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Monday, June 20, 2011

My Pre-Couch to 5K Workouts

I did it!! I finished!! And now I can begin.

When I went and looked at the Couch to 5K program, I thought "while this looks slow and easy in general... I'm not quite to the place where I can start week one". It starts out pretty slow for most people... but while I can walk all day, I can't jog or run at all without huffing.  And the first week has you jogging for a minute, walking for only ninety seconds, then doing it again.

I thought, "this is for people who aren't fit. Which is you... but you're not fit and you're overweight. It encourages you to ease into it and take it slow. So why don't you do that? Take three weeks to work out in a slower way and build up to the first week of the Couch to 5K program. That way you don't get injured or burn out. And that'll still give you a two week cushion for the regular program if you need to slow down at any point."

So I did that. If you think I'm a little pathetic... that's okay.

Week One: 

5 minutes of  my regular pace walking (dynamic stretching) then two minutes of my regular pace walking, then one minute of brisk walking. Repeat for total of 20 minutes, three times a week.

I am really, really slow. Ask any of my friends. I can walk all day, but at a very slow pace.  So the Couch to 5K's first week has you alternating between 'a brisk walk' and jogging, so I know it sounds lame, but I thought it'd ease me into 'brisk walking' and, moreover, it'd get me in the habit of working out without being that hard or daunting.  Because stick-to-it-iveness is not my strong suit.

It was very easy, and towards the end I was thinking I'd just do one more 'preCouch to 5K' weeks instead of two...

Week Two:

5 minutes of walking at whatever pace felt right (dynamic stretching), then one minute of regular walking, two minutes brisk walking, one minute jogging, three minutes regular walking, two minutes brisk walking, as close to a minute of jogging as I could get, then repeat the last three steps for a total of 20 minutes, three times a week.

So I started this week thinking it'd be my last prep week, however...

I was totally pathetic at the jogging. I couldn't do a full minute without huffing.  It was sort of depressing.
But I still felt encouraged! Because I can do this!

By the way, the heat didn't help. This was during the heat wave. Even in the morning, it was too hot, and I wasn't able to do it in the morning everyday. If I had a treadmill, I'd probably have been able to job better. I think. (Shh. If I've got illusions, don't tell me).

BUT at the end of the week, I was feeling better. And while I still wasn't good at jogging I didn't feel quite as wiped at the end. So there you go.

It's crazy that I can walk all day or dance for an hour without feeling exhausted, but I can't jog for two minutes? Seriously, what is that?

But at the end of week two, I still felt excited to be doing this! Just a little humbled...

Week Three:

Day One and Two: 
5 minutes brisk walking.  Stretches.  Two minutes brisk walking. One minute jogging. One minute slow walking. Repeat last three steps.  Stretches. 

Day Three: 
5 minutes brisk walking.  Stretches. Two minutes brisk walking. One minute jogging. One minute slow walking. One minute brisk walking. Repeat last three steps. Stretches.  (well, actually, I skipped the first stretches)

This week was filled with highlight, lowlights, and humor. So I shall in the every versatile format of a bulleted list:
  • I somewhat found a stride during jogging! Sort of! Yay!
  • I learned getting really absent minded and singing under your breath as you job makes jogging harder because you need to breathe. Duh.
  • And even though I don't have an MP3 player, I'm totally capable of hearing music in my head.
  • Stretching is very important, especially after your workout.
  • I happened to be in a jogging minute when a group of cyclists past me saying 'hi' and 'good morning' and I waved and said 'good morning everyone!' I felt like one of the cool, active people and it was fun.
  • I forgot sunblock once...
  • and to not lock myself out of the house...
  • and to do my pre-workout stretches inside, so that when I accidentally locked myself outside I didn't have to do them on the soaking wet from night storms ground. Oh, yeah. But I did them anyway! Aren't you proud of me?
  • I saw a rusty knife and an empty beer bottle together on the side of the road and thought, "Gosh I hope they weren't used together."
  • I also forgot to completely fill my water bottle, because I totally drained it before I was done working out.
  • And you know what? I should take allergy medicine if I'm going run outside.
  • And one day I forgot deodorant.  Yes, seriously. Thank God for showers!
  • I learned to avoid a certain side street... or I might be followed by an unfriendly, annoying yellow dog.
  • I was feeling drained as I jogged one minute and I thought of Sadie Mae and felt a burst of energy.
  • I forgot to use the bathroom before I left home and didn't feel the urge until I was a 1/2 mile from home... making the return jogging very uncomfortable.
  • I need to make sure that I tie my shoes equally tight, or the looser foot hurts.
  • Talking to Jesus in my head makes it so much better!
Aside from this stuff, I also went walking with Tabitha twice, danced for over an hour at a wedding, went swimming twice, walked my dog for a mile, did a few minutes on a stationary bike, and walked myself for a mile once.

I begin the Couch to 5K program, the normal 9 week program, on Wednesday.  There's 11 weeks until the Field of Sunflowers Walk/Run.  Not too late to join me!


  1. Pam, I am so proud of you for doing this! However, it makes me tired just thinking about it! ;)

  2. I'm joining in! And I linked to you over here from my blog... finally!

  3. Congrats on starting C25K. I'm restarting it outside (instead of on the treadmill). I found your blog through the C25K group.

    Good luck on week 1! :)

  4. Yeah, I'm definitely doing it outside. I don't have a treadmill or a gym membership... I've been blessed it's not rained yet, but I know the first morning I wake up to exercise and it's raining I'm going to wish I had a treadmill as an option for that day!

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