I’ve decided to make an attempt to improve my fitness level and so I’ve decided to build myself up to running a 5K. Not that I’m intending to run a formal race (though I might decide to in the future). I just want to set a goal for myself and that seemed like an attainable one in a reasonable amount of time.
I haven’t run since I was in high school and although I was getting a decent amount of walking exercise, in the last few years that hasn’t been the case. I figured I needed to make a concerted effort to correct that trend while my body was still in a position to recover from the neglect.
I found a Couch to 5K training program and it looked like a good way to proceed. The idea is three runs a week lasting 20-30 minutes. Over 9 weeks you build toward running 5km. The first week is relatively easy. You start with a 5 minute warmup walk. Then you have 8 repeats of running for 60 seconds followed by walking for 90 seconds. Even I could do that.
The Garmin Connect site has my training results and you can look at them if you want to see just how slow I am. The overall combined walking/running pace was just over 4 miles/hour. When I was running I was averaging just under 12 minute miles and I managed to keep my pace fairly consistent throughout the run portions. My heart is working much harder than it ought to need to to propel me at at a run though it starts to recover quickly. However, you can see the cumulative effect of the runs push my heart rate up higher on the last few run sections. Those were the sections where I began to feel fatigue in my legs also.
Unfortunately, I misread the watch at the beginning of run section 8 and thought I was done so I walked through that 60 seconds. I didn’t realize it until I saw the next walk section start. I decided to run through the end of the walk section so my graphs are a little whacked at the end because of that. I also decided to add a 5 minute cool down walk at the end so I can get a better sense for heart rate recovery. Future graphs should have that.
Overall, it wasn’t too bad. I worked up a good “glow” and my legs didn’t hurt at all. The running shoes I got are very comfortable and my feet are loving them.
I’ve always hated running but right now I’m motivated to do this and being able to see heart rate and pace data really help my understand what’s happening physically. That should make it a lot easier to see improvements over time which should help maintain that motivation.
If the pretty picture below is not so pretty but instead blank, you can see all the details here.
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