Tag Archives: Couch to 5k

Couch to 5k: Good news from bad

In my last couch to 5k post I set goals designed to maintain some sort of exercise routine throughout the winter months.  One factor I left out, how busy the month of December can be leading up to Christmas.  To date I completed only one run and the 10,000 or so steps I accrue walking over the course of a each work day.

This week I was involved in a car accident, requiring my vehicle to be taken to a collision shop for repairs likely to take a week or so.  So that’s the bad news.  The good news stemming from the bad news is I am now on foot.  Walking to and from work will add a few thousand steps to my counter each day while I’m loaded down with a backpack.  Do I consider that strength training?  Stay tuned for more updates…

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Couch to 5K: the winter ahead

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I ran a 5k about two months ago and haven’t gone on more than two runs since then.  I suppose you could say I’ve been resting my body.  But that would be stretching the truth wouldn’t it.  Autumn is a busy time.  There’s so much to do before the weather sours.  But the snow and cold came very early to our area.  We happened to have the coldest Thanksgiving day on record. It interrupted my fall cleanup.  The leaves are still on the ground underneath the snow.  Sounds like I’m making excuses does’t it.

My main goal this winter is to not gain back all the weight I lost.  I thought it might be a good time to dust off my elliptical trainer I purchased over a year ago and hardly ever used.  I also have a reading list I’d like to put a dent in.  Sounds like a win-win situation doesn’t it?

In the coming weeks I’ll be experimenting with workout times on the elliptical.  During that stretch, there is bound to be a couple of warmer days to exercise outdoors.  I’m shooting for one outdoor and two indoor workout a week between now and Christmas.  Stay tuned!

Couch to 5k: the result

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Race day, Saturday September 29th, was a sunny, cool 50 degrees.  I couldn’t ask for better weather.  It was hard to keep my heart rate down as I strolled over to the registration table.  After check in, I mingled with the crowd and talked to several friends and acquaintances who I was surprised to learn had entered the event.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 75-100 able-bodied individuals anxiously wanted to get the race underway.  After a few instructions and a prayer, the gun went off.  Like a herd of cattle we launched ourselves across a grassy field towards a pond we would encircle.  It was immediately apparent this was a serious group of runners who had been training much longer than me.  I, along with one other gentleman, settle back to guard the rear of the pack.

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In hindsight, my training did help me mentally and physically prepare for this run.  Mentally, I knew I had completed training runs longer that the 5k distance.  Physically, I knew I could maintain the consistent pace necessary to keep from being winded.  My strategy was simple, to complete the first two kilometers in around 20 minutes and then throw caution to the wind for the final three kilometers.  That didn’t happen.  Determined not to fall too far behind the pack of runners ahead of me, I completed the first 2 kilometers four minutes faster than planned.  My body was not used to running at this pace.  For the next kilometer I focused on controlling my breathing.  Then, feeling I still had energy in my legs, I decided to maintained the pace until my body told me something different.  I was surprised to see my time was about 40 minutes on the big digital timer at the finish line, a 15 full minutes faster than expected!

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As good as this whole experience has been for my health (I lost 25 pounds over the summer), I have not made any promises to myself or anyone else that I will continue training.  I’m paying close attention to my knees, which have been little sore off and on the last few weeks.

Perhaps if I lost another 15 pounds I could entertain running (jogging) another 5k.

Here is a picture of yours truly showered and dressed post race sporting my new t-shirt.

 

Couch to 5k: the last workout

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Tomorrow I will be running a 5k fun run.  My hit and miss training endeavor began back in May.  This past Saturday I had planned to jog part of the course to prepare myself.  As I mentioned in a previous post, the route I’ll be traveling is one laid out on a cross-country course.  I showed up on the athletic field only to find a number of college teams prepping for an invitational meet.  My grandiose plan went out the window.

Not to be dismayed, I walked over to the 400 meter track for one last workout before the fun run.  Here’s where the my tale turns humorous.  I began jogging laps, taking care to press lap on my iPhone each time I passed my water bottle propped up against the base of a light tower.  During the course of the workout, I became convinced 16 laps was the 5k distance equivalent.  So I jogged and jogged and jogged racking up laps.

At lap 14 I began to tire and pumped a couple favorite songs into my ear buds for some much needed inspiration.  I ended my workout after lap 15 and decided to wander over to the cross-country venue to check out the race.  I did not expect to see a total workout time of an hour and ten minutes.  That was too much time for having not walked a single lap!  Something was amiss and it troubled me the whole walk home.

I sat down on the sofa and began listing out my lap times on a piece of paper.  The problem wasn’t with my iPhone, it was me.  After much thought, it finally dawned on me 2.5 laps on a 400 meter track equals one kilometer.  Since the race is 5k, I only needed to run 12.5 laps (not 15).  I felt like a moron.  My wife came to my rescue, “honey, at least you know you can jog the distance!”

Bring it on!  I’m ready as I’ll ever be.

Couch to 5k: pace yourself!

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I had an epiphany after my last couple of workouts.  Walking and jogging every other lap was not going to get the job done.  I wondered what would happen if I slowed down my jogging pace.  Would I be able to jog for a longer period of time?  I headed back to the track after taking four rest days excited to try an experiment.

Since I walked to the track from home, I started jogging the moment my toes touched the rubberized surface.  Several times during the first lap I forced myself to slow down my pace, almost to the point of what seemed like I was jogging in place.  I still managed a 4-minute lap.  Amazingly, I was not tired or winded when I finished the first lap.  One lap turned into two, two to three and I kept jogging.  All told I finished six laps without breaking into a walk.

I walked the seventh lap very slowly then jogged the remaining five laps of my workout.  My pace this time was slower from fatigue and complaining thighs but my mood was upbeat, as if I had discovered some secret potion for success.

Three days later I jogged about twenty on the fun run course.  Near as I can tell it was close to two kilometers.  It seems I am headed in the right direction.

Couch to 5k: Time is running out!

athletics-2480965_960_720Labor day weekend has come and gone.  That means I’m inside the thirty day window for my goal to participate in a 5k fun run. It is scheduled for September 29th.  Forgive me if I’m not jumping up and down with excitement.  I’m clearly not ready to participate with all the setbacks I’ve experienced this summer.  Sounds like I’m making excuses doesn’t it!  To make matters worse, in a moment of weakness, I registered for the event!  What to do?

Last Saturday’s workout showed promise.  I raised my workout to eleven laps on a 400 meter track.  Of those eleven laps, I jogged five of them.  I pushed my Labor Day workout to the full five kilometer distance (thirteen laps).  Of those 13 laps, I jogged 6 of them.  So far my ligaments and knees have not complained about the prolonged jogging.

My good friend Hastey, who as your remember challenged me to participate in the fun run, informed me that the course we will be running (let me rephrase that, walking/jogging) is available for viewing online.  Since the fun run is being held across the street from my house, next week I plan to scout out the course.

On the bright side, I have continued to lose weight (24 lbs), which has been my motivation for getting myself into this mess in the first place.

Couch to 5k: Climbing the ladder

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If you’ve read my previous posts on the subject you will remember I’m in the process of ramping up the number of laps I cover on a 400 meter track.  My goal is to walk 13 laps (the approximate distance of a 5k run) hence the post title Climbing the ladder.  With only 3 workouts in the past 10 days it would seem I have not accomplished very much.  But, relationships are as important to your health as physical fitness; an anniversary here, family vacation there and sprinkle in entertaining loved ones.   Each engagement can have a positive impact on one’s mental health.

…Oh yeah, about the exercise thing.  Those three workouts covered 10, 10 and 11 laps.  With each workout I increased the # of 1/2 lap jogs.  The 5k fun run is about a month away so it is time for the final push.

Enjoy what is left of this summer.  Consider spending some quality time with family and friends to work on your mental health.