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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Couch to 5k - Take Two

After my three-part medical field trip (x-rays, PFTs and Pulmonologist) revealed that I was just fat and out of shape, I tried to figure out what my next move should be. 

Should I try speed work? I want to get faster. But I want to be able to breathe!  Running a fast 60-second interval is fine, but I’d need 5 minutes to get my breath back… 


Nope, speedwork isn’t what I need. 


I need to start over. 


It’s time to begin Couch to 5k again.

For those of you not familiar with the Couch to 5k program, it's an eight-week program that uses both running and walking intervals to ease you into continuous running. Check it out here.

I started this way back in 2012. Well, technically, I started with the Jeff Galloway Conditioning Program. I can't find the page anymore, so I can't link to it, but it consisted of interval training, but SMALL intervals. I even went out and bought a stopwatch (so old school!) to help me with this. The first week was 5 second run / 55 second walk, for twenty minutes. I thought that was too easy, so I skipped ahead a week or two and did 15/45.

I found that still too easy, so I skipped the rest of the Conditioning Program and dove right in to C25k.  I didn't have an iPod then, so I had to remember what the intervals were - Week 1 started with a warm up, then 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking, for 20 minutes, then a cool down.  I was able to do that, so I kind of just got stuck there for a while. After a few weeks (yes, weeks), I moved to Week 2, where the intervals were 90/120.

Eventually, after I got my iPod for Mother's Day, I downloaded the C25k Free app from ZenLabs. It would guide me through each day and each workout. There is a voice that tells you when to walk, when to run, and when to cool down.

This will be my master for the next 8 weeks
The 90/120 interval was doable, but difficult. So I stayed there.  And, honestly, I don't think I ever really moved past Week 2.  Looking back now, seeing that Week 3 involved three minutes of running at one time, I can say for certain that I never moved past Week 2.

I wasn't pushing myself, I know that now. My comfort zone was still more Couch than 5k.

I need to realize this
I honestly thought that I was FINE at 90/120 and didn't need to go any further. I finished plenty of races doing either a 90/120 interval, or a 60/90 interval.  I wasn't fast. I gave up and walked a lot. But I finished. I figured that I was just not a fast person...

Three half-marathons later, I still couldn't run for more than 2 minutes at a time. I couldn't understand why. Hence all the bucks spent with doctors. 

So, now, I'm starting over.  Now I have the mentality of I'm On A Mission.

I know I CAN do this. I'm just hopeful that this time, I WILL do this.