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So I just recently started the C25K program and finished up W3D1 today and I am trying to measure out my progress to see where I should be from a pace/stamina perspective.
For example, the first couple of weeks I was actually running faster overall. Since the runs weren't as long, I was able to get my pace down to 9-10 mpm -- although I was completely gassed and sometimes I would have to extend the walk sessions. My overall pace, however, was about 14 mpm.
Now what I've done is slow my pace a bit (thanks to some advice on these forums) since W3 seems to include 3 minute runs instead of 90s runs. My pace on the runs I try to keep at like 12-13mpm, but now my overall pace is dropping to about 16mpm and my "run" is more of a hopping walk of sorts.
So now that I'm able to run (jog) for longer stretches, I'm not moving as quickly and that is messing up my overall pace/progress. Is this normal?
Also, for the day (before I started), the C25k app showed 34m Est Dist: 1.63 miles. Does this mean that is the distance I am expected to travel in the 34 minutes with the (2) 5m warm-up and cool-down walks? If so, any additional distance would mean better progress for this point in time? And less distance means I might want to redo the day until I can get at least that far?
I am certainly no expert, but I think it is great progress . I completeted C25K last fall. Before that I had never ran more than a mile. My goal was to be faster than my couch and complete each run. That is what kept me motivated . So just do what ever keeps YOU motivated. Now that have to do my scheduled runs plus a couple I started 10K runner.This started me over and I put more emphasis on speed
I had a simillar, albeit, much slower experience. I was able to have much faster speeds earlier on for the intervals. As the jogging stretches got longer I found it more difficult to keep the faster pace. I stalled in Week 6 and ended up repeating one workout since I was too tired to finish it correctly the first time. I brought my pace down to 5.2 mph (I use the treadmill speeds) and eventuially worked it back up to 5.5 mph and was able to maintain that for the 30 minute runs in week 9.
I completed my fist 5k on Sunday at 34:19. Not exactly a speed record but I didn't stop to walk and finished strong at the end so I felt good.
I tended to measure my progress, at least in partt, by whether my total distance was increasing from one workout to the next. Since I was running mostly on a treadmill I just used the total distance as my measuring stick. I always did the same warm up and cool down pace (4.0 mph) so that was a constant.
I don't really understand your last comment. I don't recall my C25K estimating my distance BEFORE the run. I just always input the distance after the run on the treadmill. I did run outside a couple of times and that was cool to thave the GPS show the map and breakout the walking v running times and distances.
You have to find the balance that is right for you in terms of pace and how long you can keep that pace. Don't be afraid to repeat a workout, or a week, if you want to try to increase your pace. However, for me, I got comfortable with reducing my pace and focusing on jogging for the entire alloted time. No my goal is to continue to run and work on bringing my speed up.
You are making great progress, keep going!
My $.02: I would not worry *at all* about pace during any portion of the C25K program. In my view the real goal of the program is get someone to be able to run 30 min without stopping. As someone basically said, "success" is being able to run. The program helps you understand how quickly (slowly) to build up, get your body used to the exertion, find your rhythm that you can run consistently and for extended periods of time, etc. Once you can run for 30 mins then you can start messing with pace.
"Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."
-- From the song FM by Steely Dan
Thanks everyone for your input.
To JHBHawk: my distances actually became less in W3 than my first two weeks -- but that is because I had to slow my average pace down to be able to complete the runs while keeping the overall time the same. 5m warmup, 24 minutes of run/walk, and 5 minutes of cooldown in this case. I run outside, so the GPS tracks my distance, and my C2k5 gives me a total time and a distance estimate -- maybe I'm using a different version?
To Haselsmasher: I think I understand now, I was thinking my pace should get better and better with each week, but I see what you mean about the program goal being to simply run/jog/hop for a full 30 minutes without being completely gassed.
On that note, during the intervals, is it good to close out the last 30 seconds or so of each "run" interval with a hard push or just continue to keep the same pace all the way through?
Keep the same pace. The only time you might want to push is at the end of a race, when the clock says you have 30 second to hit your goal time and you're 31 seconds from the finish. Even then I would use it cautiously. It's a good way to sprain or pull a muscle.
Don't worry about pace or distance at this point your goal is to finish each section of that day's schedule completely. If you are running so fast that you have to take additional time during the walking portions you are running too fast. As someone else said your pace and your distance are things you can work on once you complete the program.