Treadmill Day 2

Today was my second day of doing C25K on the treadmill and I’m pleased to say that I managed a lot better than yesterday i.e. didn’t come anywhere near close to falling off, didn’t stop the machine by accident and didn’t feel like I’d just spent a year at sea when I tried to walk on the floor again.

The pace was, however, was still very slow. I think this is partly to do with getting used to running at a set pace rather than allowing the old legs to do what they want to, but it also has a lot to do with confidence and feeling comfortable with running on a moving surface – I did wobble a few times, but only a little bit.

The other problem with the treadmill is that once you stop, the time and distance disappears. I did notice as I slowed to my final walk break that I’d covered about 2 kilometres in around 23 minutes, which is pretty terrible really, although it does include the 5 minute warm up walk at the start.

Still, one of my reasons for starting right at the beginning of C25K again is that I can use the first few sessions to get used to the machine, so it’s all good really.

How’s your running and training going? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

New Year, New Start, New C25K

Happy New Year! I hope you have had a good time over the festive period and that you gave 2015 a good send off last night.

For me, 2015 was a year of ups and downs. This time last year I was training for my first marathon and half-marathon and spent new year’s morning on a very very long run – 24K if I remember correctly.

Today though, it was a different story. The Brighton Marathon left me with a niggling injury which just wouldn’t calm down, resulting in a very patchy summer and autumn of starting, restarting and generally getting not very far with C25K.

As a result, I’m kicking off 2016 right back at the beginning again, with yet another attempt at Couch to 5K.

I have to to be honest, it wasn’t easy getting out the door this morning. Not that I over indulged on Hogmanay or anything. A couple of cans of Fosters and a slightly too large whisky to see in the New Year is nothing by my old standards, but it did mean that I overslept and had a slightly wooly head when I eventually peeled myself from my pit this morning.

Still, fortunately my brain was in no state to over think it (or think at all for that matter), so after a large glass of water and a couple of paracetamol, I headed out to Hove Rec for Week 1 Day 1 of Couch to 5K.

The weather was surprisingly mild and not at all windy, which made it much more pleasant than I had expected, and the run wasn’t too bad either. I took it nice and easy, remembering to smile and say ‘Happy New Year’ to the dog walkers, runners and people who were just out enjoying an early morning stroll. New Years morning really is my favourite day for running in that respect.

In the end, I completed just under 2.5K in about 20 minutes, including a bit of an extra run for the final walking segment to get me back to the railway bridge, and I have to say, it felt brilliant!

With two more days until I have to go back to work, my plan is to get Week 1 out of the way this weekend, and then follow the program with one midweek run and two at the weekend until I’m back up to 5K again – we’ll see though. Either way, it’s great to be back!

How’s your training going? Are you starting or restarting Couch to 5K this year? What are your running goals for 2016? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

What Did I Do With My Head Torch?

Now that the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in, it’s becoming all too easy to come up with an excuse not to run. But not tonight.

I had planned to take my new favourite route around Hove Rec, but unfortunately the House Pixies seemed to have hidden my head torch. With unlit paths made even darker by the bushes and trees on either side, there was no way I was going to risk it, so I headed for the seafront instead for Week 4 Day 1 of Couch To 5K.

I did my usual seafront route, starting at Hove Lawns then down towards the Peace Statue, back up to the King Alfred Centre and then back to my starting point, plus a bit extra to let the time run down.

As I hadn’t run for over a week, I took it nice and slowly and was surprised by how easy it was – possibly because I was back on the flat again, but I’d like to think it’s because my fitness is improving too.

I covered 3K in 21:44, which is fine, but next time, I think I’ll push a bit harder and see if I can hit a 6 minute pace on the running sections.

How’s your training going? Do you avoid certain routes when running in the evening? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

I Should Probably Go For A Run

I hadn’t thought about running at all today, not until I was on my way home. I’d bumped into a colleague at the train station and she asked me (in the way that colleagues on the train often do) what I was doing this evening, and without evening thinking about it, the words were right there in front of me – I should probably go for a run.

And it was as simple as that. I had to run. If I didn’t, I would be a fake, a fraud, one of those people who talks about getting fit but never actually does anything about it. Someone who talks about doing and achieving great things but always finds an excuse not too see it through. And I didn’t want to be that person. Not today. So I did what had to be done.

As soon as I got home, I got changed and headed out. I didn’t even think about it. I couldn’t afford to. I had to get in and out as quickly as possible, move forward and get it done.

To be fair, it wasn’t a very long run. Week 3 Day 2 of Couch to 5K is two reps of 1:30 run, 1:30 walk, 3:00 run and 3:00 walk. As usual, I stopped the Garmin before the final walk break, making a very short session even shorter on paper. And it was slow too. But it was fine.

I can hold my head high at work tomorrow. The run got done.

How’s your training going? Does telling other people about your plans to go running help to motivate and keep you accountable? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Unscheduled Rest Week

Circle HopI didn’t manage to get a run in at last week. A couple of extra long working days at the beginning of the week combined with a sudden drop in temperature left me feeling pretty tired, so I decided to take it easy, skip the final run of Week 2 and launch into Week 3 this morning so that I would have something to contribute to this week’s Virtual Running UK Blog Hop.

Today’s session should have been fairly easy – 2 reps of 1:30 run, 1:30 walk, 3:00 run and 3:00 walk, but I have to admit that I did find the second 3:00 run more challenging than I had expected. I still managed it, but for a bit of a confidence boost at the end, I decided to split the final walk in half so that I could finish strongly on a 1:30 run.

My running pace definitely slowed down on this run and I didn’t manage to stay under 6:00 minutes per kilometre for the duration of each section, but I think it probably averaged out ok.

pace

I’m planning on doing another Week 3 run tomorrow (all being well), so hopefully I’ll be able to improve the pacing a bit more on that one.

On the whole though, repeating Couch to 5K seems to be working. I haven’t quite nailed the routine yet this time around, but the program is working and I am definitely seeing and feeling the improvements each time, so it’s all good.

How’s your training going? How are you coping with running in the colder weather? Please share you thoughts in the comments.

Some Thoughts On Repeating C25K

Today was Week 2 Day 2 of Couch to 5K. Six reps of 1:30 running and 2:00 walking, and it all went pretty well. The running pace was quick and comfortable, the walk breaks were more than plenty and I feel that I am making progress, not just in terms of the C25K Program, but also in terms of my running as a whole.

Couch to 5K works, there has never been any doubt in my mind about that. However, I have noticed that the whole experience of repeating Couch to 5K is very different than it was the first time around, not just physically, but also mentally. So, here are a few of my thoughts on repeating the program:

Difficulty

Firstly, and probably most obviously, is that doing Couch to 5K the second time round (after successfully completing it before) is much easier. Even though I’ve had a few months of running on and off, and for the past 12 months have been using run/walk for my races (marathon included), I was still starting off at a much higher level of fitness than the first time around, so those early week sessions haven’t been anything like as hard as they were before.

Motivation

Motivation has been a problem though. The first time I did Couch to 5K, I was so desperate to run that I could barely wait to get out and do the next session; however, this time around, I’m much more laid back about the whole thing. Yes, I want to get back to running 5K, and yes I have a specific goal in mind, but that sense of urgency has gone, which means I need to draw on all of my old motivational tricks to make sure I get myself out the door and stay on track.

Pacing

One of the best things about repeating the program is pacing. Not only do I know how to judge my pace for each session, but I can also run much faster than before without tiring. Ok, so the running sections are still very short at the moment, but even with that in mind, I know that in running faster for these shorter intervals, my 5K pace will have improved by the time I complete the program.

Recovery

Unlike last time, recovering from a run is so much better. I no longer feel the need to raid the fridge after returning from a 2.5K run; I don’t need to take a nap in the afternoon if I run in the morning; and the DOMS, when they do appear, are nothing compared with what they used to be.

Progress

And finally, progress. We all know that Couch to 5K produces great results and that the progress is noticeable after only a couple of sessions, but here’s the difference. The first time around, the sessions became less difficult; this time around, they become easier. I know, there’s a fine line between something being less difficult  and something being easier, but the point is that repeating Couch to 5K is not difficult at all. The sessions are easy and they become easier, which definitely helps with the whole motivation thing.

How’s your training going? Have you gone back to Couch to 5K after injury or a break? What differences did you notice the second time around? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Routine Stuff

One of the hardest things about getting back into training over the last few months has been my inability to get into a good routine. Lack of running aside, my life was fairly unstructured over the summer and, even though I had plenty of time to get out and run, I just never got around to it.

Ironically, now that I am working full time again, I seem more able to get it done. For some reason, it’s much easier for me to tag a quick run on to the end of a day at work than it is to have the whole day to think about it. But then again, maybe that’s been the problem. Me thinking about doing anything usually ends in procrastination.

So, this evening, when I got home from work, I quickly checked my emails, got changed and headed out for Week 2 Day 1 of Couch to 5K without giving it a second thought. Even when I opened the front door to a sudden downpour of ice cold rain, I didn’t hesitate. I just stepped out, switched on the Garmin and headed to Hove Rec for six reps of 90 seconds of running and two minutes of walking.

The rain only lasted for a few minutes, but it didn’t really bother me. I was wearing my waterproof running jacket and a baseball cap (keeps the rain off my glasses) so it would be bearable, and besides, I was only going to be out for about half an hour anyway.

The run itself went pretty well. I kept the pace fairly slow on the running sections and didn’t really notice the extra 30 seconds. So much so that I even managed an extra little run at the end so that I would finish back at my starting point.

As for the stats, 2.85 kilometres in 21:39 with an average pace of 7:36 per kilometre – pretty slow, I know, but the running sections were still under 6:00 per kilometre, which puts me on track for a sub-30 5K… if I don’t slow down too much as the weeks progress, that is.

How’s your training going? How do you fit your running into your general routine? Do you find it harder or easier to get a run in when your time is less structured? Please share your thoughts in the comments.