Sunday, July 17, 2011

Couch to 5 K program

Last night I was on call --- half pay all night but didn't get called in. I found a podcast, actually two that are designed to get you off the couch and running a 5 K in 8 weeks.

Well since taking up crossfit in February 2010, I've actually been doing short 400 and 800 meter runs approximately 2-3 times /week. At first it was pure torture --- I was about 12lb heavier than I am now and I huffed and puffed and wallowed and beat my way up and down the street in a most distressing fashion. I feel a little more comfortable running now and my boobs are smaller so I no longer feel that I have to go early in the morning when it's still dark outside to avoid the stares of passers by. I also used to suffer knee and ankle pain after I ran but I notice that that is lessening as time goes by and I think my effort to pose run (or land on my forefeet instead of my heels) is really helping to prevent joint soreness and strengthening the sinews and muscles in my feet.
But I'm very slow and I don't breathe very well and I don't feel as if I have a good rhythm when I run -- I still feel as if I'm fighting my way through the air.
I've actually run 5K distances twice at crossfit -- both about 6 months apart and it took me 40 minutes each time. We also recently ran for 15 minutes in one direction with 2 short intervals during the run and then turned around and ran the same thing back again. I managed to get about 1.1 miles on that run.
So I'm interested in improving my running and since we need an overall fitness goal for our nutrition challenge, I'm going to try to complete an 8 week Couch to 5K graduated running program.
I downloaded 2 podcasts onto my iPod - the first is a woman coach from Britian's NHS.
Week 1 starts out with a 5 minute warm up walk and then 1 minute runs and 1 1/2 minutes brisk walks for 20 minutes and then finally a 5 minute cool down.
The other Program is Running Mate Media by Todd Lange -- his week 1 starts out with a 5 minute warm up walk and then 2 minutes of running and 3 minutes of brisk walking for a total of about 30 minutes.

I started out from home using the Running Mate Media program and it took me almost all the way to the CrossFit gym. (2.6 miles) I expected it to announce a half way mark so that I could turn around and work my way back but it didn't. So I get as far as the gym and as often happens to me when I go running, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the need to go to the bathroom --- I was afraid I was going to crap my pants. Seriously. I contemplated calling my son to come and get me in the car but I didn't think I could wait even for that short amount of time. I finally went into an elder care housing facility and lucky for me an elderly gentleman opened the door to the lobby and let me use the lobby bathroom. He fussed a bit because he wasn't supposed to let in strangers but I think he saw the look of desperation on my face.

So on the way back I listened and followed the instructions for week 1 of the NHS Choices podcast. "The podcasts features a narrator, Laura, who guides you through the session, explaining when you need to run and when it’s time to walk.
The podcast also features music that's designed to motivate you through the workout. The podcasts are designed to take you on three runs per week, leaving at least a day of rest in between each run. There is one podcast for each week of the plan – except in weeks 5 and 6, which feature three individual podcasts. This is because weeks 5 and 6 act as transitional weeks, which aim to progress you from a mix of running and walking into running for longer blocks of time.

I actually liked both podcasts and I might try alternating between the two on different days each week just to mix it up and keep it interesting.
Now today I'm heading off to buy some new running shoes --- I'm contemplating the vibram 5 finger running shoe or a very minimalistic shoe to keep me on my toes.