Couch to 5k – Weeks 1 to 3
Because I started training on the Couch to 5k program only 3 weeks before my 5k Color Run, I decided to try and ‘fast track’ my training. Ideally you should run 3 times per week, with a rest day in between (and an extra for the weekend), but I decided to run every day I had the chance to try and make sure I got through as much as I could before the big race. Now I don’t expect to be able to run 5k in 3 weeks, but I wanted to do as much as I could, so here’s how I got on;
This is where I count my blessings that a program exists for true beginners. My fitness level on starting this program was non existent, and I struggled from the start. This week my walks are at 3mph and my runs are at 6mph.
Monday 2nd June – Run 1 complete, my calves are absolutely KILLING me during the runs. In fact after I had finished, I realised that I wasn’t particularly out of breath during the runs, my issues was the pain in my legs. It’s obvious these muscles are rarely used, and I think it might take some time for my legs to get used to this running malarkey…..
Tuesday 3rd June – Run 2 complete, decided to jump in at the deep end and not bother with the rest day. Run was slightly easier, but calves are still very tight when running. Strangely though, as much as my calves hurt while running, they hurt more when I go back to walking, although by the time I’m due to run again the pain has eased off.
Wednesday 4th June – Run 3 complete, and I’m actually feeling quite confident and ready to step up to the next phase
After starting week 2 I changed my mind about being ready for the next phase, but I still managed to keep up with my walks at 3mph and my runs at 6mph.
Thursday 5th June – Run 1 complete, and I feel like I’m dying. I’m now having issues on the treadmill where I find that I start clock watching when I have been running for close to a minute. Once I see how long I’ve been running for then that’s it, I can’t seem to not look at the time continually, and I don’t think this is helping me.
Saturday 7th June – Run 2 complete, and this time I ran outside with a partner instead of at the gym alone. This for me was a big mistake. I do feel that I did better running outside than in the gym, the lack of treadmill meant I couldn’t clock watch (my phone which runs the app was stuffed down my bra so I couldn’t see that either) and having a point in the distance to focus on seemed to make time pass quicker. My problem was running with someone who is way fitter than me, and although they might be completely supportive of me, having someone next to you who looks like they’re taking a walk in the park while you are bright red, sweating, struggling, and in agony, really knocked my confidence. Even though I thought I had made a big improvement, it really hit home how my ability still paled in comparison to the average person, but I was determined to keep going. It’s also hard when your fat wobbles so much, and you have to wear 2 sports bras to stop yourself from getting black eyes, and your pants slowly fall down, while your top slowly rides up, but thankfully I don’t get too bothered about what other people think of me…..
Monday 9th June – Run 3 complete, and I think I’m doing ok. I’m trying really hard not to clock watch at the gym, as it’s really discouraging when you look to see how long you have left to run, and see that you’re only just gone half way through, when it feels like you have been running forever. My calves still seem to be my biggest problem, but they aren’t as painful as they were when I first began, so I guess that they are getting used it it somewhat.
This week I am not looking forward to. I managed to step up from running for 1 minute to 1.5 minutes, but then up to 3 minutes seems like a huge jump! This week my walks are still 3mph, but my running speed has been reduced to 5.5mph.
Tuesday 10th June – Run 1 complete, and I have had to reduce my running speed. After the first 3 minute run I knew I would struggle to keep up the pace, so on the 2nd 3 minute run I reduced my running speed from 6mph to 5.5mph which helped. The minute runs were a real struggle, and I couldn’t help but think it would have been better to run the 3 minute sections first (3 minutes, 1.5 minutes, 3 minutes, 1.5 minutes) to get them out of the way quicker, but I trust that this program is set out the best way. I also have this new weird way of stopping me from clock watching where I count really slowly in my head so I can kind of keep track of how long is left without actually looking at the clock. Not sure if it’s better, but in my head it’s helping.
Wednesday 11th June – Run 2 complete, and I have found that keeping the running pace down to 5.5mph is helping, although I’m still having a problem with clock watching, especially on the 3 minute runs. I have noticed though that as I increase the time I spend running, the shorter runs which I may have struggled with the previous week suddenly seem like a walk in the park (almost), so I’m confident that this program is working for me.
Thursday 12th June – Run 3 complete, and I’m not sure about stepping up to the next phase. Although I’m managing the 3 minute runs, I still feel like I’m struggling quite a bit, and 5 minutes seems almost impossible right now. My calves are still killing me, and to be honest I feel that my weight is a big part of why I struggle. Hopefully this running will help shed some of that, and along the way this will help me run for longer and take some strain off my legs. I have now gone through an entire tube of deep heat on my calves since I started, but I’m determined to keep going. This time I ran outside again, and I decided to run around Salford Quays. I’m glad I did, I do think I do better outside as there’s more to look at and I can let my mind wander without having to concentrate so hard on not falling off the treadmill. I even ended up running behind someone who was much better than me, and to start with I thought I was keeping up! Turned out I wasn’t at all and as soon as I had to go up hill to cross the bridge he was way ahead of me, but it felt good for that small moment. I did feel a little self conscious of people being around but I persevered, and although the last run was the hardest I still managed it, and was proud of myself.
Read my other Couch to 5k posts here;
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