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Hello. My 12-year-old son and I are completely new to running, and we are starting the "Couch to 5K" program on Monday morning (his idea!). We have a question. We live in a very hilly area, and know that sometimes, the 60-second running interval is going to be really, really tough. What do you recommend? Can we do some 30-second intervals instead? Does this totally mess up the progression of weeks? Please advise.
Hey - first of all congrats on starting the program - good luck!
Next, SLOW is the general idea with hills for me, slow and slow and slow again, try to keep running but keep at a comfortablish pace.
And dont worry, if you need to add a 30sec week then thats fine, the program is just an outline, adapt it to suit your needs. Keep with it and enjoy - are you using some form of podcast to time your runs, I would recommend it as it means your not always looking at your (stop)watch and offers some encouragement, although if you and your son are running together you might have some timing issues. Try and encourage each other if you can, talking whilst running is meant to really help breathing.
Anyway - there's my 2c so go and have fun!
I am so proud of you and your son for starting this program together way to go! We have a group and feel free to join us if you would like. We are all starting this journey around the same time and we would love to have you.
C25K is a good program to get started running, but you can and should adapt it to suit your particular needs and abilities. As long as you get the general idea - run a short distance, walk a short distance and repeat, while gradually extending the running distances over a period of weeks until you can run 3 miles - then you can tweak it or even just follow your own plan. I've said this about a hundred times, but I'll say again that I don't think C25K can be a "one size fits all" program. I'm sure first thing off the bat you will find that the experience will be very different for you and your son. And adding hills or heat into the mix is another variable as well. There is no magic in the formula to start out running 60 seconds. Many people can easily run farther than that just starting out while others have to train for several weeks before they can even complete W1D1.
An option for you might be to plan your running intervals for the flat areas of your route regardless of whether you might have to walk a couple of extra minutes in between (don't be tempted to only run the steep downhills, that can actually be very hard on your knees.) And if you are on a flat area or gentle downhill and can run longer than recommended, then do it!
Keep it flexible and have fun with it. If you stick with the general training principles and stay consistent with your workouts, you will accomplish your running goals.
Great job! It is excellent that you are starting this program. Slow is the best way to get your body adjusted to running. Dont over do it, and make sure to only do what feels right. If you try say week 3, and you dont seem to be able to do it, redo week 2. There is no shame in that!
Happy Running -Jason
I live in a very hilly area also and find it is difficult to run uphill. There are very few flat places to run in my neighborhood.
I am just started C25K again ( I made it 5 (??) weeks last fall but circumstance stopped me). I try to run up hill a bit, but I mostly do the 90 second walks uphill, then the 60 second runs downhill.I don't know if that is ok to do or not, but it is what I do
First of all, CONGRATS to both you and your son on getting into running! It's a great way to stay healthy and you may create a life-long runner (I was 12 when I started and I've been running ever since...I'm 30).
The C25K program is a great place to start when getting into running. The thing to remember is that it is a flexible program, you DO NOT have to follow it to the letter every workout. If you need to tweak the workout that it recommends, feel free to do so, you won't explode or be struck by lightening if you make some adjustments ! Thats the beauty of running, you move at your own pace and you can make your workouts fit what you need.
You should also make sure that you are wearing good/correct running shoes. You should go to a good, reputable running store (not a big box, general sporting goods store) and be fitted by someone who knows running. Your shoes are the single most important piece of equipment that you'll use every single workout, so you should get fitted for shoes that best work for your feet (do you supernate, do you strike midfoot, a good running store staff person can answer those questions for you).
Good luck and I hope this helps!
"WITHOUT STRUGGLE, THERE WOULD BE NO PROGRESS" - Frederick Douglass
"TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST, TOUGH PEOPLE DO!"