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My daughter and I have done research and decided to run a 5k. We purchased shoes today from a running shop. My question is this... We are active in other areas such as hiking, backpacking and mountain biking. We, however, have never ran before. I found the Couch-to-5k program and like the idea of slowly building up to it but I am wondering if it's safe to skip the first week or two of the training program. For example, I know we can run jog for 60 seconds at a time w/1 1/2 minutes of walking in between. What I am not sure of is if the initial week or two causes muscles/joints we have not used or stressed in the past like jogging would to strengthen and thus make our running experience much more plesant in the long run.
Thanks for any advice,
Jeremy: Since I am neither a personal trainer nor an exercise physiologist, I am not professionally qualified to address your question. Having said that, I would think that your other activities, all of which use your leg muscles and your cardiovascular system extensively, have both strengthened those muscles and improved your aerobic capacity. Still, I'm the cautious type, so to be sure that you are testing at a gentle level all the muscles that running uses, I would start at week 1. Then you will be sure.
PS: I'm from the Cleveland area and went to Ohio University (class of '70) but have lived near Chicago for the past 35 years.
Completed in 2012:
The Qualifier HM, Midland MI, May 2012, 2:58, 80+ degrees
Dam to Dam 20K, Des Moines, IA, June 2012, 2:17, PR for this race
Garry Bjorklund HM, Duluth, MN, June 2012, 2:20
Fox Valley HM, St. Charles, IL, 9/16/12, 2:23
Des Moines HM, 10/21/12, 2:19
Tentative plans for 2013:
Wisconsin (Half) Marathon, Kenosha, WI 5/4/2013 (registered)
Dam To Dam 20K, Des Moines, 6/2/2013 (registration opens March 20th)
Grandma's (Half) Marathon, Duluth, MN, 6/22/2013 (if I get picked again in the lottery)
Des Moines HM, 10/20/2013 (registered)
Like Steve, I am not any kind of health professional so this is just from my own experiences. However, all through middle school and high school I was a highly ranked competitive swimmer. One of my best events was the butterfly which is famous among swimmers as using arms, chest, abdominal, hip, and leg muscles and some in very unusual ways. All swimming is supposed to be good because it is an exercise that uses all the major muscle groups. So I figured I was in pretty good shape. But in college we were required to take a P.E. credit and they did not offer swimming. So I chose racketball. I figured I had strong muscles and had good endurance. But I thought that first hour was going to kill me. And after it, every muscle in my body hurt. So I can attest to the fact that sometimes the skills and abilities of one sport do not always translate to another one.
My advice would be to start at the beginning of the system. I mean, it is better to go a little slower and make sure you are not in danger of injury or stress on the body than to do too fast and get hurt.
I hope my opinion helps.
I have taken the advice here and have started the C25K from the beginning, week 1. I don't want to overdo anything and wind up regretting it. My daughter and I have completed the first two training sessions, tomorrow is Week 1, Day 3, then we will be on to the Week 2 exercises that I was thinking of starting with. In the grand scheme of things, Week 1 didn't take too much time to complete.
Thanks for the suggestions!