Tag Archives: Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K, week 9, day 3

I’m officially done! I graduated Couch to 5K!

I was again impressed with the first half. I’d ran about 15 minutes before I noticed the time. The run got a little tough at the end as usual.

It actually really got tough with about 12 minutes to go. From then on I just kept telling myself that I wouldn’t have to run 30 minutes again for a very long time. That helped a lot. To help out I had a little countdown as the minutes passed. Started with 10 minutes, then 8, 5, 3, 90 seconds and 1 minute. With a minute to go I was counting the seconds!

It wasn’t that tough really. I could breathe normally the whole time. My legs were OK. I just needed some motivation. It’s hard to get up for these long runs.

I’m glad I decided to do Couch to 5K. It helped me tremendously. There were some issues along the way but I was able to get progressively better for most of the weeks.

It’s still a little strange to be so nonchalant about running 30 minutes for a 3rd time. I can still remember when I could only dream about doing it.

Now I can do it. That’s pretty cool.

Now it’s on to the next challenge.

Couch to 5K, week 9, day 2

The run went a lot smoother today. I was only able to zone out for the first 10 minutes this time but the rest was OK. It got a little tough with about 5 minutes to go but I knew that I could push through anything for that long.

I was sweating a ton more this time though. That’s probably a good thing.

Only one more 30 minute run to go.

Couch to 5K, week 9, day 1

I did it. I just ran 30 minutes straight.

At 6mph that averaged out to 3 miles on the dot. Not too shabby if I don’t say so myself.

To be honest I don’t remember much about the first 15 minutes. I was watching some show on TV and lost track of time. This is the first time that has ever happened to me. The last 10 were a little bit of a struggle. I caught a second wind around 27 minutes in though and breezed to the finish. I felt pretty good. Wasn’t really that tired at the end.

I’m happy to have accomplished a goal I set out for myself. Now I can knock out those last two runs and truly finish this thing off.

Couch to 5K, week 8, day 3

I finished my final 28 minute run today.

It was pretty taxing. At times I thought it was tougher than the other two this week. I never worried about finishing it though.

During this run I came to the realization that I hate running for this long. It’s not fun. I try to convince myself that I like it. I only like the effect I think it’s having on my body. I’m usually doing pretty well and enjoying myself up to about minute 20. From there it’s pure drudgery. My only thought is how many more minutes do I have to survive until this torture is over.

To put it simply, running this long doesn’t make me happy. Frankly, that’s the number one goal I have with any of these workout programs. I’m not going to spend the rest of my life running 30+ minutes every other day. I just won’t. I’m pretty stubborn, so I bet I could force myself to do it for a pretty long time. Eventually, though, I’d quit. I’d hate myself for it, but I know I’d have to. I can’t live my life with the threat of some long run constantly hanging over my head.

I’m going to approach this coming week with a sense of pride but also one of dread. I don’t want to do it but I feel like I’ve come so far that I really need to finish it out. I’m going to try to be positive but it’s going to be hard.

I’m sure I’ll feel a rush when I hit that 30 minute mark. I will feel excited and happy that I accomplished something I set out to do.

I will do this three times and that will be the end of it. I will move on to something else and never think twice about my decision. Some people love running long distances. I’m not one of those people.

Couch to 5K, week 8, day 2

No problems at all really. These things are getting to be no big deal at all. The final three minutes required me to push a little bit more but I have more than enough wind in me. Again I stuck to the 28 minutes and got off. Only one more to go and then it’s graduation week.

All day today I’ve been thinking about the HIIT stuff. The guy who wrote the New Rules of Lifting book (which I ordered online yesterday) wrote a little something about it that might explain the concept better then I can. Here’s the link. http://www.alwyncosgrove.com/Energy-System-Training.html

I’ve almost managed to convince myself that I need to stop all these long runs. I’m funny that way. I can’t though. I’m all about sticking things out. I don’t care what happens between now and next week. If I’m able to run I’m gonna finish up this Couch to 5K. Thirty minutes straight is gonna be an awesome accomplishment. I can’t wait to get it done.

Plans for the future

I’ve got a little over 4 months to go in my lifting plan and only 2 weeks left in Couch to 5K. I’ve been thinking about what I need to do after these finish up.

On the lifting front, I initially thought that I would do the Home Grown Muscle advanced program. It’s obviously pretty similar to the beginner program I’m on right now and to be honest that’s not a good thing. Phase 1 and Phase 6 are both two months which is WAY too long. Mostly though, I just want something new. I’ve been reading on the Men’s Health forums about a book called the New Rules of Lifting that everyone there is raving about. For the past few days I’ve spent most of my spare time reading everything I can find out about it. I’m going to buy the book soon and check it out.

The plan has three different programs that you mix and match to meet your specific goals. There’s a fat loss program, a strength program and a hypertrophy program. You can definitely stretch it out for a year. If I had to decide today I’d do it. I haven’t even read the book and I’m fascinated by it. The only downside is that I’d start with the fat loss program which includes a lot of 15 rep sets. This requires lowering the weights which is is an ego check I hope I’m mature enough to handle. I don’t think I ever did do 15 squat reps when I was supposed to in Phase 1 of HGM. I was too embarrased to drop below 135. I could probably do it now, though.

It’s not about how much you lift, it’s about results. I’ve developed enough confidence over the past 8 months to not let worrying about what people in the gym think about me affect my workout. I remember when I was embarrassed to do crunches in the gym! If only I would have know then that I’d be doing the ab work I do now. I probably would have died of embarrassment at the very thought. The incline reverse crunch that I’ve done every other day for the past two months would have NEVER happened last August.

So, NROL is the long term plan for right now. In the short term I’m committed to finishing HGM. That will take up my time until August.

As for cardio, I need to make a decision much sooner. For the past few weeks I’ve toyed with the idea of moving on to the One Hour Runner program that I read on the Cool Running website. For about three weeks now I’ve fantasized about running a marathon or even doing a triathlon. For my whole life I’ve thought those were about the dumbest things I could imagine doing. This month I’ve been thinking they are the most awesome thing I could possibly do.

I’m over that now, though. I need to make a decision about what’s important to me. I want to lose weight AND gain muscle. I want to look like a sprinter, not a marathoner. I’ve been reading a ton on what type of cardio is the most effective and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to be doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It’s shorter (usually 20 minutes) but a lot more intense. That’s supposed to be a lot more effective at burning fat then slow steady state cardio like I’m doing now. I played around with HIIT a little last year but never really committed to it. To be honest, I didn’t really have the capacity to do it. I was too out of shape. I feel like I’m a lot better now so I can handle adding sprints to my runs.

So the plan on the cardio front is to graduate Couch to 5K and immediately transition into HIIT. This time I’m going to commit to it like I did Couch to 5K. I’m going to look around for a similar plan that allows me to gradually progress to where I want to be. I’d like to get to the point that I can alternate 30 second all out sprints with 30 second jogs for 20 minutes. I think this will be a lot more difficult then Couch to 5K but I feel that I’ve got a good base to start from because of C25K.

Couch to 5K, week 8, day 1

28 minutes!

That’s a long freaking time! It seemed much longer then the 25 from last week. I soldiered on and finished it up though. There were times when I was huffing and puffing but nothing too serious. I’ve learned that even when I don’t think I can go further there’s always a little more if I push myself.

I could have done 30 but I’m not really looking to push it. I’ll be perfectly happy to do two more days of 28 minutes.

I wll run for 30 minutes straight in exactly one week. That’s still crazy to think about.