Monday, March 4, 2013

Couch-to-5K (C25K), a beginner's review

Very beginning, because I only just finished Week 4, and it's a 9 week program.

But I mentioned about a month ago that I was giving C25K a try, and promised I'd write about it more, and since I'm still at it now (how'd that happen?), I figured now I can talk about it without feeling like a total fake.

The first half of the program
You can see the whole program here (scroll down), and you can see that it's really simple. That's what attracted me to it: it's simple, and it's slow.

I've wanted to get into running for a while now, but I wanted to get into it with injuring myself. Like many women, I have the odd ache and pain from old injuries. (The fun one is the ankle that complains when I swim. Why is that fun? Because it has a good story: I injured it when I missed the mat on a pole vault. And I just have to say: I do not recommend missing the mat as a desirable pole-vaulting technique.) I also have a knee that complains when I run, and when I've tried to "just go out for a run" in the past, I've re-injured that knee.

C25K? I haven't re-injured the knee yet. It still hurts when I run, but it's not getting any worse. Actually, at this point, it feels like it's getting just a tad better. Or, at least, stronger.

The second half of the program
But now I'm staring down Week 5, and I admit that I'm a little nervous. By the end of next week, I'm supposed to be running 20 minutes without stopping. And running 30 minutes without stopping is the goal, right? so I should be happy to be getting so close.

But running is still hard. Each workout still feels like it takes me right to the edge of my I-can-do-this space. Could I go out and jog 20 minutes? Sure. But I want to run.

But I'm gonna trust the process. I've been able to do every workout so far, even if not quite as fast as I'd like to. I've been able to do it, and if I don't like how I feel during (and boy, I surely don't, I miss the feeling of having enough oxygen in my lungs), I really like how I feel after. I'm finding it's almost impossible to feel stressed while I'm running.

For that alone, the burning in my lungs and my legs is well worth it.

Anyone else out there a C25K-er?

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell


Anonymous said...

Gotta say (as a new runner with old injuries) that squats are your knees' friends. The more squats I do, the less my knees complain. Of course, my butt has a different opinion on the matter.

Jessica Snell said...

Thank you, Ann! I'm still doing my old circuit training routine on the off days, and I'm hoping that'll help. It's got lots of squats - and lunges, too. Do you find lunges help stave off knee injuries also?

Unknown said...

Interested in a running partner? You may need that alone time, but I'd love to meet you mid-way!

Kerry said...

I started C25K last June - had some delays and injuries, but finally ran my 5K in December! Planning on working up to a 10K next. I really love running now...and rarely finish a run without feeling totally maxed out at some point, so that is normal. Feels good - especially when I push past that point and suddenly reach the other side of the endorphins! :)

Jessica Snell said...

Kerry, that's so encouraging! thank you!

Ruthie - quite possibly, once I'm actually up to speed! Right now Adam and I are trying to get through the program together, but after that I'm hoping to establish a real routine. :)