C25K Week 9

I wasn’t really in the mood for running this weekend. It had been snowing last week and the temperature in my flat had been so low that the condensation on the inside of my windows had frozen. Getting warm and staying warm had been a real problem this past week, so needless to say, I wasn’t really in the mood for getting cold again!

Luckily though, I noticed my downstairs neighbour going out early, so I figured I could use the treadmill without disturbing anyone – the machine itself isn’t particularly noisy, but I doubt she would appreciate half an hours worth of running going on right above her living room.

The trouble with using the treadmill, apart from the fact that you miss out on running outside, is that my treadmill isn’t very accurate in terms of measuring speed and distance. Luckily my new Garmin is very clever and seems to have some idea of distance even when you’re running on the treadmill – probably because it measures steps or something, but I’m not really sure how it works.

Anyway, knowing that neither the Garmin nor the treadmill would be particularly accurate, I decided to go with whatever gave me the slowest time. That way, I should be doing at least 5K and hopefully a bit more to make up for running indoors.

This approach seemed to be about right. I figured it would have taken me sometime between 35 and 40 minutes to run 5K outside at the moment, so when the treadmill hit the 5K mark in under 35 minutes, I kept going until the Garmin agreed that I had completed the distance.

In the end, according to the Garmin, I completed 5K in 37:57, which I think is probably about right going by my current form. Either way though, it didn’t matter that much as I knew that I was still making progress in terms of time on my feet.

Next weekend, I hope to get outside and will aim to run for 40-45 minutes straight as I begin to prepare for my 10K race at the beginning of May.

How’s your running going? Has your training been affected by the weather this past week? Did you get a run in this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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C25K Week 8

I didn’t run last weekend as I had been feeling under the weather the week before, which meant that this week’s run was going to be a bit more challenging than usual.

My plan was to run for 30 minutes without stopping so I needed a road-free route to make sure that I wouldn’t have an easy excuse to stop. Normally, I would use the seafront, but as today was the Brighton Half Marathon, I decided to avoid the crowds and head for Hove Rec instead.

The nice thing a bout Hove Rec is that each lap is 1 kilometre (or thereabouts) so it’s easy to keep track of how you’re doing. Also, it has a bit of an incline, which can be good or bad, depending on what you’re trying to do.

At this stage in my training, I really need to start thinking about hills. I’ve signed up for an off-road 10K in May which I expect will be rather hilly. Also, I’ve agreed to do Bevendean parkrun in a couple of weeks which is pretty hilly too, so I need to start preparing for that.

So, I headed off to Hove Rec just before 9:00. It was a cold, crisp, sunny morning, so quite nice for running and I was feeling fairly positive about the whole thing.

The first lap was a bit of a struggle, but I persevered, slowed my pace and used the downhill to recover. The second lap was better, but after that I decided that I’d had enough of inclines and completed a half lap before heading for home. The roads were fairly quiet so I was able to cross without stopping or walking, and in the end managed to complete 4.31K in 30 minutes.

When I got home and went to upload my data, however, I was disappointed to see that for some reason the Garmin hadn’t tracked my route. I’m not sure why that is as the GPS was definitely on and the distance had recorded ok, but there was no map of the route.

Still, it’s not a problem. The main objective of today’s run was to keep going for 30 minutes, which I managed, so I’m happy with that.

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

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.

 

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?