This past week, I began the first week of the Couch to 5K (C25K) running program. If you’re not familiar with the program, here’s a description from the website:
“C25K is a fantastic program that’s been designed to get just about anyone from the couch to running 5 kilometers or 30 minutes in just 9 weeks. Its secret is that it’s a gentle introduction to getting the body moving, starting off alternating between walking and running small distances, and slowly building up until after 8 weeks, you’re ready to run 5 kilometers or 30 minutes non stop.”
I’ve never been a runner in the past, but I really like the idea of getting into running, if nothing else because it’s an exercise that you can basically do anywhere with minimal gear. I had heard of the C25K program a while ago, but seeing as how I live in Alaska, I was waiting for the roads and sidewalks to get a little more cleared of ice and snow before I started. I didn’t really want to be “learning” how to run and trying not to fall on my ass at the same time. I’m hoping that by next winter, I’ll be comfortable enough with my running, that I’ll be able to do it all winter (aside from when it gets really cold, as in -20°F!).
Last weekend, on Easter Sunday, I started off with week 1 day 1 of the program. I downloaded the C25K iPhone app to make timing the intervals easier, which I highly recommend to anyone doing (or thinking of doing) the program. It automatically times out the intervals for whatever day you’re currently on, and even plays your own music in the background. One of my favorite features is that it notifies you when you’re at the halfway point, so I’m able to just turn around at that point, and it’s worked out almost perfectly every time that I’m walking into my driveway right as the 5 minute cool down ends.
So, how did the first week go? Overall I was really happy with how I did. For the first week, the intervals are 60 seconds of running, followed by 90 seconds of walking. I think I was able to keep a pretty good pace during the running sections. One thing I was really happy about is that my legs really weren’t bothering me or giving out on me, which I mostly credit to doing the 200 squats program. Instead, the first thing to always give out on me was my lungs, sometimes they would just about feel like they were on fire! Is this type of feeling normal for someone just getting started with running? Do I need to work more on controlling my breathing, or is this just one of those things, and that it takes time for my body to get used to running?
As an extra incentive to keep up with running, I’ve been looking for upcoming 5K races. There is one at the end of April, which is just way too soon, but there is another in August that I am very seriously considering signing up for. I should long be done with the C25K program by then, but at least so far, I haven’t been able to find any other 5K races besides those two – I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes and ears open though!
I’ve been tracking my progress over at Dailymile, so you can check out all the details there if you’re interested. If you’re a Dailymile member too, add me as a friend!