Thursday, 5 May 2011

C25k Week 5 Day 3 - aka "That 20 minute run"

If there is one thing that all Couch to 5k runners hold in common, it's shear dread of Week 5 Day 3. For anyone just starting on the program and possibly failing, like I did to run those group of 1 minute runs, you will probably look ahead in the schedule at this day that sticks out like a sore thumb and shake your head in disbelief.

I think frankly, that many people give up on the program in this week because it seems too much, too soon. I did complete it yesterday and it was well, an odd experience.

First things first - the new route. It has very obvious uphill and downhill areas but nothing like the gradient I face in my old route. I found that I could adjust my pace to cope and keep my HR just about in check so that helped. The route is around 4km so I knew I would only get part of the way around, but it gives plenty of growth over the next few weeks. My target is to graduate from the program running slightly over 4km if possible. I had it in my mind where I roughly wanted to finish in the route and I fell short by a couple hundred meters and when I got to one point after about 9 minutes, I remember thinking "Am I only here!".

Secondly, my pace I felt was just about where I want it. I wanted a 6:40 pace which would have got me over the 3km mark, but I made 6:52. I started off at a 6:00 pace, then a 6:10 and I managed to maintain a 6:40 pace a good deal of the run. All of my 1 minute splits after the 10th minute were 7:00+ (except for the last one) which is why my time gradually creeped out.

I remember on a couple of occasions needing to talk myself out of quitting and heading back, partly because of my sore legs and partly because of the exertion. Having my HRM, I knew that my HR had not exceeded 179 so I had no excuse to quit running, only to slow my pace a little. Amazingly, I got a second wind in the last couple of minutes. The last 1 minute I ran a pace of 3:22!! I felt like I could have gone on for another minute or so, but decided not to push it.

At the end of the run, I can't say hand on heart that I felt elation, although during the 10 minute walk home, it did dawn on me that I had achieved a tremendous task and I was proud. I hurt in my legs pretty bad and for the first time, I had a mild stitch as I was running. I was a little disappointed that I didn't make 3km (although I do expect to hit that next week).

I've woke up with all part of my legs sore and tired. I am glad for the two day break before my next run. I feel encouraged that I can make it to the end of the program and that I can make good progress toward my goals from here on in.

My Stats:
2.92 km @6:52/km

My Vitals:
165.6lbs, Body Fat 22.6, BMI: 23.8

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