Sunday, 16 March 2014

Couch to 5K - Week 5

Week 5 is a really important week, as it goes from three identical runs to three different runs. This is where you make a lot of progress and get slightly anxious. For me this is also where my route got longer, as initially I was using a 4.3Km route as I was jogging for less time, but from week 5 I tried the full 5K route, walking whatever was left over at the end.

The first run starts with a 5 minute warm up walk, followed by 5 minutes jogging-3 minutes walking twice, followed by another 5 minute jog. This is a minute less than week four but only has 3 runs. Again this pushes you to run for longer with a shorter recovery period. This jog was fine and I found I had some energy left at the end of it which gave me hope for the next run. Doing the programme for the second time is a blessing and a curse, as I know it works and I can do it but I also remember how hard I found it and how heavy my legs can get. A lot of the podcast talks about pacing and in the later levels it is very important. I had more issues with the weather again this week with it raining so hard the water was dripping off my eyelashes and I was struggling to see. It is at times like this that pushing on makes you feel better in the end.

The second jog is 5 minute warm up walk then 8 minutes jogging, 5 minutes walking and 8 minutes jogging. I was feeling good about it and managed to push harder on both jogs. 5 minutes is a generous recovery time and by this point I am finding that I need less and less recovery. Despite being quite windy at least it was dry! Keeping a steady pace really pays off. The podcast also gives time updates and in many ways it is good to just not worry about the time. I think I would be more tense if I had to think about it.

The third run of week 5 is where it gets serious with a 5 minutes warm up walk followed by a 20 minute jog. On paper this seems like a really big jump and is over twice as long as any previous jog. This is where the podcast really helps. It is very reassuring that you have done the preparation and need to just keep going and pace yourself. Had I been trying to plan my own jogs I would have never taken such a big step up but it works. I kept a steady pace and got through it. The podcast says that it is a mental as well as a physical challenge which is very true. I think it is at this point that the 5K seems achievable.

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