Couch to 10k

So you haven’t heard much about exercising in these parts lately…  I was gone for 2 weeks on vacation, went to the gym once when I got back, and two days later I was sick, with a full on fever right after that.  So that was another 1.5 weeks wasted.  But last Monday, I went back to the gym! 

On Friday, I woke up super sore.  As in “I don’t want to get out of bed, it hurts so much” sore.  So I skipped Friday’s Muay Thai class, for the first time due to soreness.  But it was bad enough I knew I wouldn’t have a good workout, and I might even injure myself trying to avoid the sore muscles on my arms and back.

In between all the cool photo apps I downloaded to my phone, I also downloaded a “couch to 10k” app (the most expensive app I’ve got so far, $2.99 – UGH!).  Part of me dreaded admitting that I am in that bad of running shape, but another part of me was excited in trying to do something about.


Excited, sure, but also scared as hell.  Because I haven’t run anything aside from my Muay Thai warm up (10-15 minutes run) since early December.  I haven’t even been able to run the whole 10 minutes this week, having to walk a lot, which was even more humbling (the flu could be partially to blame for this though, but still).

So back to the app…  Basically you start the music in your iphone, then start the Couch to 10k app, and you’re done.  Just follow the “Start running” “Walk” “Cool Down” “Your workout is finished” prompts, all while listening to your own music.

I need to get back to running, and 5k doesn’t cut it – I know I can pull that off, even if slowly and painfully.  But managing to get to a 10k on the treadmill will definitely be an accomplishment!  (I think my highest mileage on the treadmill ever so far was 4 miles?)

The app’s only requirement is that you are fit enough to walk 30 minutes.  So of course, I’m in much better shape than that!  But instead of skipping weeks, I had another idea:  have you seen how SLOW I’ve been running lately? 

Since the first few times you do 1 minute runs alternating with 1.5 minute walks, I can DEFINITELY pick up the pace for each one minute segment.  So I decided to set the treadmill at a 6.5 and do that.  After 3 sets, I changed it to 7 (8:34 pace), which was more challenging, but still not “OMG I’m dying” (it’s only a minute after all!).

Sure, the first time you only do 6 sets.  But I didn’t like how it told me to cool down for 5 minutes, right after I had already walked for 1.5, so I added an extra minute of running (and cut the cool down to 4 minutes instead).

The next couple of runs, I’ll do 8 sets, and slowly after that each running interval increases.  It’ll take 14 weeks for me to reach that 10k distance (that puts me right into MAY, argh!), but nothing like not doing too much too soon to attempt to get back into running shape without being too overwhelming.  And sure, I know that once the intervals start getting longer, I won’t be able to keep up the 8:34 pace, but hopefully I will be able to at least maintain a 10 minute mile.

Anyone else has tried any similar apps?  Have you had any success with it?  I figured as long as I keep up with it, it should work!  And yes, I’m writing it here to keep me accountable.  And I won’t get to run more marathons, if I can’t at least manage the first 6.2 before battling the other 20 miles, no?


Filed under Treadmill Run

6 responses to “Couch to 10k

  1. I’ve heard REALLY good things about that program (and love the idea of having the app telling me what to do instead of timing myself), so I’ll be curious to see how it goes for you!

    • Good to know! It’s so hard to admit that I have to start over, that what was once considered an easy short run, is something I can no longer do without breaks. But if I don’t restart from the bottom I’ll never get there again, right?

      • jen

        go, you!! I did that myself, after too many weeks off I decided to just restart couch to 5k to get moving again. I also aimed to up my pace a bit (ran 12-13 min miles in my 10k in December, aiming for 9-10mm). Feels good to get moving again and that’s what counts, right?

        • Yes, that is what counts! So is it helping your pace?

          • jen

            It has overall, especially when I keep my focus… my tendency is to be ms shuffle-along, so I have to think very consciously, lift knees, lift knees… I doubt I’m getting solid 10mm pace but I’m much more in the 10-11 mm pace than the 11-12 range so I’m really happy about that.

            best part though is rediscovering that point when your fitness shifts ever so slightly and you feel better walking around:)

  2. Pingback: Bad, bad, feet… | Carla Runs the World

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