My goal for week 1 of the couch to 5k experience–test my body and my lungs. Having run 50-100 miles a week during cross-country season (several decades ago), I wanted to know what, if anything, I had retained. I decided to quantify my ability using a 400 meter track within walking distance of my house.
This Couch to 5k plan schedules 3 training days per week with recovery days in between. Because I was “testing” my body, I disregarded the suggested workouts for week one. Workout 1 lasted 30 minutes. It included walking to and from the track and jogging 400 meters (twice). I took a walking break in between each lap. My body didn’t have much stamina I’m afraid, even though I’m an avid walker racking up 10-15,000 steps a day. Still, I considered it a victory to be able to jog for 400 meters. I had a chance to fiddle with my stride and control my breathing.
Workout 2 also lasted 30 minutes. This time I managed to squeeze in three 400 meter jogs, spending less time walking in between. Workout 3 lasted almost 40 minutes and included four 400 meter jogs and walking breaks. At no time did I find myself gasping for breath. BUT my 60 year old body gave me some strong feedback!
As I sum up my Week one experience, two things immediately come to mind. First, my body does not react to the stress of jogging like it did at age 20. Though my mind remembers things like stride, pace and breathing, there is a gap between form and function. Secondly, aches and pains at my age are more worrisome than when I was young and spry. They must be listened to and taken care of. Translation: I pressed too hard on my third workout knotting up the tendons and ligaments in my legs.