More than one person has told me they started running after they read my blog posts about using the c25k running program. Not sure whether they kept to it or not, but so far I’ve kept the running up as best I can. While I’m no expert, it seems like a well-designed thing that c25k comes with instructions on what to do if you’re not totally successful with any day or weeks run.
If, on the other hand, you find the program too strenuous, just stretch it out. Don’t feel pressured to continue faster than you’re able. Repeat weeks if needed and move ahead only when you feel you’re ready. The Couch-to-5k Running Plan
And boy howdy have I done some repeats. It took me 8 weeks to complete the first 6 weeks of c25k. And that’s even though I got a week ahead early on. In particular, I’ve struggled on my first two ‘long runs’ that have no walking breaks included. But with proper rest I’ve been able to do those 20-minute and 22-minute runs without stopping.
There are no more walk breaks in the program. Week 7 is three 25-minute, 2.5 mile runs without walking. Week 8 is three 28-minute, 2.75 mile runs without walking. Week 9 is three 30-minute, 3 mile runs without walking. This is meant to leave you prepared for a 5k (3.1 miles) the next run after the 9th week.
So far in the c25k I’ve been running for time, not for distance. The help of an Android app has aided me with the time and that way I’ve not had to plan routes for distance. I can just run and simply stop when the app says stop. But I also know that I’m not actually hitting the 1o-minute-mile pace intended for those runs.
I’ve had some guilt about this. Am I really doing the program if I’m not succeeding at both time and distance?
As of this post I’m officially calling ‘bullshit’ to that notion. I’ve run too many miles to disregard my efforts thus far. Doing anything this consistently takes too much energy to discount as not good enough. On top of this, I began this program with no goal other than to start exercising as part of a healthy lifestyle. I’m not racing anyone and I’m not trying to perform to anyone’s idea of what a good run should be. Running for time only and not both time and pace is still consistent exercise.
So I’m going to keep running for time and say that is victory. Anyone that can run for 30 minutes straight any day of the week is a runner in my book, and in a few weeks that’s exactly who I’ll be. Pace and performance might be a goal one day, but right now it’s not my concern. My concern is my health and determination to make myself better.
One last update: I bought some fancy running shoes. That was a good decision.