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Couch to 5K... To do or not to do?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Since reengaging with Sparkpeople and focusing on my eating I've kind of been winging it with the exercise. Really it was the exercise that brought me back to my eating plans and Spark. I follow a really inspirational woman on Instagram who talks about loving yourself where you are and treating your body with respect. She's a runner and uses Nike Run app to track her progress. I started messing with it and have become obssessed... Trouble is I feel sort of like a fraud. I don't RUN every bit of my distance. In fact at first I just couldn't run it. My knees were aching, my shins felt like I was being stabbed with a hot knife, my hips throbbed. I walked most of each mile and when I felt strong enough I would throw in short bursts of runs. At first these were probably 10-12 feet, but I am getting better!
The other day I completed a 10km walk/jog which is one of my proudest exercise achievements! But really... I think I want to run. Run for real. Run non stop for miles.

WIth Nike Run I started with shorter distances and focused on my speed, but I started trying distance over speed for a while and found that the calorie burn was WAY higher the further I went. I still walked mostly SUPER fast and hard (I have long legs so long strides) I can walk a mile in just over 13mins. BUt I am still not RUNNING.

It has been hard to make myself switch it up and throw in some shorter distances with more speed. My knees and shins still hurt a little, and I find that I have some weirdness with my right foot always ending up on tip-toe when I get up to any kind of speed. I have to consciously force myself to put my foot down flat. I just get so sad when I see the meagre 200 calorie burn on a "speed day" as opposed the 800 cal burn on a "distance day".

Anyway, I am rambling... it comes down to this... I have decided to give the C25K program a try and I am excited about it. But I have some fears and I am hoping that those of you who have completed or are completing the program now will have some suggestions/answers for me:

1) I am concerned that while I don't RUN everything right now, dialing back and starting small with C25K I will mess with my current weight loss momentum. I am worried about doing these short distances only 3 days a week... I won't get nearly the same burn I am currently.

2) I am concerned about rest days. RIght now I run just about every day of the week and I am in fact on a 6 week, 7 days/week streak. What if I do the every other day program and observe the rest days and I lose momentum? I finally view my daily run as a habit/ritual (see last post). What if all these rest days interfere with that?

I don't know if it's worth it? My boyfriend says I should stick with what I am doing and just add more and more run distance every time until I am running full miles. He says I need to remember that I am improving already, even on my own.

A workmate says I should follow the C25K program and just go for a distance walk on the inbetween days. I like the sound of this one, but on days that I work (12 hour night shifts) I won't be able to fit in very much distance at a slow pace -- though I DID complete a full 7 days back to back of 5km power walks.

I dunno... does anyone have any advice for me? At the moment I am dropping around 5lbs a week with my current workout plan. Do I mess with something that is working so well for me, even though I know a plateau is inevitable, or leave things as they are until the plateau comes and it's time to shake it up?

I am torn between "If it ain't broke don't fix it" and "Better. Stronger. Faster."

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Give it a try!! I have heard great things about the program. And you can adjust to what meets your needs too! You don't always have to follow what the program says. I am not a runner but they sure do inspire me!! Good luck with it! :)
    1888 days ago
    I am not running at the moment (to fat), but I used to.
    The first rule of running for me is DON'T GET INJURED. It is the most frustrating feeling in the world, when you are a running addict and can't.
    Your workmate is right. You can always go for long walks between your 25K days. Remember walking is the best way to get your muscosceletal system prepared for running when you are a beginner. (Some impact, but not that much) You can always cross train, like go for a cycle or a swim between 25K days. This is how you will prevent injuries later. Dialing back is not a problem if you cross train.
    You will not improve as much as you can if you don't rest enough. Those muscle fibers need to heal. Remember to STRETCH.
    Forget the streak thing. Everyday is to much. Do something else (Remember Rule 1)
    You are having so much fun with this. Wonderful
    Next year COMRADES
    1890 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/23/2013 3:45:16 PM
    I have never been a runner, so I couldn't offer anything other than support for your continued efforts. Keep us informed about your C25K efforts.
    1890 days ago
    My pov... This is your journey, so make it about whatever works for you. I am still trying to figure out what works best for me. With that being said, movement everyday is key and you are so on the right track. Not to mention you are proud of yourself and that in its self is awesome! It's all about self! I too am proud of your efforts and look to you for encouragement. So there... Go get what you want! emoticon
    1890 days ago
    Better, stronger, faster. Your body will if it hasn't already become used to what you are doing. emoticon emoticon
    1890 days ago
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