I finally finished the Couch to 5K!
Between my hernia, mistakes and just plain pushing myself when my body screamed to stop! (and even a stumble and cut eye Crazy Month) I finished.
I am elated, proud and floating on cloud nine that I was able to do this. When I first looked at the program I will be honest, nine weeks just did not seem like enough time. I tried several times to do this program and always gave up at week 5, the 8 minute run just looked so long to me and also my legs hurt from toes to quads. Basically I let fear get in my way.
Starting this blog is what really helped me start and stick with the program. I ended up finding sites with other runners and actually read there blogs and follow a couple, also on Face Book I follow them! I have stated a few times my love for the running community :). They just never say “no” to a question and love to help us “new runners”.
Once I started reading, educating myself and asking questions. Started to put all the advice and reading into actions I started to enjoy and see why people run.
I have been in the technical field for over 10 years now, you will hear us say “RTFM”. Yes those in my field know this very well (Read The Fu#$ing Manual). Well I was not reading the manual, I mean I have two feet and two legs. If I move faster then walking I should just get better. I found out the hard way this is not true.
For those people out there who say “running is to hard” I say “no it’s not”. If your healthy and have the ok from your Doc I say go for it 🙂
The nine week program starts you off slow with a few weeks of walking with light jogging for 1:00 min to 1:30 min to help you get used to moving beyond a walk pace. When walking you keep the pace steady and quicker then a strolling walk. There is a good warm up and cool down. I would suggest doing some Dynamic Stretching before you start and end with Static stretching to relax your muscles. By the fifth week you start to add more time to your running (Week 5 Day 2, there is an 8 min run).
Before starting the program or any running program I would do some reading. Learn the running techniques, if you know people who run ask questions, runners love to have there brains picked!
I would also read Born to Run, this book opened my eyes to a whole new world (yes I am in a cliché mood). The incite as to why we run and why we get hurt makes so much sense. Stay away from barefoot running and minimalist shoes until you complete the Couch to 5K or any running program. I made the mistake of going minimalist early on and hurt my self a few times. Start off with the shoes your used to, switch out to minimalist once you can maintain 30 min run without having jello legs. I have not tried barefoot yet, snow weather is now here where I live so will have to wait till next spring to start training my feet for it.
If you read, pre/post prepare, have ok from your Doc, there is no reason you cannot finish a 30 min or 5K run. The feeling you get as you cool down from the run is like finding a box full of puppies. The couch to 5K also has an app that makes it much easier to follow the program, as you get further on it switches times up to 4 times in one running session.
Muddy J supplied this bit of helpful information, a heart rate monitor is a great way to measure your pace. You can see where your heart rate is at when your running your most comfortable, if you find it too easy or too hard just give your heart rate a quick look and adjust your run on the fly.
I will be in tread mill hell for a few months now, on the days the side walks are clear and ice free will do runs to help my lungs get used to cold running.
If you have never ran, I really hope you look into the Couch to 5K and give it a go.