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For a great many of us, the notion of running 5k, 3 miles, in 30 minutes or however long it takes us, is enough to collapse us in a fit of giggles... or send us diving back to the couch, snagging a box of chocolates on the way. I did it once - actually got to & completed W9D3 - I did the distance - we won't discuss the time. I chose my screen name for a reason! I wasn't fighting excess weight but.... my dirty litle secret - I did most of C25K smoking like a chimney. Trust me, if there's a skid row for smokers, I was on it. Nevertheless, C25K didn't kill me & now that I'm 8 days smoke free & can FEEL that the breathing is easing, I'm looking forward to this.
I looked at the C25K chart last night, hauled out my calculator & played with some numbers... it's one way to fight cravings! I played with time only.
During the 9 weeks, we run a total of 486 minutes or, 9 hours & 6 minutes. The first three weeks are what I call the Introductory Phase - a period to gently ease our bodies into this new form of activity. Week 1, we run 8 minutes a day - broken up with lots of walking. Weeks 2 & 3, we run no more than 9 minutes per day - it's simply strctured a bit differently weeks 2 & 3. For those new to running - these are the weeks worth repeating if foot issues, extreme muscle/joint soreness or 'raw' feelng lungs are making the experience miserable. Of the total running time in the program, we only run 78 minutes in total those first 3 weeks.
During the 'second trimester' - the program starts getting serious. Week 4, we run 16 minutes per day - a BIG step up from week 3. Bear in mind though, we're never running more than 5 minutes at a time, interspaced with recovery walks. Having trouble? SLOW DOWN. It doesn't matter if Great Aunt Edna with her walker can pass you - if both your feet are off the ground for a split second, it qualifies as running. This is a process, a journey... technique, style, pacing, speed & all that athletic stuff - that can come later. For now, just chug along & know that you're running a total of 48 minutes Week 4. Week 5 - hump week, Bataan Death Match Week, "OMG! I'm Gonna DIE!" Week. No, you're not. Day 1 is simply three 5 minute runs - a minute LESS than any day of Week 4. Day 2 is two 8 minute jogs with a nice little walk in the middle. Day Three - the dreaded 20 minute run...trust me when I say that when you hit that day - you're ready. Just remember the 'talk rule' - if you have to gasp out words - you're moving too fast. By the time you're finished the 20 minutes, you'll want to turn cartwheels. And Week 5, you've run a total of 51 minutes - only three more than Week 4. Week 6 Day 1 drops you back a few minutes of running time, Day 2 - you're doing two 10 minute runs but after the 20, it's ONLY 10 minutes at a time. Day 3, you do 22 minutes - you're only adding 2 minutes to your longest run to date. End of Week 6, you've done 60 minutes.
The final three weeks - one nice thing about those is that they're straight time. By then, you may find the walk intervals annoying anyway. If you're running outside as I do, not having to count or clock watch means you can sightsee, choose a slightly different route. 25 minutes, 28 minutes, then finally, you graduate to 30 minutes... 249 minutes of running or roughly half the running time in C25K happens in those final three weeks but by then, your muscles are starting to get used to this effort & your lungs are becoming efficient, oxygen processing machines... certainly compared to pre-C25K days.
So... find yourself feeling a little intimidated or overwhelmed... just look at the small numbers of either time or distance you have to do TODAY. Worry about later... later!
C25K STARTED: 10/12/11
FIRST RACE PLANNED: ???
Excitement is slogging through a spectacular dry lightning storm
As someone just completing W1, I really enjoyed this piece; good to see the seemingly unattainable brown up into bite sized chunks.
I thought this was worthy of a 'bump' in case other newbies like me had missed this.
When I started C25K last spring, I never would have imagined running 3 miles. With patience and perserverence, I was able to complete the program. I have since run 3 5k's and am now training for a half marathon. I look forward to my runs.
Slog- I'm back to- from 2008, doing it a third time, this time hoping I do it slow enough to enjoy and become hooked on running! Good to see one of the old names here I remember. Good Luck to you and CONGRATULATIONS on quitting smoking!
THE ONLY THING THAT CAN STOP YOU IS YOU!
Started C25K the first time January 2008
Jingle Bell Run December 5, 2009 5K 40:15
Completed C25K January 3, 2010 running 3 miles in 39 minutes
started program again January 21,2012 on my own
Started with a local group in April 2012
Completed C25K with a local running group 6-8-12
Miles for Smiles 5K to be run on 6-15-12