Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Couch to 5K

I did it! I didn't think I could, and I was afraid to try, but I just pushed really hard and I did it! I felt like I would die halfway through, but the last 1/4 I got my second wind. 

That's probably what I will say when I finish a 5K, but today I said it after jogging for 3 minutes straight. When I started I could only jog for 15 seconds at a time. The couch to 5K program starts with intervals of jogging 60 seconds and walking 90 seconds, so I had to create 3 levels before that of 15, 30, and 45 seconds. 

I started working on it last fall, walking/jogging outside. But then it got cold and rainy, and it took me a while to figure out a schedule that I could get to the gym. On the treadmill I found that my natural jogging pace was 5 mph. After a couple of weeks my shins started hurting, a lot. The gradual progress and walking and jogging intervals were supposed to help me avoid shin splints, so I was frustrated.  I felt myself wincing every time I did a jumping jack, or any other jump. I didn't consult a doctor, because I hate figuring out how to do that, but the internet made me think maybe I was getting stress fractures. Whatever the cause, I needed to back off and come back at it differently. 

This new year, I knew I still wanted to train to run a 5K, but I needed to keep it low impact until I get under a certain weight. I don't think my shins are made to handle the force of this much weight jumping. I decided to go with a "jogging" pace of 4 mph. True, many people can walk this pace. It's a really awkward pace for me, but it's the fastest I can go without leaving the ground. My heartrate goes all the way up and I have to push myself to do the intervals, so I guess it's enough. 

At my new pace, I've been able to keep going 3 days a week for 6 weeks now. My progress feels slow sometimes, but I felt a huge high today from the progress I did make!

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