I've started the C25K programme using an Iphone app (both the C25K one and the Nike+ app). All going well in lots of ways - up to Week 3 Day 3 and feeling pretty good about progress - fewer aches and pains, getting through the running phases better and feel I've got a bit in the tank at the end of the 30 minutes.
The thing that's confusing me is distance. As I've moved through the longer run phases from weeks 1-3 I had assumed that I'd be covering longer distances in the 30 minutes. But I seem to be stuck at about 3.5-3.7km.
I know I'm not that far in, but should I be seeing the distance covered stretch over weeks 4 and 5? I'd hoped to see improvements, but the consistency of the distances is just making me feel that I've found lots of different ways of running the same distance in half an hour. I feel a bit better at the end of it, but am I progressing?
Am I just going too slowly in the running parts?
I think you already answered your own question. Fewer aches and pains; making it through the same distance more easily; still have some gas in the tank at the end. Progress? Yes.
If you still have a little "gas in the tank" at the end of your workout, you can expend it one of two ways: pick up your pace a little bit OR extend your distance a little bit. You have increased your fitness level so you have to push yourself a little more to increase it further. However, keep in mind that three weeks is not a lot of time. It usually takes 2-3 weeks of a new routine to BEGIN to see results. You still have many weeks to go so give yourself time to get there. Your speed and distance will gradually improve as you continue to follow the program. So far, it sounds like you are right on track.
I had the same thoughts after finishing week 3. But, I believe the first three weeks are a conditioning phase and shouldn't be too tough once you have got to W3 D3. I started W4 this week and saw a big leap in distance, so don't worry the distance will increase for sure, even though you will be doing round about the same time. My distance at the end of W3 was 1.86 miles, W4 D1 was 2.37 and D2 was 2.43 miles. After almost 4 weeks in, I am more concerned with finding a comfortable pace instead of worrying about the distance and time. Both of those will get longer and faster as you progress through the program. I have a 5k planned at the end of the 9 weeks and all I want to do is be able to finish it without walking or stopping to catch my breathe. Then use everything I have learnt from this program and the 5k to tweak my program to either run another 5k faster or increase my running to enter a 10k at a later time.
As you say, you feel better at the end of each session and thats what you need to aim for.
Good luck and keep pushing on.
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Week 1 Done, bring on Week 2.
Thanks for the feedback folks. I worry a little because it's the only training I've really done on my own. Everything else has been through rugby and group sessions where the pace is set for you, and I worry that I'm cutting myself too much slack.
Looking at the pattern for week 4 I'd anticipated a jump, so reassuring to hear that it comes.
My aim isn't to race - all my competitive energy will go into rugby while my aging body will still put up with me playing. But I'd like to get to the point of being able to put in 3 or so 5k runs a week.
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