C25K Week 6

This weekend was my C25K Week 6 run. I had planned to run on Saturday but drank a bit too much whisky on Friday night so had to hold off for Sunday instead.

I woke up later than planned but I figured that there was no rush to go out. Sundays on the seafront are usually fairly quiet at this time of year so I had a bit of a lie in, took it easy and then headed out some time after 9:00.

My scheduled run was to be 23 minutes continuous (no walk breaks) but I thought I’d see if I could do 25 – no big deal if I couldn’t, but it was a nice sunny morning and I was in the mood for it so it was worth a try.

Despite the lovely clear blue sky and sunshine, there was a good strong breeze along the promenade. I decided to start by running West, into the wind so that it might be a bit easier in the way back.

To be honest, after a few minutes of running I did wonder if I’d even make the 23, but I tried not to think about it and just let my mind drift off and enjoy the fresh air.

At the end of the promenade, instead of turning back, I decided to go right and do a loop around the Lagoon. I’ve run that way a few times and the pavement is a bit narrow, but there weren’t many people around so it was fine.

As I predicted, the run felt much easier with the wind behind me, and by the time I looped back round onto the promenade I was feeling pretty good. 20 minutes came and went, and as I approached 23 I knew I was good for another couple of minutes.

I finished the run at 3.55 kilometres, which works out at a pace of 7:03, which is pretty much where I should be. When I got home though I was pleased to see that I had run negative splits, so that’s a good sign that things are on track.

So, all in all it was a successful session. The rest of the day was spent running errands and then I settled down to watch some football in the afternoon. My team won 6-1, so I was very happy indeed!

How was your weekend? Did you get a run in? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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C25K First Continuous Run

Today was Week 5 Day 3 of Couch to 5K – the one when you have to run continuously for 20 minutes without stopping.

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do this, what with only running once a week up until last week, but decided to not worry about it too much and just give it a go. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

I decided to use the seafront again as it’s pretty much the only flat route around here that doesn’t involve stopping to cross the road, and headed off nice an early. The walk to the seafront is about 10 minutes, so I used that as my warm up and then started my run nice and slowly, keeping an eye on my pace.

I found the first 800 metres or so a bit of a struggle. My legs felt kind of heavy as I plodded along the promenade, but after a while things seemed to loosen up and I got into my stride. I headed West, away from the busy area and the Saturday morning parkrun (I’m not quite ready for running in even a small crowd just yet). There weren’t too many people around and the weather was cool with a slight breeze and drizzle, which is perfect for me.

After 10 minutes, I turned around and headed back the way that I had come, enjoying the freshness of the sea air in my lungs while trying not to think about how far I still had to go. It certainly wasn’t easy and I knew that my body was having to work harder than it had done in a while to keep going, but I did keep going and made it to the end. A full 20 minutes, with no walk breaks.

The 10 minute walk home helped me to cool down and when I got home I checked out my stats.

The blue line shows my pace, and the big straight-ish part in the middle is the 20 minute run which, it turns out, was fairly consistent at 6:55 per km. The red line shows my heart rate, which ranged from 140 to 180 bpm throughout the running section, so I definitely gave myself a good workout. The little grey dots show my cadence, which is all over the place, but I can work on that later. For now, I’m just happy to have had a good run.

For the rest of the day, I did feel pretty tired and basically did nothing, but I guess I earned it.

Next weekend will be the Week 6 run. I’ll probably not bother with the midweek runs and go straight to the continuous run. It’s only an additional 2 minutes so it should be ok.

How’s your weekend going? Did you get a run in? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

C25K Update

I haven’t blogged for a few weeks so thought it would be good to give you a little update on my Couch to 5K progress…

I re-started the program at the beginning of January with the idea that I would do just one ‘Day 1’ session per week and not worry too much about the others until I felt I needed to. And so far this has worked quite well. I got to Week 5 Day 1 on Saturday without too much trouble, but then decided that I should probably do all three sessions of Week 5 since the third one is the first continuous run of the program.

As I had the day off work today (a guy was coming out to fix my leaky roof) I decided that this would be a good opportunity to get W5D2 done. Also, I got a new Garmin at the weekend and I wanted to try it out – those things really do motivate me for some reason!

For this session, I had to walk for a 5 minute warm up, then run 8 minutes, walk 5 minutes and run another 8 minutes before finishing with a 5 minute cool down, so I headed to the seafront so that I wouldn’t have to keep stopping and starting to cross the road as much.

Now that I have my new Garmin, I was able to see that I started my run too fast so I eased off a bit and tried to get into a rhythm. One of the nice things about running with a GPS watch is that it helps with pacing and it also gave me a boost to see that I could still maintain something close to my old pace. Ok, so I’m not quite there yet, but it was encouraging.

The first 8 minutes of running was a bit of a shock to the system though, and I did struggle. However, after the 5 minute walk break, the second 8 minutes felt much more comfortable for some reason. I even managed an extra little jog on the way home and extended my cool down to get a full 5K for this month’s virtual race.

I’ll probably be in last place for this month’s 5K, but given that most of it was walking I’m not going to complain about my time – 43:19 really isn’t anything to brag about, but I’ll take it.

I’m also having a lot of fun with the data that my new Garmin throws out. I’ll maybe do a post on it another time once I know a bit more about it, but here’s a screenshot from today’s run that shows the type of info that it gives you.

My next run will be on Saturday or Sunday, so that’s all for now. Happy running and say hi in the comments so that I know you’ve dropped by.

 

C25K Week 2

Today I completed my Week 2 run for Couch to 5K, to try to get back in shape. As with Monday’s run, I found it ok and was pleased that I’d managed to keep some of the old fitness despite my time off over the last year or so.

I used the same route as Monday, along Portland Road towards Portslade Station and back again. It’s only about 3.5K including the warm up and cool down, but it’s long enough for me at this stage. Also, being Saturday, by 10 am the traffic was getting busy enough to annoy me when I had to cross the roads, so much so that I missed about half of an entire run section and had to improvise a bit to make it up.

Hopefully it will be a bit quieter on Sunday, when I plan to do my next run. I’m thinking of maybe skipping to Week 3, but I’ll see how I feel in the morning.

I hope your running is going well. Please feel free to say hi in the comments to let me know you’ve dropped by.

Happy Running!

2018 Up and Running!

Happy New Year!

As promised, I’m back on the blog and the C25K program as from today, and it feels amazing!

I had a bit of work to do this morning and overslept slightly, but I was willing to forgive myself (what with it being New Year’s Day and all) and took my time. By the time I’d finished my work, it was 2pm and, even though mid-afternoon is not my favourite time for running, I was itching to get out.

My Garmin seems to have misplaced itself since my move in the Summer, but for once I wasn’t really bothered about recording my run data. This is very unusual for me as I used to be a real data addict, but it could be a good thing… we shall see.

So, Garmin-free, I dusted off my kit, grabbed my iPhone and headed out the door into the cool New Year’s Day drizzle. My iPhone is pretty ancient (I’m still using the 3GS after all these years) so it doesn’t run any tracking apps these days, but it still has the original Zen Labs C25K app on it that tells you when to run and when to walk.

I decided to avoid the seafront and headed along Portland Road instead. It’s not a route I’ve used much as it involves crossing a few roads, but as today is a Bank Holiday the roads were very quiet, so it didn’t matter too much.

I found the run pretty comfortable considering how long it has been since I’ve run outside, but it was still challenging in its own way. Even though my legs seemed to have remembered how to pace themselves, I was starting to feel it a bit by the end of the run.

When I got home, I mapped my route and saw that I had covered about 3.5K including the warm up and cool down, so I’m pretty happy with that.

How’s your training going? Did you go for a New Year’s Day run? Are you returning to running after a long break? Please share your thoughts in the comments?

Lucky Number Seven

So, it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2016. It wasn’t a great year, but wasn’t a bad one either. I survived it, learned some lessons along the way, and now it’s time to move on to the next one. 2017 sounds like a good number. It has a 7 in it, and I do like the number 7, so here are my 7 Resolutions for 2017.

  1. Enjoy running again
  2. Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day
  3. Eat better
  4. Cut down on caffeine
  5. Cut down on smoking
  6. Get my finances in order
  7. Develop my Virtual Running Business

The first one has already started. I managed to get off my backside and on to the treadmill for Week 1 Day 2 of C25K. Despite the fact that my fitness is a long way short of what it was, it wasn’t too bad and I did enjoy it. I guess that counts for Resolution No. 2 as well, so we’re off to a good start and it isn’t even midnight yet.

The rest we will deal with later as I’m about to have a massive dinner and bring in the New Year with a wee dram or three, but tomorrow is a new day and a new year so it’s all good.

How was your year of running? Do you have any resolutions, goals or plans for 2017? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Time To Hit The Restart Button

restart2016 has been an odd year for me in terms of running. I had big ambitions and had to push myself hard to achieve them, but it wasn’t much fun. I was tired, I was struggling and was barely able to achieve the minimum that I had set myself, so in the end I just stopped. I didn’t run, didn’t blog and barely logged on to see what everyone else was doing. I just couldn’t face it. I needed a break, so I took one.

But now that I’ve had some time off, enough time to miss what I really love about running, I figured that the time is right to hit the restart button and get back to Couch To 5K… and stick to it.

This time round though, things are going to be different. I’m not going to think about races, or parkrun, or PBs or anything like that. I’m just going to run to get back in shape. For the most part, this will probably be on the treadmill, as I found the cold air really played havoc with my breathing when I did the Poppy Run in November, but that’s ok. I’m not making any apologies for running indoors. Not this time.

My goal, my one and only goal is to be able to run 5K without walk breaks. That’s it. Nothing more.

Of course, that might change later on, but for now I’m going to try to be sensible, take it easy and stick to the program for the next nine weeks and see how it goes.

So, this afternoon, I completed W1D1 on the treadmill. 30 minutes of walking and running and walking. Not difficult, but got the old heart rate up again for the first time in over a month, so it’s a start.

How’s your training going? Have you set any running goals for 2017? Please share your thoughts in the comments.