Yep, you read that right… On Friday, I hopped on the treadmill and completed Day 1 of the Couch to 5k program.
So why the hell am I doing a program so I can run a 5k, when I CAN actually run a 5k (and more!) already?
My times are actually getting slower! Sure, there’s injury and weight gain to blame, but how does one get out of a funk, when it’s not like I have another marathon planned for 2011 (I don’t even know how I’d run a 20 miler training run in Manila!), since it was the loooong runs after all, that made my shorter runs faster?
So I had considered the idea in the past, but read that Tyly is successfully doing it, and since I’m bored on the treadmill anyway, why not try it?
Try what exactly? Well, the Couch to 5k program, but not to achieve a 5k distance, but to be able to run a FASTER 5k, and hopefully other distances as well. After all, at the end of the day, it’s just an interval workout, isn’t it?
So instead of going to the treadmill and doing 3 miles at a steady pace, I hopped on, knowing I only had 20 minutes to complete (plus a 5 minute warm up/cool down walk). Day 1 requires alternating 60 seconds of running with 90 of walking. I can do ANYTHING for 60 seconds!
I put the incline to a 0.5, and chose to do walk at the “4” level (or a 15 min/mile), and run at the 6.5 level (somewhere around a 9:20 pace, check out this helpful chart if you’re running on the treadmill). Turns out I wasn’t even tired towards the end, so my second to last interval was done at a 7 (8:40ish pace), which I could tell would be too much to try to pull it off for every interval, and though I started my last running interval also at a 7, I changed it to 8.5 (7:15ish) for the last 30 seconds.
Lessons learned? 6.5 is too slow for such short intervals, but 7 might be too fast to be able to keep up, specially after I start increasing the interval times. Next time, I’m trying at 6.7 (9:10ish), as a happy medium, and hopefully is challenging enough, without being impossible. I mean, my best 5k time is around that pace anyway.
Also? Thinking of your treadmill times in 60 and 90 seconds makes the time go by MUCH faster, and for once I didn’t want to stab myself repeatedly in the eyes out of pure boredom.
This might just help in making me faster… And I figured it might be the perfect opportunity to try to get used to these shoes I bought ages ago, and hope they’ll also help with my tendency to injure myself while running (yes, my plantar fasciitis has been flaring up, and though I brought my ultrasound machine with me, I packed the gel with the rest of my move. Not too smart…).
I’ll be posting updates! And yes, I’m looking forward to running 3 times a week again! And hopefully it’ll help put me back down to my marathon training weight? I’m at least 15lbs heavier than I was 6 months ago. *sigh*