Hi, all! I started C25K several weeks ago but find myself just now approaching (in terror?) week 4 thanks to the wonderful but damaging hiatus known as spring break. I have NEVEREVEREVER run before, and I'm finding C25K really rewarding! I have a couple of questions that I have posed to several of my "serious runner" friends, but their answers weren't super helpful because they couldn't wrap their minds around struggling for weeks to run for 3 minutes straight. SOOOO here we go:
1. I'm tall (and somewhat overweight - female, 20, 5'8"/183lbs). I have a long stride. Any speed less than a 10min mile feels lazy/painfully slow to me (I usually do 6.2mph on a treadmill because it fits my gait better), but then I'm struggling by the end of minute 2. However, I'm not sure that a slower pace would really be easier because the jogging motion (up-down) is the taxing part for me. Should I slow down or just stick it out?
2. Yes, I used that terrible word: treadmill. I go to school in central Virginia, and the local terrain is CRAZY hilly. As I mentioned above I'm just diving into week 4 so I'm not quite ready to run the open roads yet, but when do y'all think would be a good point in the C25K program to head outside and start fighting those hills (which is where I'll ultimately be running my 5Ks)?
3. My knees hurt. I'm no stranger to torsion injuries in my knees, but this is more of an impact pain (and, strangely, more on my less-torsion-injured knee). Unfortunately, most of the advice I've found online seems to be dealing with "serious runners" - I actually found an article that said something along the lines of "the appearance of knee pain most commonly occurs when runners hit forty miles a week." HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'm running about 3 miles a week (and walking a lot, of course), so I don't think it's quite the same. Before anyone asks, I wear (admittedly crusty and getting up there in age) Asics with arch support. My actual question: Is there anything I can/should do beyond ice and ibuprofen?
4. PLAYLIST SUGGESTIONS. PLEASE. I can only listen to "Club Can't Handle Me" so many times.
5. What supplemental workouts do you find best complement the C25K? I try to hit the gym 4 times a week: three days of C25K plus an aerobics class or an elliptical session. I always try and throw some non-aerobic work in there, too - typically abs - but I've been looking to mix it up. Any suggestions for non-aerobic sets to work with/improve my running?
6. I know there's a "runner mentality" for a lot of people - a way to ignore that omg-I've-been-running-for-who-knows-how-long-and-now-my-legs-hurt-and-the-wall-in-front-of-me-is-really-NOT-interesting-anymore feeling and keep going (and even enjoy it?). I haven't gotten there yet. Obviously (hopefully?) part of that will come when I actually feel confident in my running and can run for longer than three minutes with wanting to storm out of the gym and never come back, but until then are there any life hacks out there to help me get jump-started on my not-quite-found-yet love of running?
I'm really excited that I found this wonderful community! I was terrified about the seemingly MASSIVE leap from 3min to 5min to 8min of running, but reading some of these threads has definitely bolstered my confidence. I CAN'T WAIT TO RUN A 5K!
PS. If anyone could recommend a week 4 thread that I could join, that'd be awesome
I'm at the same place you are - just finishing week 3 and ready to start week4 and I'm worried that I cannot do it. I'm also running every run on the treadmill, but I'm fortunate that it's on the second floor of the Y facing the open weightlifting area and a huge wall of windows. I must admit that helps! I used to pace myself at 4.0 for the walks and 5.8 for the runs because it felt painfully slow and lazy to go any slower. I've finally slowed down to 3.6 for the walks and 4.5 for the runs and I'm making it without nearly as much trouble, so slowing down really is the key. I have to work on endurance right now, speed will come later.
As for the knee pain, I'll let other more experience people answer that. I will say that I ended up with a bursitis in my knee when I started that required rest, but I got to the point that I could hardly walk, much less run.
As for a playlist, my husband is a music man and has downloaded every CD we have as well as tons from iTunes, so my iPod is loaded with fast rock (mainly vintage)that I love, everything from AC/DC to Lynard Skynard to - oh well, you get the picture. I know there is DJ Beatsmith that had music for running, but its mainly techno and I'm not really into that. I get annoyed after about a minute of that. There is other podcasts that I've heard people talking about - maybe they will point you in that direction.
there have been a few time when I really was into the running phase, but I havent reached that "spot" yet. I still dread it, struggle through it and am glad when it is over. Does feel good to have accomplished it though. There are quite a few groups on here that are where we are. Look for "let's get started" along with a date and join up. They are very welcoming.
Good luck and keep on waddling!
Kristy in NC
3/12/11 - St. Patricks Day 5K - First 5K - 43 min
7/4/11 - Peachtree Road Race - 1hr 30 min
9/2/11 - BB&T Sunset 5K - 40:48
10/22/11 - Rocktoberfest 5K - 38:53
11/5/11 - CommYOUnity 5K - 37:22
11/24/11 - Butterball 5K - 37:03
3/25/12 - Charlotte Motor Speedway 5K - 34:21
1. Get off the treadmill! I would rather run in rain or 25 degree weather than a treadmill. It impeeds your ability to vary your stride and is probably slowing you down. The hills of the road present a challenge which will only help your strength and endurance.
2. Strengthen your quads and hips. Often knee pain is from weak leg muscles. When I started running my right knee was killing me. I did lots of squats and stretched my hips and legs and the pain is gone. Don't forget your upper body... it is important for overall health and balance.
3. Music preference is certainly individual. I have found that I enjoy running to disco... It has a great beat to keep you going. I have a subscription to Rhapsody to go so I can change my music frequently.
You will find that your running endurance increases quickly. Just push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Switch up doing long steady cardio (i.e. your 10 min mile) with days of sprints or interval (sprint, jog, spring, jog (walk if you have to) etc...) This will increase your speed and lung capacity.
The key is consistancy...Keep up the good work!
You may also be overstriding. Basically this means your foot is planting well in front of your body, which can contribute to extra stress on the knees (and the rest of your legs). If you are, try shortening your stride a little and planting your foot directly under your hips. You can compensate (pace-wise) by increasing your turnover (footplants/steps per minute). The goal is to be around 180, counting both feet.
Have you found this site? http://web.me.com/iestynx/Couch_to_5K/Podcast/Podcast.html
I really like it because I can create my own podcasts rather easily. It has the time cues all set, I just put in whatever music I want when I want it. I have a Mac and use Garage Band, but I know PCs have a similar program. I can put something to make me want to move if I know it's going to be tough or something slightly slower if I know I need to step it down a bit.
I'm 5'7 and heavier than you, and my natural inclination is to jog anywhere between 5 to 5.5mph. The only thing is that, like you, I can't keep it up very long. For the shorter runs in the first few weeks, I had no problem, but this week I had to scale it WAY back. I completed the 20 minute run last night at 4.5. One of the things I did for that was to change my music to something with a slightly slower gait. I know I do have a tendency to run with the music, so it's an easy fix for me. I also like to play shorter songs so when I feel I can't go on, I can tell myself "one more song." But that song might only be a minute and a half or two minutes, so then I tell myself "one more song" and I can carry it through. Usually
I finished C25K nearly a year and a half ago and stopped when I got a new job which kept me out late and then winter hit and then.... You get the point. Then I was running outdoors all the time. But I recently started again, finished week 5 yesterday, and this time I'm doing it on a treadmill. I will probably hit the great outdoors again, but I do like the treadmill. I have a bum hip which doesn't seem to mind the treadmill as much as it does asphalt. The thing is you just have to figure out what works for YOU. What works for me wont necessarily work for anyone else in the world. But the nice thing with C25K is that you can repeat days or whole weeks. Push yourself, but not to the point where you get discouraged. That will get you nowhere fast.