I’m there. I’ve been doing something everyday for the last 3 weeks. Granted, it’s usually yoga and some running, but in my world that totally counts as exercise.

    30 days of exercise for 30 minutes per day? I can SO do that. The last 2 weeks, I’ve logged between 50 and 90 minutes a day. Not perfect, but great for me.

    I’m so proud of you for doing this. I’d love to sign up and come down and run WITH you. Food for thought. Hmmmm….

  12. Pug Mom Says:

    I’m also considering joining my local Race for the Cure – it’s at the beginning of May, though, which is only eight weeks away. So it’s a little scary. However, I do promise to exercise at least 30 minutes a day for a month – I’ve been doing it pretty regularly for a couple weeks now, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

  13. jenny Says:

    i’m so in. this post encouraged me to get on the treadmill tonight for 30. between that, kickboxing, the shred and walking (when spring arrives) i’m totally down. i have a bridesmaid dress to squeeze into by the end of may so what better motivation to move is that (oh and getting healthy too)!

  14. Morgan Says:

    I’m in. All I have to do is tell you when I’ve exercized, right?


  15. Kim Says:

    I’m in!! I will be on vacation in April, but I will fit it in. There is a fitness center directly across from the vacation house, so that will be my incentive to use it.

    I’ve had couch to 5k on my computer links for years. When I lost weight last go round, that was a huge help. I never got to a full run, but I was proud of my progress.

    WooHoo, a goal!!

  16. The 5th Grader on My Back « Shutter Bitch Says:

    [...] married again.  I want to start the Couch to 5K program and I’ve committed to AndreAnna’s call for support in her bid to actually run a 5K.  I’m trading my husband’s police testing deadline for one of [...]

  17. Alexis Says:

    I’m in – I love that cause & will do anything to expose it and raise more money/awareness ! How do we post our activities? Also, I too am upto about 2 miles running on the treadmill (at a 10min mile pace), but cannot transfer that to the outdoors. Its frustrating. If you need running ideas, playlists, advice, etc, check out my friend’s blog at
    She’s training for a 1/2 marathon in DC in a few weeks.

    My coworker is doing C25K & it seems to be working out good for her (although she’s had to take some time off due to getting sick, etc).

    Good luck!

  18. astarte Says:

    I’m totally in!!!! I’ve always wanted to really learn how to run outside, so I’ll try the running program, too.

  19. Laural Says:

    I’m in!
    I’ve been needing to do something like this.
    And, I’ve signed up for a 5k in June, and I want to RUN it.
    I have been doing the treadmill sporadically but I’m bored of it. I can’t wait to get outside.

  20. Jill Says:

    I’m totally in. I ran (and walked) my first 5K two weeks ago. I’m running (hopefully no walking) a 10K in July, and I’m running (and most definitely walking) a half marathon in November.

  21. AndreAnna Says:

    For those of you that have asked, each week, I will do a little round-up post, logging in my exercise for the week, and I will ask you to tell me how many hours you did, how you’re feeling, what programs and exercises you’re doing.

    I’m so glad so many of you are doing this with me. I’m hope I’m broke. Healthy and broke. :)

  22. Krista Says:

    I will totally try to do this. My first half-marathon is April 18th and I don’t want to overtrain, but I can certainly do something everyday.

  23. Kristin Says:

    I walked for 30 minutes last night because I read your post. I printed a calendar so I can track my miles/minutes.

    I’m in woman!

  24. Not Your Aunt Bea Says:

    I’m in. Just ran 6 miles last night (pant, pant, pant). If I’m killing myself with this training, the hours may as well go to such a good cause like the Komen 5K. I will try 30 minutes every day in April too. That will be hard, but I’m with you.

  25. Nichole Says:

    My husband’s going to be traveling for a week in April, so I’m not going to commit to this one. But I wanted to say: Go you!

  26. JennyM Says:

    I’m in, too! I was doing so well with the Shred DVD and running with the dog, but then went out of town and completely fell off the exercise wagon. In fact, I will start today. I’ve been needing a kick in the behind.

  27. ikate Says:

    Okay, Ladies – I am in twofold now. My co-worker who is an avid runner just challenged me…he just decided to run his first marathon on May 17 ONLY if I run the 10k on the same day. I downloaded an 8 week 10k training program which says you need to be able to WALK 3 miles before starting (which I totally can). I start this tonight. I’m scared, but totally excited – I’m not a runner but kind of want to be. I have until April 4 to register, so 3 weeks to see if I can take the training.

  28. Christine Says:

    Wow. What a brilliant idea! I’m in!

  29. Christie Says:

    I have recently lost almost 30 pounds but I am in horrible shape. After reading your post I decided that I am in as well. I went out and bought running shoes yesterday and last night I started my journey to a ‘fit’ me! Motivation is a weak area for me so I got the support from my husband and also my mother (age 50) has decided to join in the challenge as well. We live in differnt states but she has agreed to work hard and join me for our first ever 5K on April 26. There is no one in this world that I would rather complete this challenge with than my mom! She gave me strength growing up and taught me how to be independent and make decisions that would better my life and this is yet another of those decisions. And, since I have two German Shepards that need equally as much exercise as I do this is my motivation. Every night the tree of us will head out and do a walk/run. We did our first session last night so now it’s just a matter of keeping with the program!

  30. Lindsay Says:

    I’m in I’m in! I’ve been looking for a 30 day challenge and just added the Couch-to-5k app to my iPhone!

  31. Minutes and Seconds « Shutter Bitch Says:

    [...] lifestyle I’m trying to adopt, I agreed to participate in training along with AndreAnna as she prepares for a 5K.  To do so, I’ve decided to do the Couch to 5K program and there will be a 5K in my area on June [...]

  32. Erika Says:

    I have been looking for something like this!! I am so in! I am in a biggest loser contest that ends on April 21. This challenge will help me along the stretch. Thanks so much! Great idea! (Yes, I really am that excited!!)

  33. McMama Says:

    I really want to do this. I’ve been trying so hard to get myself healthier and, of course, lose some weight. But I have failed miserably at consistency in the 30-day shred, and hate starting off fast and furious only to fade into SSDD. Maybe because I can count a walk to the park with the kids, it will be easier. I dunno, I suck at being accountable unless someone is really riding my ass. I guess it can’t hurt to try? Man, I’m a wuss.

  34. Heather C Says:

    I’m in, too! I can do 30 minutes a day!

  35. Kim Says:

    Count me in. I love this idea!!!!

  36. Spice World » Blog Archive » My pledge for April… Says:

    [...] I signed up a few days ago for a challenge on AndreaAnna’s blog: her Thirty Initiative. [...]

  37. Motherhood Uncensored Says:

    I’m in — did the Shred for all of March. And will post this at the Shredheads as well!

  38. Kat Says:

    Count this lassie in!!

  39. Blondie Says:

    I’m in!

  40. Lauri Says:

    I’m in! I am doing the Shred in April. Today was Day 2. I’m also trying to get out at least 10-15 minutes a day in the afternoon for a walk (before it turns all hot and muggy!) this month.

  41. Dawn's Diversions Says:

    I’m in!! What an awesome way to encourage us all to get healthy! And, for such a great cause. My mother is a breast cancer survivor and my mother in law in now battling it.

  42. The Anvil Tree » Blog Archive » Hi. Remember Me? Says:

    [...] it may not be a fluke, because I’m actually participating in AndreAnna’s 30 Initiative, where you have to make yourself be active for 30 minutes a day.  To accomplish some of that, [...]

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