Hi all. I wanted to post this in the +200 thread but couldn't figure out how! I used to be a runner. I used to run 3 miles, 4 to 5 times a week. I was much thinner then. During a bad marriage and terrible divorce, I gained 80 pounds. Now I am 5'4 at 221 lbs (last sunday I was 225! but i am not eating processed foods as part of my getting healthy routine!). I got the Couch to 5k app because I love running and I want to return to it but I know I need to work on my diet and ease into it. So, I started my first run on Saturday. 2.2 miles over 36 minutes (I did 6 extra minutes on the free run). Today, I did 2.6m in 42 mins. I am going to take a break tomorrow but I was planning on jogging/walking again on Tuesday. My question is this: in doing the C25K, is it okay to walk/jog more than 3x a week if you feel like it? Even though it has only been two jogs, I feel great. I spend a lot of time stretching after I walk/jog, so my legs and feet (and knees and ankles) feel fine. I notice that I have a little back soreness when jogging bc my core is really weak, but when I am not jogging/walking, my back is fine. If I am not hurting, is it okay to do 4 or 5 walk/jogs in a week while doing the C25K program?
Please share your advice and thoughts! Thank you!
"When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven't." Thomas Edison
I'm going through similar life changes and know very well many of the things you're going through; congratulations on taking steps to get your life back, that takes a lot of courage.
Regarding your question; given that you've been a runner in the past, you have a "base" to build upon, even if said base is from years ago. With that said, I don't see any reason why you cannot add a little extra to the C25K program, just so long as you closely monitor what your body is telling you; if a joint or some connective tissue (ligaments and/or tendons) is letting you know it's hurting, take it easier.
Two tidbits of advice I routinely hand out to folks starting (or restarting as the case may be) a running program:
If you can find a dirt trail to run on, use it as often as you can over running on roads or sidewalks. The extra shock absorbsion of the dirt helps keep you injury free as you ramp up your training.
As your conditioning improves a day will come when you feel like going faster. When that day comes, resist your inner speed devil and run further instead. Why? Because muscles strengthen significantly faster than ligaments, tendons, and bones, and running faster can lead to injury. Until you're comfortably able to run six or so miles, just say, "No!" to Mr. Speed Devil.
Once again, congratulation on your running; keep us posted on your progress.
The point of running every other day in C25K is to give your body - bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, etc. - time to adjust to the stresses of running by using recovery days, i.e., the days you don't run. Your back soreness is one example of this. That is why you only run every other day. Run more often at your own risk. Prior running from more than a few months ago has no physical relevance to your running now. The most you will have is the memory of what it was like. So, you would do best not to run more than every other day at least until you have completed the program. Running more often increases your risk of injury.