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Beginning Couch to 5K

Today I ran my first "Couch to 5K" segment. Between five minutes of warm-up and cool-down, you alternate running for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds for 20 minutes.

I set out without a route in mind, but had an idea where to go. It turns out my guess was pretty good - I completed a 2.3 mile loop (give or take) in about 22 minutes, which included a minute of the warm-up and cool-down each.

I plan to run on M-W-F for the time being, though I have the flexibility to move dates around as necessary to accommodate weather, etc.

Wednesday Update: Today's run didn't go so well. I paced myself too fast, trying to shoot for 20 minutes, and I accidentally paused one of the segments which resulted in running far too long, which had ill effects on the remaining couple of segments.

P.S. My shoes are a pair of black Asics Gel Kayano-17s, size 11. My arches are slightly higher than average, my feet slightly wider than average, and while a 10.5 is probably a better "fit" a little room isn't a bad thing as I have no real "slippage." My feet roll inwards when I walk - always have - and I think I have decent form. The shoe guy said you should land on the outside of your heel and roll towards the inside of the ball of your foot.

4 Responses to "Beginning Couch to 5K"

  1. Was the shoe guy at a store that caters to runners? I've heard heel striking is not the best form, but you should stick with what feels best for you. Also rolling too far inward is called over pronation and can cause your legs and knees to start hurting pretty badly if you don't have the proper shoes to support your feet. I went to a running specialty store where they can check your gait and suggest the proper shoe options for you.  Here's an article from Runners' World on proper form.

    http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-267-268-8210-0,00.html

    I have been running 2-3 times a week for a few months now after little activity beforehand. I've lost about 50 lbs in combination with better eating and other exercise. I can run constantly at around 5-6 mph for 30 minutes now.

    It's important not to overdo it though. If you are sore, then take a break and let your body recover. You can also do some other activity like biking to change things up.  Doing some strength training will also help improve your conditioning for running and lessen the chance of injury.  Most studies show stretching isn't as important as once believed, but you may want to do some light stretches after a run if you find that your muscles feel too tight.

    I find it's useful to have a heart rate monitor to use when running. It lets you determine how hard you are working. If your heart rate is in the 80-90% of your max heart rate for a long time, you are going to feel more pain or soreness because you are overworked. Having the monitor lets you check your activity level and adjust your run accordingly. Don't be afraid to slow it down to keep within your target zone for your goals. 

    Have fun with your running and good luck. 

  2. Rich said on November 12, 2011:

    Was the shoe guy at a store that caters to runners?

    Yep. He didn't say back on the heel - it's the heel side of the midsole, or the middle of the "ball" of the heel if that makes any sense. He was a knowledgeable guy, yes.

    I'll check that link out.

    My feet don't roll a LOT inward at all. It's very subtle. They've always gone that way, though, and I guess some people roll slightly outwards.

    All good advice. I'm going to hold off on the "toys" for now - though an HRM may be coming. I'm not particularly tired or winded at the end of my little runs now. Next week will be a little tougher (alternating 90/120 run/walk). I did use the RunKeeper app today - except for a hiccup starting up, it did really well.

    Thanks for the post. If you're on DailyMile or RunKeeper look for "Erik J. Barzeski" or "iacas". Thanks!

  3. [...] too - at 8:00 paces or faster!!! Incredible. The human body is an amazing, amazing machine. I've been running in my Asics Gel Kayan-17s. Again perhaps it's the fact that I'm a golf instructor, but I'm really, [...]

  4. [...] I noticed that the Couch to 5K app I've been using was updated. The name was changed to "Run 5K" and the week I was in - week 5 - changed. Thanks for [...]


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