Monday, 21 March 2016

Couch to 5k: Week 4

It really felt this week that the runs had stepped up a bit. Format is:

- 5 minute walk
- 3 minute run
- 90 seconds walk
- 5 minute run
- 2.5 minute walk
- 3 minute run
- 90 seconds wal
- 5 minute run
- 5 minute walk

The step up to 5 minutes of running was definitely tough.

Run 1
At the gym. Hard going. The first half of the program was fine, although the first five minute run felt like it lasted forever, however the final two runs were really tough as my ankles were really feeling the pressure. I'm not sure what it was that made them hurt, but the final five minute run was really hard as they were causing me a lot of pain. I pushed through though and finished it, but I did feel a bit nervous about run 2 in case this continued to be a problem.

Run 2
Really hard going. I was a bit ill this week and took Thursday off work, so went to the gym to force myself out of my house. I should have maybe skipped running this day as I wasn't 100%, however I'm on a bit of a tight schedule now as I want to get this program finished before I go on holiday! I didn't have any ankle pain however I had a stitch for most of the 30 minutes, and the last five minutes were agony as the stitch spread from one side all the way under my stomach. I found this one so, so tough - if this had been the last run of the week I don't think I would have felt ready to progress to week 5 yet.

Run 3
Much better! I think my illness earlier in the week really affected me as this run was much easier than run 2. I still had a bit of a stitch but not enough to really cause any major pain so it was totally manageable. This was still tough going, and I'm still finding myself looking at the timer every 10 seconds, however I didn't feel at the end of the last five minute run that I couldn't go on any further, which is how I felt after runs 1 and 2. Goes to show that sticking to the program really does make a difference!

Calories: c. 240
Distance: c. 2.4miles
Time: 16 minutes running
Distractions: again, I varied my gym times this week so didn't catch any Eastenders and I'm still of the opinion that having something else to focus on really makes a difference for me. I think I'm going to be one of those people who always finds running a bit boring!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Couch to 5k: Week 3

Week 3 runs are complete! The format of week 3 is: 5-minute warm-up walk; 90 seconds run, 90 seconds walk; 3-minute run; 3-minute walk; 90 seconds run; 90 seconds walk; 3-minute run; 5-minute warm-down walk. This is the first time it really feels like you're running for a prolonged period of time, and the two 3-minute runs definitely felt longer than I was used to in run 1. However, each one got a bit easier and I'm already looking forward to the week 4 program.

Run 1!
At the gym. This first run was the hardest of the week, and knowing you have to run for 3 minutes is a bit of a daunting prospect. However, in the first 3-minute run the podcast lady starts talking to you when you're 90 seconds in, and by the time you're finished you've only got a minute left so that helped a lot. It was definitely a bit of a struggle to complete the second long run, but I did it without any dramas so I'm definitely improving. Knowing that I had to do the two longer runs this week, I slowed my pace to 5.2 miles per hour for the runs, but tried to keep my walking pace up so as not to not lost too much ground overall.

Run 2!
Again at the gym. I actually went longer than usual between run 1 and run 1 due to various boring reasons, so I was a bit nervous about this one but actually it was completely fine, which makes me think maybe I'm not pushing myself hard enough? I kept my pace the same as in run 1, and found this run much easier than the previous one.

Run 3!
Once more at the gym, and this time with my new gym top that has a built-in bra - I cannot tell you what a difference this made! I don't have any sport bras so constantly find I am adjusting my straps when I'm running, so not having to do this for this run was a dream. I get all my gym stuff from H&M and I cannot recommend it enough - it's good quality, fun and cheap. I was feeling pretty confident about this run as run 2 had gone so well, so I upped my pace on the 90 second runs to what I was doing in week 2, and upped my pace on the 3-minute runs to 5.3. It's only a marginal difference but psychologically it felt like I was working harder so this felt like a great way to end my week 3 runs.

Stats time:
Average calories per run: c. 170
Average distance per run: c. 1.9 miles
Time spent running: 9 minutes
Eastenders storylines: Due to the times I could make it to the gym this week I didn't see any Eastenders, and while this isn't an issue in itself it really hit home that I actually still find running quite boring. The first two times I went there wasn't anything on the tv screens that was capturing my attention, and it really did make the runs seem longer than they were - not ideal when this week contained the longest run so far! As I'm doing this with the podcast I can't really take something else to watch / listen to as I have to have my earphones plugged in already, but this week has definitely shown me that when I am at the stage where I'm running without the podcast I'm going to have to think carefully about how I'm going to occupy my brain whilst I'm doing it...

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Couch to 5k: Week 2

Week 2 is completed! I've done the three runs so I'm going to move on to week 3 later in the week and see how I get on - as you'll see these three runs were a bit up and down, but they're done now so onwards and upwards!

Run 1!
My first outside run and the worst so far. Where I live is a bit hilly, and I really underestimated how much this would affect my running. The week 2 program is 90 seconds of running interspersed with 2 minutes of walking, and I found it really hard to maintain a quick pace for the walks as the runs were so hard. I did all of the runs except one - one of them was a up a little hill and I just couldn't make it. However, I did the next run when it came along so I guess that's something. Aside from the hills, I also missed having the timer on the treadmill - I find it really useful to see how many seconds I've got left, so running blind was really difficult. I'm sure I'll run outside again during the program but I think best to stick to the gym for the time being.

Run 2!
I actually went to the gym the day after my first run, but I decided not to do the second run on this day as the program does say to have a day off inbetween each run, and I didn't want to have another terrible run so soon after. So, I gave it a couple of days before doing it and it was definitely the right decision as this was one of my best runs so far. As the runs are for 90 seconds on week 2 I slowed my pace from 6mph to 5.5mph and this was really manageable - it's actually meant that I've not gone as far as in week 1 on average, but at this stage I don't really care. It's not really about the distance yet, more about the stamina.

Run 3!
Not as good as the second run but still managed to complete it without too much trouble. Again, I kept my pace at 5.5mph rather than 6mph and although I was getting tired as the runs went on I found the last one pretty easy-going (probably because I knew it was the last one). There was a woman running next to me though which put me off - she was properly going for it on quite an incline but there's no point in noticing what the other people in the gym are doing - there's always going to be loads of people there fitter than me and there's nothing I can do about that! Anyway, on to week 3!

Week 2 Stats:
Average calories per run: c. 210
Average distance per run: c. 2 miles
Time spent running: 9 minutes
Eastenders storylines picked up on: Abby is still pretending to be pregnant, but now she has her period. Why not just pretend something's gone wrong with the pregnancy? Plus, Stacey seems to have some sort of post-natal depression?