Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Couch to 5K

I’m going to try the first bits of my training on the Couch to 5K plan in the gym with a treadmill.  I’ve scheduled my gym membership to be suspended as of October 31st, and I have to pay for it till then.  Might as well get my money’s worth!

So, Monday at work, I geared up and hit the treadmill.  I’ve tried the treadmill exactly three times before.  Disasters, I tell you!  Why I think this whole running this is a good idea is beyond me!  Heh…and yet, I hopped back up on and did my first training session anyhow!

Now, the Couch to 5K plan calls for you to warm up, cool down, and do intervals of walking and jogging throughout the program.  Each week, you jog more and walk less.  Simple, right?  

Week one: warm up 5 minutes, jog 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds, repeat for approximately 20 minutes, cool down 5 minutes.

To fit it into my lunch period, I had to do a 2 minute warm up and cool down.  But I didn’t skip the stretches.  Hopefully, shortening my warm-ups and cool-downs won’t be extremely detrimental.  I did nine 60-second running segments with 90-second walking segments in between.  I set the treadmill to a 3.7 (a 16.21 minute/mile pace) for the walks and 5.2 (11.31 pace) for the runs.  Now, it says jog so I didn’t go for full-fledged sprint in those 60-second jogs.  I’m not going for speed or records here, people.  

Observation #1:  I felt very uncoordinated during the jogs.  It felt as if my legs were totally separate entities that had never before been forced to work in harmony.  It was a truly odd sensation.  I started to huff and puff around the 5th jog.  My heart rate jumped way up too.  Then by the 8th jog, I felt like I could keep on going and going if I didn’t have to get back to work….and if the plan didn’t tell you to stop after roughly 20 minutes.  

Observation #2:  I need a better playlist!  I had my nano on shuffle and when "He Stopped Loving Her Today" came on in the 5th jog, I felt like I wanted to be the one with the wreath upon her door!  Thankfully, the shuffled list redeemed itself by playing our first dance song for jog 9!

Over the entire 24.5 minutes, I managed to cover 1.72 miles according to the treadmill readings.  I maintained an average heart rate of 144 (which is a good cardio workout, so says my Lifetime Fitness trainer when I joined).  And my heart-rate monitor told me I burned 258 calories.  That’s about 50-80 calories more than I’d been burning in the same amount of time going all-out on the elliptical machine.  Perhaps there is something to this running thing, eh?  

I haven’t picked a 5K yet, but I hope to do one in November.  Anyone in the DFW area fun in events like this?  I’d love to hear about them!  

Oh….and my husband might be joining in on this adventure too!  So excited.  I’ll keep you posted!

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