Back in high school, we had a 5k race at the end of each school year and I would always hate that time of the year. First of all, we weren’t given a training plan (as if a teenager who isn’t interested in running is going to look up how to train for a race). Second of all, though the teacher told us we would be training in gym class, we only ever ended up doing a few (read: 2 or 3) practice runs before the teacher would forget to have us do them. Thirdly, the practice we had in class consisted of “run as many laps of the gym as you can in 20 minutes”. No run/walk intervals, nothing.
Needless to say, I didn’t train on any of the years. I would do my “run” (which had more walk than run) in about 40 minutes and would only just get the passing grade. I would always end up cramping up while I ran and would have trouble walking for the next two days.
“I hate running” and “running just isn’t for me” are two of the most common things I would have to say about the sport.
Fast forward a few years later and I’m out of the house every two days training for my first voluntary 5k. I never thought I would say this ever, but I love running.
So, what has changed?
First off, I decided that I wanted to run. The motivation for it was intrinsic this time around. Secondly, I took the time to set up some S.M.A.R.T. goals to maintain my motivation to get in shape. Lastly, I am following an awesome training plan: the C25K running program. I am currently half-way through the training and I am amazed at what I have accomplished so far.
Besides the fact that I have not been sore following any of my running days, I have been able to increase my running time in a very short amount of time. Whereas two months ago I had trouble running 1 minute without getting out of breath [week 1 has you doing 8 intervals of 1 minute of running followed by 1.5 minutes of recovery (walking)], yesterday I was able to run 5 minutes straight without a problem. (On a side note, I noticed that I don’t really get out of breath when I breathe through my nose, whereas I get out of breath rather quickly when I breathe through my mouth, does anyone know why?).
I’m also really enjoying my running watch (soon to be reviewed) which is helping me keep track of a whole bunch of stuff. My achievements so far:
- Fastest 1 km: 7:41
- Fastest 1 mi: 12:37
- Longest run: 1.65 mi/2.65 km (21:30 min)
The plan for the next weeks:
- Keep training to work up to 30 minutes of continuous running.
- Work on prolonging my run to 5 km (which I estimate will take me about 37 minutes).
- Work on reducing the time it takes me to run 5 km.
For the record, this is the race I’m aiming to take part in.
Have you tried the C25K running program? Which week was/has been the hardest for you?