Couch to 5k – Week 4
I am finally back into the swing of things with Couch to 5k after having to quit at the beginning of week 4 last year. I was nervous about starting it again, thinking I would have the same light-headedness and the same knee problems, but I also felt more confident, as I feel fitter and stronger now.
Week 4 of the program is a 3 minute run, a 90 second walk, a 5 minute run, a 2 minute 30 second walk, 3 minute run, 90 second walk and then a final 5 minute run.
Going straight back into a 3 minute run after having so long off was actually easier than I thought it was. Or rather it was not as “impossible” as I thought it would be, but then came a 5 minute run. 5 minutes!!! I had convinced myself that I would not be able to complete it, that I couldn’t run for 5 minutes, but I also told myself that giving up was not an option. Despite having a heart problem that does stop me working out as intensely as I would like, this program is perfectly achievable for me and the only thing that would stop me is my head. After 3 minutes, it was only another 2 minutes, so I just turned my music up really loud and then pushed though!! And I did it!! I felt amazing, but I knew there was no time for celebrating, I have more running to do. After the 2 minute 30 second walk, it was straight into a 3 minute run and I actually found this second 3 minute run harder than the first 5 minute run. I started to get a stitch as well and thought I might have to stop, but I slowed down my breathing and it seemed to pass. I was so pleased to have finished the first day of week 4. I could run for 5 minutes!!
The second and 3rd run of week 4 went well too, although I did find the 3rd run tough. I just didn’t feel like I had the energy because I didn’t eat right before my run. I am slowly learning what is right for me as pre and post workout food – as everyone is different.
So, that was last week. Tonight I start week 5 of the plan and the first 2 runs are fine – 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run, 3 minute walk, 5 minute run. I have run for 3 and 5 minutes before, although I have not done 3 lots of 5 minute runs in one session. But I am pretty sure I can do that. I might eat my words after. But…the final run of week 5 jumps to a 20 minute run. WHAT?! 20 minutes? In the same week, how can you go from 5 minutes to 20 minutes?
I know my body is capable of more than my mind thinks it is, but 20 minutes just seems out of my reach at the moment. I am going to attempt it, but I am not going to force myself. If I can’t do it, then I will just run 8 minutes – as that is still further than 5 – but not as crazy as 20. 20 minutes? Pfttt.
I don’t think the problem is not feeling like I have the energy to run 20 minutes, it is boredom. I have spoken about this before, but I am a clock watcher when I run. Even if I cover the timer on the treadmill, I am still sneaking a look. It doesn’t matter how much great music I have pumping in my ears or how much trashy reality TV is on the screen on the treadmill – I get bored and that is why a whole 20 minutes of running bothers me. But…I have to do it sometime.
I will update on my progress at the end of this week. Wish me luck!