Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Couch to 5k

 First off, I am not a runner. Even in my teenage years, I couldn't run. I have the lung capacity of an infant. After a few seconds, I'm wheezing and gasping and hoping that I'm not going to pass out on the spot. It's frustrating. A couple years ago, we got an elliptical machine. I can go to town on that thing. We hadn't had it for very long before I was running five miles on it at about a 9-10 minute pace. I figured if I could go that far on the elliptical, surely I could manage a mile or two on the road. Not even. The Mister, who has two marathons, several half marathons, and a few 3 and 5ks under his belt, took me out to give it a go. I barely made it a mile, had shin splints, and couldn't walk without pain for two weeks. So it was back to the elliptical machine.

I don't mind the elliptical machine. We have it in our garage with a portable heating/cooling machine (I can't think of the name of it off the top of my head) so we can use it year around regardless of the weather. It tracks speed, calories burned, heart rate, and has lots of different program simulations for different challenge levels. It also has a tray for my iPod and a drink holder. It's really rather nifty. Still, it gets old staring at the wall and being in the dirty, cluttered garage.

About three weeks ago, I saw a pin on Pinterest for the Couch to 5k program. It starts off really slow and easy and after looking it over, I thought it would be a good way to ease into road running. Not wanting to look like an idiot all by myself, I convinced the Oldest Child to train with me. We're almost done with week three. There are some days when I have to modify the jogging part (which is just sad), but I always jog for the full amount of time each day. I downloaded the Nike+ app for my iPhone and we use it to track our progress. We break records almost every day. For instance, today we had our fastest mile, fastest 1k, farthest run (2.52 miles) and longest run (46:23). I'm still dealing with shin splints and this strange muscle tightness and pain in the sides of my calves. I need new running shoes but was hesitant to pay for them just in case I crapped out in this attempt too, lol. For now, I do my best to push through the pain and hope that I don't do myself an injury. I spend quite a bit of time with ice on my shins, lol.

It's been a great experience so far though. Not only is road running a nice change of scenery, it's been good one-on-one time with the Oldest Child. She's been fantastic at getting up between 7 and 7:30 am during her summer vacation. We plan on continuing through the program even after school starts on Tuesday. Getting up at 6 am to go running though...we'll see how long that lasts before we switch to evening runs, lol!!!

After doing some research on Couch to 5k, I discovered that there are quite a few variations to the program. If you're interested, Google it, peruse the results, and pick one that sounds good to you. This is the program that the Oldest and I are trying out though:  The Couch to 5k Training Program We've modified the program a bit to suit our purposes because the time given for each day just isn't enough to qualify as a workout. We do the minimum amount of jogging AT LEAST, but most days I put in another few minutes of jogging. We also do more walking. In total, we are on the road for 45 minutes, three days a week. I'm also going to start augmenting my workout by running on the elliptical machine two days a week for weight loss purposes.

It would be really great to have company, so if you decide to try it out or have already, I'd like to know.


  1. Carolynn and I will try it. Right after I get this baby out of me.

  2. Lol. I definitely wouldn't recommend trying it while 9 months pregnant. It would probably start your labor, but we wouldn't want you popping of the side of the road in the middle of the desert. ;)

  3. I started C25K earlier this year, I think in May. I had tried it last summer, and it was a major fail--couldn't manage to complete the jogging sessions even on week 1. Dropped about 50 pounds, so I decided to give it another go this year. Much better success for about 3 or 4 weeks, until I changed shoes and caused some harm to my knees and ended up barely able to even walk. Once I could move again, my knees still weren't up to running, so I moved the workout indoors to a gazelle glider. Managed to complete the program on the machine, but by the time I went back out to the road, I realized how very different it is to actually run! Now that it's finally starting to cool down a little bit, I'm back to trying it outside, starting the program over again--I'm in week 2. It's certainly still a challenge, even after working the program inside, but I'm hoping to make it through. Good luck to you as you go through your program!

    1. I know what you mean. Running indoors on a machine isn't the same as running on the road at all. I ran 4.5 miles on my elliptical machine this morning but still struggle to make the minimum requirements for running on week 4 of the program.

      I need new shoes too but I'm really afraid of it being a waste of money. What if I get new shoes and they cause different pain like yours did? Or what if I get new shoes and then give up? Blah! I just need to get the new shoes and shut up about it, lol.


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