Couch-to-5K: week 1, day 1

I’ve just got back into the house after doing week 1/day 1 of couch-to-5k, an interval training program designed to take you from “not running at all” to your first 5Km run in gentle controlled increments. I was surprised at how hard I found it, to be honest. Day 1 is ridiculously low impact — alternating 60 seconds running with 90 seconds of walking from 20 minutes, with 5 minutes’ warm-up walking at start and end — but after a couple of cycles I was getting quite out of breath, and by the by the half way point I was getting a stitch, and very happy each time the nice lady in my iPhone said “walk” not “run”. But I did it, and actually rather enjoyed it, and I certainly feel good now, afterwards — sense of satisfaction coupled with glowy-body-feeling. :-)

It’s a nine-week program, so the trick now is to keep it up; writing about it here is part of the mechanism for that, so unless I fail utterly, this ought to turn into a bit of a running blog for the next couple of months, and maybe beyond. I’ve cunningly chosen to start in mid-October, so darkness, cold, wind and rain will be my main enemies, I expect – particularly rain as I’d like to run with headphones (not earbuds as I don’t have any which stay in) but they probably shouldn’t get too wet, thus: quandry. On the subject of cold, the other thing which surprised me today was how much heat I produced; I had three (thin, technical) layers on, and my coat in my rucksack, and on the warm-up walk I was quite cold, but once I started running, whammo. So that’s good.

Route: I walked from my house down through Singleton Park to the sea front (just over 5 minutes) where I did some cursory, confused and no-doubt sloppy stretches (one of the main things worrying me has been shin splints, which I always seem to get if I run for a bus, etc.; so far, so good!) before starting the work-out proper. 5 minutes walking took me to opposite the Pub On The Pond, when I started running/walking; the half-way point was the Texaco garage at Blackpill, and the return journey had the same way-marks, so my pace must have been reasonably consistent. Because I was using Bluefin’s iPhone c25k app, I couldn’t use runkeeper to track my pace, etc., sadly: runkeeper doesn’t seem to run in the background… The Bluefin app seemed to work quite well, though.

4 Responses to “Couch-to-5K: week 1, day 1”

  1. Sean
    October 17th, 2010 | 6:58 pm

    Good stuff dude! I got into running relatively recently and have trained up to 10k at a slow pace. Hoping to do a charity 10k in spring time – ’tis very satisfying after to get that glowy feeling :-)

  2. Rich
    October 17th, 2010 | 9:35 pm

    Nice one. Re: cold, generally I never find it much of an issue once you’re running for more than 5 mins at a time. Long shorts and a t seem to be just fine, although gloves and a cap are nice when it’s frosty. Good luck!

  3. Jo
    October 17th, 2010 | 11:15 pm

    Yay! Go go Gimbomatron running machine!
    Having done a very similar program 2 years ago, I have the following thoughts why may or may not be useful to you:
    1. It never feels like it gets easier – whether you’re running 5 minutes or 5km, the 1st 2 minutes your body will scream at you to stop. Try not to let this dishearten you, because…
    2. …It obviously does get easier because you’ll be doing things you couldn’t do before – and if you can’t do the next level up then remember you are still being AWESOME by repeating the same level for a couple of days.
    3. I LOVED running in the cold – after 5 mins I was always down to my TShirt, even in the snow. Much more comfortable than running in the heat where you can’t cool down as effectively.
    4. I suffered shin splits as a child & when I tried to run. Here’s what helped me: Deep heat on the shins before the run, deep freeze on shins after the run or if you can, packs of frozen petit pois for 20 minutes. Plus lots of stretches :)
    Looking forward to seeing your progress!

  4. October 18th, 2010 | 11:07 am

    Yeah Rich, I was thinking gloves! It wasn’t the running so much as the warm up walk at the start, although I guess as I get fitter the warm-up walk can become a warm-up gentle run…

    Shins still OK today. Yay.

    Thanks for the tips, guys!