C25K-W5D2

The C25K program consists of three workouts per week for nine weeks. This is the results of the workout for week five, day two.

Program: Brisk five-minute warmup walk.  8 minute run.  5 minute walk.  8 minute run.  Five-minute cool-down walk.

Result: I completed the workout as planned. My heart rate averaged 139 bpm and peaked at 163 bpm. Including the warm-up and cool-down walks, I did 2.15 miles in 35:20 for an average speed of 3.66 mph.

This workout went better.  It certainly wasn’t easy, but it was not the struggle the last was.  I didn’t feel like I had to stop during a run and I even started running a little early.  I started my timer at the beginning of the Beatsmith podcast.  At 6:30, I was wondering where the run beeps were.  I thought I had missed them.  So, I started running just in case.  Then, the beeps came.  There was a period near the beginning of the second run segment where things flowed smoothly.  I was in the groove, moving along easily at an 11:09 pace.  Surprisingly, this came only thirty seconds or so into the run segment.  Then, I lost the groove and had to push again.  It was nice while it lasted.  I hope to find it again.  I have quite a few workouts left to search for it.

C25K-W5D1

The C25K program consists of three workouts per week for nine weeks. This is the results of the workout for week five, day one.

Program: Brisk five-minute warmup walk.  5 minute run.  3 minute walk.  5 minute run.  3 minute walk.  5 minute run.  Five-minute cool-down walk.

Result: I completed the workout as planned. My heart rate averaged 130 bpm and peaked at 154 bpm. Including the warm-up and cool-down walks, I did 2.00 miles in 34:43 for an average speed of 3.45 mph.

This was another tough workout.  I think being away for a long weekend, driving fifteen hundred miles, and changing my schedule twice threw me off.  I delayed W4D3 by one day.  Then, I delayed this workout by another day.  It was tough getting up this morning.  It would have been so easy to just stop running.  But, I forced myself out of bed, ate half of a banana, drank some water, and got ready to go.

The workout started well with a 3.5 mph warmup walk.  I mostly kept my speed down on my first run, starting out at 5.0 mph and slowing to 4.5 mph.  The second run was still hard.  My “aggressive shuffle” slowed to 3.2 mph, slower than the warmup walk.  Even week four was faster than that.  I was almost ready to give up and was looking at my watch to see how close I had come to finishing.  Then, the slow-down beeps sounded on the DJ Beatsmith podcast, just in time.  I rallied a little during the walk and managed to make it through the third run also.

While starting the week four workouts was hard, I think getting out of synch with a schedule and then trying to regain it is harder.  But, I made it through another workout and that’s what counts.

C25K-W4D3

The C25K program consists of three workouts per week for nine weeks. This is the results of the workout for week four, day three.

Program: Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then two repeats of: three minute run, 90 seconds walk, 5 minute run, two and a half minute walk. Brisk five-minute cool-down walk.

Result: I completed the workout as planned. My heart rate averaged 117 bpm and peaked at 144 bpm. Including the warm-up and cool-down, I did 1.79 miles in 32:06 for an average speed of 3.35 mph.

This was a difficult workout, though the difficulty was more from my situation than from the workout itself.  I was away visiting relatives for a long weekend and staying in a hotel.  I was tired from a long drive and had not rested sufficiently to do the workout as usual on Friday morning.  Not wanting to delay it too much and throw off my schedule, I did my workout Saturday morning.  This would still give me a rest day before Monday.  It would have been easier if it had not been raining.  Instead, it was raining hard.  Where I had thought of doing my workout was along the paved side of the highway near the hotel.  But, I did not want to get sprayed by the passing cars.  So, I wimped out and used the treadmill in the hotel.  While using a treadmill is supposed to make the workout easier, this didn’t.  The room had not been used for a while and the air was stale.  There was no fan and just a little ventilation, which I did not remember to turn on until half way through the workout.  I hopped off the treadmill and flipped the switch during the walk after the second run.  It didn’t help much.  It was still muggy and I missed the passing breeze you get from moving air, either from a fan or from moving outside.  My energy was down also.  I got up late and only had a single piece of candy before rushing to the fitness room to workout.  I kept my speed down, only hitting 4.5 mph on the run and later slowing to 4.0 mph.  But, I made it through week four.  I look forward to resuming a regular workout in week five.

C25K-Interval run totals

I have been wondering what makes week four so difficult.  It seems so much harder than week three.  I now know why.  I took a look at the program and added up the total run times for the interval run segments.  I think my calculations are right.  Here is how the runs add up:

  • Week 1 – 60 seconds X 8 = 8 minutes
  • Week 2 – 90 seconds X 6 = 9 minutes
  • Week 3 – 90 seconds X 2 + 3 minutes X 2 = 9 minutes
  • Week 4 – 3 minutes X 2 + 5 minutes X 2 = 16 minutes
  • Week 5.D1 – 5 minutes X 3 = 15 minutes
  • Week 5.D2 – 8 minutes X 2 = 16 minutes
  • Week 5.D3 – 20 minutes running (no walking)
  • Week 6.D1 – 5 minutes X 2 + 8 minutes = 18 minutes
  • Week 6.D2 – 10 minutes X 2 = 20 minutes
  • Week 6.D3 – 25 minutes running (no walking)

The remaining weeks are run only, progressing up to 30 minutes.

Here is what we can see from the run time totals.  Once you start, the entry levels don’t change much for the first three weeks, only  increasing by one minute of running time.  However, there is a substantial increase from the nine minutes of running in week three to the sixteen minutes of running in week four.  This is why it feels so difficult.  There is 77% more running in week four than in week three.  But, you’re prepared for it.  The first three weeks teach you how to push through when you don’t feel like running.  In week four, you push through again, going at a little slower pace if you need to.  It seems there are two gently sloping plateaus in the Couch to 5K program.  There is the initial jump from nothing to the entry level plateau.  There is a second jump from week three to week four, which gets you from the entry level plateau to the finishing level plateau.  Once you get through week four, the percentage increase per week and per workout reduce.  The mixing of the intervals in week six after only running at the end of week five teaches you that it is easier to keep your rhythm and to keep moving, than it is to stop the rhythm and then have to reacquire it again for the next run interval.  Completion of the Couch to 5K program is within your grasp.  Keep at it!  You can do it!

C25K-W4D2

The C25K program consists of three workouts per week for nine weeks. This is the results of the workout for week four, day two.

Program: Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then two repeats of: three minute run, 90 seconds walk, 5 minute run, two and a half minute walk. Brisk five-minute cool-down walk.

Result: I completed the workout as planned. My heart rate averaged 131 bpm and peaked at 151 bpm. Including the warm-up and cool-down, I did 2.00 miles in 34:10 for an average speed of 3.52 mph.

The workout today was a little better. Though the temperature was nice in the mid-60s, humidity was 90% when I started, not so nice.  It balanced out to 70F/70% by the end of the workout.  After downing half a PB&J before stretching, I had a bit more energy than on day one. I started the first run segment a little slower also, which saved some energy for later. I normally run with my elbows bent and hands loosely held up in front of my chest. Later in the day one workout, I found my hands dropping down closer to my waist. This time, I had the energy to keep them up, barely.

I’ve heard it said that new gadgets can provide motivation. I had done a pre-order on a Garmin Forerunner 405CX, which included a ‘free’ Garmin Forerunner 50.  The 50 has done well tracking heart rate for a while, but it will be nice to combine the GPS and timing into one device.  The 405CX arrived yesterday.  But, back to the gadget motivation.  In the second five minute run, Ullrey makes a comment about picking up the pace for the last minute.  As nice as this gadget is, it did not provide more energy.  It did let me see that my speed dropped below 4.0 mph for that last minute of the run, though.

I got a bit of a treat at the end. The second five minute run interval ended just onto the grass of the park. So, I pulled off my VFF Classics and did most of my cool-down by walking barefoot through the cool grass. That was lovely, like getting a foot massage. The cool grass is one benefit of changing from an evening to a morning workout. I’ll have to try to time future workout routes to see if I can get a repeat.