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Hello! I'm hoping for some advice. I started C25Kseveral months ago, working through week 3, and then fell off the wagon... I resolved to get back on track, and am starting at day tomorrow... however, I forgot this is a 9 week program (d'oh!) and foolish me got over-eager and committed to a 5K in only 7 weeks. Does a 42 year-old woman, fairly out of shape and about 40 lbs overweight, have any hope of building up to a 5k in 7 weeks time? 8-/ I know slow and steady is best when taking on something big like this, but I would really like to keep my May 22 event as my C25K "graduation"/celebration event. I guess worst-case scenario, I walk part of the 5K... but if I commit to running at least every other day, is there hope of speeding up the program a bit? Has anyone moved through the process at a faster pace than 9 weeks?
Thanks for any insight/advice.
If you do every other day, you should be able to finish a little sooner. 3 times 9 = 27 sessions so you will need 54 days which is about 7 weeks 5 days. I did it the first time in 8 weeks because I did every other day instead of 3 times a week. I think it is possible. Just start off and see how you do. When I finished I was doing 30 min of running and 5 min warm up and cooldown walks and it was still a little less than 3 miles for me. I am very slow because I was overweight by alot. Just start off; you can't lose by doing this and if you have to walk some of the 5K there is no problem with that.
I'd have to agree with the above poster, Suzanne...many people walk or run/walk 5k races! Maybe use that race as part of your training and run all of another one in June; it's really up to you. I think C25K is battle tested, and it succeeds for a reason. A big part of that reason is its workout pacing, and the fact that it prescribes three training days a week. I've seen some people ramp it up and run 4-5 days a week, or jump on Week 5 or 6 thinking they can handle it. These folks are probably the most often injured. I'm a 25 year old male, 6'1 175 lbs, and I tried to devise my own more strenuous C25K plan last summer, thinking I was too advanced or in-shape for the program. Long story short, within 3 weeks I couldn't walk on my right ankle and had to take months off. So, I'd say trust the plan and do 3 days a week, run-walk the May 22 race, and set a new target race to run straight through. Then your original May target race just becomes a different step on your journey. Good luck!
I would add that it's important not to rush yourself through so much that the days you run become an absolute awful chore. Part of what's great about the C25K program is it eases you into a routine and coaxes you into really loving exercise, without making you feel defeated. I know for me I've always "hated exercise" and now I really enjoy being active and moving my body. I'd say stick with it, follow the program, but don't focus so much on the actual 5k race. Just pay attention to how much better you feel after a few weeks and how much you are getting out of it. Hopefully it's a life-long behavioral change that you are starting! Good luck!
Thanks so much for all the excellent advice and insight, guys! You've made really good points and helped me realize that I need to look at this as a positive longterm thing, not something to be rushed.... and actually soaking in the idea of pacing myself without rushing takes so much pressure off. If I walk part of that first 5K, that's okay, like y'all said. I truly appreciate your responses!