How to Get Ready for the Castaway 5K

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When I first heard about a 5k race on Disney’s private Island, Castaway Cay, I knew I had to run it one day. I could just picture myself running effortlessly around a tropical island. The sea breeze blowing through my hair. My lungs filled with the salty air. Feeling powerful and alive!

Except that I couldn’t play tag with my kids without getting a cramp. I was out of shape…like bad! In my head, I was still 16 and I could run a 5k on excitement alone with no preparation. 

In reality, if I wanted this to happen I would have to get ready for the Castaway 5k. I needed a plan! Thankfully, my husband was on board and we are working together to get in shape!

I’m hoping my fitness journey will inspire you to begin one of your own…with a Disney twist of course. Here we can share what motivates us, how we’re making it happen, and the progress we’re making.


We all need a why if we’re gonna reach a goal! The why is what keeps us going when we don’t want to! It’s what convinces us to put our running shoes on or make better food choices. 

First in Line

My motivation for getting ready for the Castaway 5k is pretty simple… I want to get off the ship early at Castaway! Ok! It’s a little more complicated than that, but I am super excited to one of the first people on the island in the morning! 

Free runDisney Event

I would love to participate in a runDisney event, but getting ready for a race is scary enough without paying a bunch of money for it. This is the perfect way to dip my toe in the runDisney waters and it even comes with a medal!

Couple Time

Our kids aren’t old enough to run with us. The minimum age is 10, but Scuttle’s Cove will be open fo runners with kids. We can drop the kids off for some early morning fun and we can enjoy a run by ourselves. I’m hoping to be in good enough shape that this is a fun run!

Guilt Free Dining

Not gonna lie…I didn’t feel good about what I ate on our last cruise. Not because the food wasn’t amazing, but because of the amount I ate! My goal is to have a lifestyle where I burn calories as fast as I can eat them… I may have to run a couple of 5ks for that to happen!


The Castaway 5k is the light at the end of the tunnel for me, but I know there will be numerous other benefits that will affect my daily life. 

Feel Great

I am tired of being tired! I want more energy in general, but we realized after our last cruise that we want to have more energy on vacations. Yes, they should be relaxing, but I want to go, do, see without having to sit down all the time!

Look Great

I’ve never cared much about my weight. Even as I’m trying to lose a little weight, I don’t put a lot of my attention on it. What I do care about…getting some definition! I want to be able to look in the mirror and see my hard work! Looking better in my bathing suit won’t hurt either!

Be Great

I think everyone wants to have a great life! And I’ve come to realize lately that a healthy lifestyle is a huge part of that. We can’t reach our full potential when our bodies are running on fumes. Being healthier will trickle into my relationships, my happiness, and even my blog!

Finally, I just want to prove to myself that I can! That I can set a long-term goal and actually achieve it! For me, getting ready for the Castaway 5k is a challenge. It’s more than a race; it represents accomplishment!

Getting Ready for the Castaway 5k

I don’t want to just finish this race; I want to do it easily! I want to be able to run in the morning and then snorkel, swim, and enjoy Castaway Cay the rest of the day! So how am I getting ready for the Castaway 5k?


I hate the word diet. It just sounds like you’re depriving yourself, and I’m not into that! “Diet” also feels temporary, and I want healthy eating to become a lifelong habit. 

Food Tracking

To help with that I’ve been using the My Fitness Pal app to help me track my eating. It gives me a daily calorie goal that I try to stay under, but I haven’t given up any food groups.

Good choices

The key has been moderation. I eat smaller portions of my favorite foods or make healthy swaps for things I won’t miss. Like I’ve substituted Good Thins for Triscuits! I can still have my favorite snack of cheese and crackers for fewer calories, and they are delicious. 

Another simple switch has been using a smaller plate at meals and adding veggies first and carbs last. It doesn’t drastically change how I eat, but every bite makes a small difference.

Planning Ahead

Planning ahead has also helped. If I want to enjoy a juicy burger for dinner, I plan ahead to I save my calories at breakfast and lunch. This never means I don’t eat…I just choose lighter options!


I do not enjoy working out! Sweating is just miserable to me, but I know it is necessary to get ready for the Castaway 5k, not to mention, my overall health!

Daily Walk

I started with a simple walk in the mornings. I actually go with my mom before she goes to work so it’s become a wonderful time to connect with her.

I knew I wanted to start an actual workout routine at some point, but this was a baby step towards that. If working out isn’t your thing, start with something simple and small to get you going!

First Workout Plan

Shaun gets credit for finally moving me from walks to an actual workout regiment. He found the Nike Run Club app, and asked if I wanted to do it with him. It was exactly what I needed!

It customizes a running schedule to your abilities and schedule. If I was doing this on my own, I would do the exact same thing every day.

This changes it up between speed runs, endurance runs, interval runs and even recovery runs. It even adds in strength training days!

The variety has kept me going and seeing the little green checkmark kept me from skipping workouts. Overall, the program is good, but just too intense for someone who thinks of cleaning the house as exercise.

If you're ready to start running, maybe even do a runDisney event but don't know where to get started, here are some tips to get you on the right road. Plus a Facebook group to keep you going!
Disney Cruise Line | Disney race | Disney Workout | Run Disney | how to run a 5k | how to get in shape
New Workout Plan

I had heard a lot about the Couch to 5k program and it seemed a little more my speed. It’s 8 weeks long and you alternate between walking and running for 30 minutes. With only 3 workouts a week, it fit my lifestyle better.

You start out with more walking than running and gradually increase the running every week. By the end, you’ll be ready for a 5k!

Although the Couch to 5k program was a much better fit, it did have a couple of problems. First, it has no strength training so I’ve also added in a little yoga to help with this. With it only be 3 days a week, doing yoga 2 days doesn’t feel like overkill.

Second, the weather has been working against me. Winter in Ohio is cold and wet, and I currently have no place to run indoors. So I’ve come up with a work-a-round for this problem.

I got an exercise bike! My first thought was a treadmill, but they are way more expensive and we don’t have room for one. This Xterra bike was $100 and folds up small enough to go in a closet.

When the weather is bad, I ride the bike. I turn up the tension for the running parts, and then down for the walking parts. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s been working for me.

More Calories

OK! So it’s not really fitness, but My Fitness Pal does sync my workouts and I earn extra calories for them! Yay for more food! Honestly, this is super motivating for me!

How is it going?

Like I said, I’m looking for others who are in the same boat… or maybe cruise ship as me. I want to share my progress and hear about yours!

Starting Stage

  • When I started getting ready for the Castaway 5k, I need to lose around 25 lbs to be within a healthier weight range.
  • My knees and core were really weak and even short runs hurt. 
  • I could run about a 17-minute mile.
  • I was tired and sluggish all the time.

Current Stage

  • I’ve dropped about 15 lbs. I’m within a healthy weight range and am focusing more on toning than my weight now.
  • My core is much stronger, and my knees still hurt, but only after long runs. The exercise bike is also helping with this.
  • I’m now averaging a 12 minute mile!
  • Although I find it hard to measure energy levels, I haven’t been feeling totally wiped out all the time like I was.
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Not only is this doable for me, but it is for you too! Think of what a few healthy changes could do for you! 

Even though it’s only been a couple of months I’ve seen improvement not only in my performance but my overall quality of life! I should mention I’m not a doctor or fitness coach and nothing I mention here should be taken as medical advice. It is just my experience and may not work for everyone. 

The 5k is a month away now and I am excited to run my first race and sharing it with you all!

Leave me a comment telling me your motivation and your biggest challenge!


  1. Taryn January 10, 2019
    • klund January 11, 2019
  2. Dawnmarie @ EnjoyingtheDays January 10, 2019
    • klund January 11, 2019
  3. Gen January 10, 2019
    • klund January 11, 2019
  4. Jessica January 10, 2019
    • klund January 11, 2019

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