My C25K journey has been completed. It is amazing to be able to go from not running at all to being able to run for 3 miles non-stop. Here is a recap of the journey.
It started on June 10, 2009. The first week of the program needed to be repeated two additional times before I could complete it successfully. This was due primarily to two factors. The first was my current physical condition, being so out of shape and overweight. The second was my recent conversion to minimal footwear (Vibram FiveFingers/VFF) that made this journey even possible. I used to walk with a cane. Wearing shoes with heels, including running shoes with heels, allows the calf muscles and achilles tendons to shrink. When the heel of the shoe is removed, these need to be stretched and that stretching takes time. For that first workout, I managed to cover a whole 0.95 miles in the half hour of walking and running.
One July 3, 2009, I finally completed the week one level successfully. It took three weeks, but I was now ready to continue with the remainder of the program. For this workout, I was up to 1.67 miles.
Week four is difficult for many. Compared with the prior weeks, it has a big jump in the running times. I discussed that in my Interval Run Totals post.
The program progressed well and steadily until week seven, day two. I got sick this week and it took three tries to get through this particular workout.
On August 31, 2009, I begin week nine and the thirty minute runs. Though I have been wearing minimal shoes throughout the program with occasional runs and walks barefoot, for the week nine, day one run, I ran the 2.2 miles entirely barefoot. I am pleased with how it came out and intend to do more of this.
My speed is quite slow. Even in later workouts, I normally averaged in the 4.0 to 4.3 mph range. With this slow speed, there is no way I can complete the 5K/3 miles in only thirty minutes. A common recommendation is to increase workouts by ten percent per week. For my graduation run, I would need to substantially exceed this recommendation.
On September 5, 2009, I completed my graduation run, week nine, day three. I mapped out a flat route and ran 3.15 miles in just under 48 minutes. It was slow, but I completed a full 5K run. I had finally graduated C25K!
This C25K journey is over. My journey of running is just beginning. I like that I am losing weight with the exercise I now get. While running is not yet easy, I do enjoy being in motion, even if it is currently a slow motion. My running goals for the future are to keep running and to increase both my duration and my speed. To do this, I will need to find a way to work on my heart rate and further expand my aerobic capabilities. With the C25K program, I have built a good foundation on which to continue.
For the full account, start with my Beginning C25K post.