Sidetracked

I seem to have become a little bit sidetracked as far as my C25K training is concerned. Usually, I run Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday, but last week and this week, things haven’t really gone according to plan.

Last Wednesday’s run was postponed until Thursday as I had noticed some pain in my shins that I thought might be shin splints. By Thursday, they felt fine though and I had a good run. I was surprised by how well I was coping with the three and five minute runs and managed to complete the run without any pains or niggles.

However, as I had family visiting this week, I guessed that I might not manage Week 5 quite so easily so decided to repeat Week 4. Saturday morning’s run was good, but after a busy day and late night out in London, I missed my run on Sunday morning. Then on Wednesday, even though I had booked a day off work, I didn’t get up early enough to go for a run and was busy doing things with my family for the rest of the day.

As a result, my whole schedule has pretty much gone to pot, but it was worth it. I got to spent time with my family, who I haven’t seen since October, and even though I wasn’t running, I certainly got plenty of exercise this week just by walking around and acting like a tourist with them.

So, I have decided that next week I’m going to repeat Week 4 and get back into my running routine. If things go according to plan, I should still be able to complete 5K by the end of August; and if they don’t, well, I can still run a lot further than I could a month ago.

For me, the most important thing is to enjoy the training. Sometimes life gets in the way of running, but it’s no big deal. As long as I get back out there and keep making progress, it’s all good.

How’s your training going? How do you juggle your time between running and other commitments? How do you get yourself back on track when injuries, work, family or life in general interrupt your running routine? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

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Week What?!

I always look forward to my Saturday morning runs. Saturdays mark the beginning of a whole new week of C25K, a new challenge of running for longer than ever before and, of course, I get to do it all before breakfast. Whatever happens for the rest of the day, at least I’ve got my run in.

I woke up later than usual this morning. I’m normally up sometime between six and seven at the weekend, which is great of you want to go out running before the streets start getting too busy. But this morning I overslept. Just a bit.

Sleeping late wasn’t too much of a big deal really. I just meant I got myself out the door quicker than I usually would without giving myself too much time to wake up properly.

The warm up walk soon woke me up and my usual morning stiffness soon began to fade. It felt good to be out in the sunshine. It was still fairly early so there weren’t too many people around, which is always a bonus for me.

I’d been looking forward to today’s run with slightly nervous anticipation. I’d been looking ahead on my C25K app at what I would have to do each week and discovered that I would have to run for a whole five minutes at one point. I’d never run for that amount of time before, but that’s the same every week and so far the app hadn’t given me anything that I couldn’t cope with, so I was feeling ok about it.

I started the first three minute section at a slow and steady pace. I try to avoid looking at how much time I have left and focus instead on small goals along the route like, I know I can make it as far as that next dustbin or by the time I get to those beach huts, it will be time to start walking. The trouble was, it didn’t happen. I passed the bins and reached the beach huts, but no one was telling me to stop running.

Reluctantly, I pulled my iPhone from my pocket to check that the app was still running. It was, but something wasn’t right. Instead of telling me I only had seconds to go, I discovered I had twenty five minutes left! And then I realised, I was running to Week 9!

The OCD part of me was really annoyed about this. I had messed up my schedule. The whole routine was now out of synch. I could turn start again from the start, but I had already run five minutes; I could scrap the whole run and start again tomorrow, but that would ruin my schedule; or I could keep going and try to adapt the run to make it as close as possible to what I was supposed to do today. So that’s what I did, kind of.

I decided to keep going and try to run for eight minutes, and then walk for two, run for three, walk for two and finish by running for five. And it worked! I ran for eight whole minutes without stopping and still had enough energy left to complete the session and do the final five minutes at the end.

It wasn’t the run that I had planned for but it did leave me feeling even better than I thought it would. If I can run for eight minutes, then the rest of this week is going to be  a breeze.

I guess mistakes like this happen for a reason. While I’m not going  to stray from the program again, what happened today has given me a well needed confidence boost. Even at this stage, I can run for much longer than I thought I could. And that feels great!

Just Go Run

motivationI wasn’t feeling quite as motivated this morning as I was yesterday, but that’s going to happen right?

Still, I knew that if I didn’t do it today, it would be harder later in the week as I prefer to run when there’s no one else around. It’s just a confidence thing, I know, and I’m sure that will pass as the running improves over the next few weeks, but for now I’d rather not be seen by too many people. This will be more difficult mid week as I will probably have to train in the evenings, so getting two runs in at the weekend is important.

So, just before 7:30am, I got my act together, donned my running gear and headed on out to another cool dry morning in central Hove.

It was still a bit windy, so I decided to avoid the beach and run along one of the main roads. As with yesterday, there weren’t many people around, although I did see a couple of joggers, runners and a group of cyclists who looked like they were training for something. It made me feel a bit less self conscious to know that most of the people out and about at that time were doing the same as I was.

The session itself was pretty good and for some reason I enjoyed the second half of it more than the first. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that I was running along a straight road and then turning back, or maybe I just got into my stride a bit more. I don’t know. But it felt good. Challenging, tiring and uncomfortable at times, but good.

I plan to have a break for the next couple of days and do Day 3 on Wednesday. Hopefully I’ll still be feeling motivated by then.

Have a great week!

At what time of day do you prefer to run? How do you get yourself motivated when you’re feeling tired? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments.

First Run

morning_runI was so excited about doing my first C25K run this morning that I could hardly sleep. Seriously. I had to get up twice to pee and by 5:15 I was wide awake and ready to run… well, perhaps not quite ready to run. I was hungry and wanted some breakfast, which is unusual for me.

Anyway, I was too hungry to run so I decided to have something to eat. Apparently you’re not supposed to run right after eating. But that was fine because it was early. I could still be out and running before the proper runners were out and about.

I went out just before 7am and headed for the beach. It’s only five minutes away, so walking down there would be my warm up. It was a bit chilly and I could feel the cold air on my feet – I guess running shoes are supposed to do that – but on the whole it was a pretty nice morning for running.

As I headed for the sea, I had visions of myself sprinting along the promenade, with the sun on my skin, the breeze in my hair and the air beneath my feet. I would feel strong and powerful and free.

Unfortunately, as soon as I hit the seafront, the cool breeze turned into what seemed like a gale. I could barely even walk upright, never mind run, with the wind pounding my lungs as it tried to rip my cap from my head.

Luckily, there are some decent pavements around here, so I headed back up to the road to get some shelter from the wind and soon got into my stride.

On the whole, the run was pretty good. It wasn’t easy for someone like me who won’t even run to catch a bus never mind to get fit, but the fact that there was more walking than running at this stage made it bearable.

The best part though was probably the cool down. It felt good to have taken those first steps and, even with only a few minutes of actual running, the endorphins definitely made me feel good.

It’s early days, I know, but I could definitely get into this!

Are you doing C25K? How was your first run? Share your stories in the comments.

Ready To Run

c25k app logoNow that I’ve started this blog, I guess that means I’m going to have to get running.

As I’m not really used to strenuous exercise, I’ve decided to follow the Couch To 5K program that everyone seems to be talking about.

The idea is to start with short bursts of running and walking, building up the running time each day until you can run a whole 5K for 30 minutes without stopping.

The entire program is supposed to take eight weeks, with three running sessions per week. Then, on the ninth week, you should be able to do the 5K.

I’m not sure if I will be able to do it in just eight weeks, but the idea makes sense. Start with something that feels achievable and then build it up a little bit at a time until you reach your goal.

In order to help with this, I have downloaded the free C25K app. The app tells you when to run and when to walk so that you don’t have worry about looking at your watch; you can just focus on what you are doing.

So, now that’s sorted, all I need to do is dust off my running shoes, dig out some suitable clothing and set my alarm for early tomorrow morning so that I can run without worrying about being seen!

Are you doing C25K? Have you used the app? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.