Bridge-to-10K: Week 6 Run 1 (Back In the Game)

Hi all! *waves* It's been awhile, but I'm back now.

When last I was active on this forum, I was working my way through the Bridge-to-10K programme. I started it on New Year's Day, with intent of finishing in early February. It was all going well into Week 4 (of 6)... until a torn muscle in my right calf knocked me out of the game.

It's been several months since then. After the injury, I couldn't run for weeks. I saw a sports physio several times; he gave me various strengthening exercises to do to help the muscle heal, as well as ongoing stretches to do regularly to prevent re-injury from happening. When I was able to run again, I had to take it easy. All the way back to 1 minute running intervals -- oi! Not to rebuild cardio fitness, but to take it easy on the newly healed calf muscle.

Slowly, I've been working my way forward... and today I hit a major milestone. Six months to the day from when I started the "Bridge-to-10K" plan, I finally ran my first uninterrupted 60 minutes. Huzzah! Okay, it is five months after when I expected it, but better late than never, right?

Today, in my first Week 6 run, I covered 10.5 km in the single 60 minute running interval. Makes it easy to work out my speed, right? Let's see... 10.5 km in precisely one hour makes... *thinks hard* Oh yeah, that's 10.5 km per hour. (Or, if you prefer 5:43 per kilometer... or 9:12 per mile)

That's a little slower than I had been averaging in the later weeks of Bridge-to-10K. Tracking my Week 3 and Week 4 workouts (3x 17 or 18 minute runs, respectively), I was averaging 10.8 +/- 0.3 km/hour. Today's run was on the low end of that range, though I guess that was to be expected, since I was pacing myself a bit conservatively to ensure that I could actually finish the run! After all, I think my longest continuous run before today was 35 minutes -- this was nearly double that!

I'm not finished with Bridge-to-10K yet. I've got two more Week 6 runs to complete (on Wednesday and Friday) before I can call myself a graduate. But the end is now in sight! Hooray! Once it's done, I plan to set Runkeeper for a straight 10km run to time myself and see how quickly I can do it. Given today's performance, I'm guessing that 57 minutes is a reasonable estimate.

After that, of course, it will be time to find a proper 10km race... and also to figure out what to do next. Probably some mix of Audiofuel interval runs to work on speed, whilst doing one or two 10K runs each week to keep the distance and endurance going.

I would like to do a half marathon at some point... but first I need to add cycling to my exercise routine, which currently consists of swimming (2000 - 2500 meters) and running (10 km, of course!). My goal has always been to complete an Olympic distance triathlon, which is 1500 meters swimming, followed by 40 km cycling, followed by a 10 km run. That's why I started on Couch-to-5K in the first place. I've got the swimming and running down now; I need to get my cycling up to snuff... then work on putting them all together! After all, running 10 km is one thing; doing it immediately AFTER the swimming and cycling will be quite another! I'll start seriously thinking about half marathon training once the triathlon is completed, so probably sometime early next year.

Thanks to my injury, I know that I'm way behind the Autumn 2012 graduating Couch to 5K class. Most of you achieved your 10K runs long ago, and have moved on to half marathons and the like. Even so, if you have any suggestions for what to do after Bridge-to-10K, I would love to hear them! If there's a particular Audiofuel recording that has worked well for you, or if there has been a particular weekly routine (i.e., one 10K, one interval speed training, one 5K) that has suited you, please let me know!

P.S. I ended up dropping the Samantha Murphy podcasts after my injury. She just wasn't all that helpful, and I found that I could do as well with my own music and Runkeeper tracking me in the background.

15 Replies

  • That's fantastic. Hope you have many more runs injury free

  • Thank you! Happy running to you, too! :-D

  • Hey , I remember you !! Welcme back, having said that, I have been away from here for a while. I tripped in the garden and cracked a rib. I am nowhere near a 10k yet. I seemed to lose all signs of fitness after not running for weeks. I Am back now though and even though I am nowhere near back to where I was running 5k confidently (no walking) I WILL get there again!!! and well done to you Matt, :-) You sound as if you're getting there much quicker than me :-)

  • Ack! So sorry to hear about your injury. :-(

    I think that the reason I didn't lose all fitness during the weeks of not running is because my injury still permitted the swimming half of my exercise regimen. So I was out of the game, in terms of the march to 10K, but still keeping my heart happy.

    Keep at it, though. I know how awful it can be, but you WILL get there!

  • Welcome back! Well done for having the determination to make it back again - going back to one minute intervals must have been so painful! And congrats on making the 60 minutes :)

  • Thank you!

    Yes, the return to one minute intervals was awful! I didn't stay there long -- it wasn't a return to Couch-to-5K (thank goodness!), but a plan put together by my physio and I. Since I wasn't starting again from a state of "Couch", we were able to make it a bit more challenging than 60 seconds running / 90 seconds walking (x8). Instead, we filled the 20 minute workout with 60 seconds running / 30 seconds walking (x13). And I only did it once before moving on to 90 seconds running / 30 seconds walking (x10). But still, going from workouts with 54 minutes of running back down to 1 minute intervals was pretty awful!

    Very happy to be running for a full hour now. Am quite chuffed to finally enter the ranks of 10K runners! Hooray! :-)

  • Hey! How's things? Great that you're back! So sorry, we were going to meet for coffee, and then never set a date.That was my fault, I got caught up in 5x50, then a new job and the time's just flown!

    Sounds like you are getting back to strength and pulling out some great times again, well done! I hope you'll be sensible this time though, and please do be careful going from 35 mins to an hour. OK, lecture over! :)

    It's gone fairly quiet on here from our class of graduates. I think we all suffered an anti climax after 5x50, where we did take over the forum a bit! I try to check in on the blogs every now and again, but don't really have time to post a lot.

    I did a couple of 10ks during 5x50 (and a mad half marathon distance on the last day) but sticking with the 5ks for now. I'm only really getting out at the weekend at the moment, due to a longer cycling commute and I'm going swimming more (my 5x50 legacy!).

    Look forward to hearing how you're getting on and good to see you back!

  • No problem on not getting back to me. Life happens, I know. That's something I fully understand. I'm off to Japan on Saturday morning; maybe we can figure out a time when I get back.

    I did a brief skim of recent blogs, and saw that you hit both the 10K mark _and_ a half-marathon. Well done, you! *applauds* (Though I am amused at the "lecture" from somebody who went for her first 10K without proper training... then did the same a few weeks later, doubling the distance for her half-marathon!)

    I apologise for the ambiguity in my post. I didn't jump straight from a 35 minute run into a 60 minute run, though I can see how it sounds like I did from what I typed. I actually went all the way through Bridge-to-10K. However, the individual B-to-10K runs never get longer than 30 minutes in the first five weeks. The total running time ramps up, and I've been doing workouts with 50+ minutes of running for quite a few weeks now. But the individual time stays at 30 minutes and under. Thus, until yesterday, my longest single runs had been from the Stamina podcast, and from the early days of running 5K, when I needed nearly 35 minutes to cover the distance (remember those? *grin*). But I'd done much longer total running workouts since then, just with walking intervals to break up the time. Clearer now? Again, sorry for being vague about that! Mea culpa!

    In order to prevent myself from being re-injured, I am being quite careful with both following the training plan and with doing a regimen of stretches and strengthening exercises. Before each run, I do one set of stretches; after it, I do a second, longer set. Each morning and evening, I do a set of calf strengthening exercises given to me by my physio. And on the "rest days" where I don't run, I use an elastic band to do another set of core strengthening exercises. My right calf has been much happier with this, and has not acted up at all yet. *touches wood*

    Speaking of rest days, today is one... which means I need to send this and then get packed up to go to the pool, if I want time to get in 2500 meters of swimming. (The Barton pool is only open for one hour midday... and, as a fairly slow swimmer, it takes me 57 minutes to cover the 100 lengths that comprises 2500 meters. Hmmmm. That's also the same 57 minutes it takes me to run 10K. Go figure!)

    Although, before I go, I will note that with the running, swimming, and cycling all a part of your weekly life, you might also want to think about taking on a triathlon challenge! :-)

    Anyway, have a great day, and talk to you soon!

  • yes, true, good point. My "lecture" may have been pretty hypocritical! ;) Tell you what though, my poor feet are still suffering from it. I got a case of purple runner's toe, like an ultra runner (I feel like a fraud! ;) ) which is still recovering so I didn't get away scot free with no training as I'd hoped, but possibly was a little foolhardy!

    Aah I see, that makes more sense. In that case, your patience is to be congratulated! And the stretching routine seems great, really thorough! I'm sure this time round you'll be much more wise and alert to how your body is feeling and able to come back stronger.

    Funny, I have actually been considering a triathlon. I was thinking of doing the Blenheim one. The super sprint (I think it's called) seems really doable, though as you say, it's the matter of doing these activities directly after each other that's hard! And 100 lengths in 57 mins? That's super speedy! I do about 80! Wow! You're not slow at all!

  • Oooh, the Blenheim event looks like fun!

    I just perused their site, and it looks like they have "Super-Sprint" and "Sprint" distances, though nothing higher. There are loads of triathlon lengths, though there seem to be a sort of Standard Five. Super-Sprint and Sprint are the first two of those. I'm aiming at the Olympic, which comes next. Half-Iron Man and Iron Man complete the set. Although my goal is an Olympic, I wouldn't mind doing the Blenheim Sprint distance, just for fun. Let's keep in touch as the time gets closer, since it is still eleven months away.

    Meanwhile, I've been thinking of doing one of the Blenhein 10K races that are coming up in October. There is one on Sunday October 6th, benefiting the British Heart Foundation. The main event that day is a half marathon. I won't be ready for one by then, especially since I have other goals before I even start my HM training, but they also run a 10K. Interested? Two weeks later, Rotary is doing a 10K and 5K race at Blenheim. Not sure yet which one I'll go to -- maybe both, if I'm ambitious -- but your company would definitely be welcome. We ran our first "official" timed 5K races together. History could repeat itself! :-)

  • Wow, yeah I forgot about the Ironman ones. Will Ironmatt become Ironman? ;)

    Yeah, I'll have a think about those Blenheim ones. There's so many races, it's hard to choose! I'm doing Race for Life in a couple of weeks, which I'm looking forward to.

  • Oh, very cool! Will this be your first timed 10K, then? Good luck!

    (Normally, I'd consider joining you... but, of course, this one is a bit out of the question, given that it's a women-only fundraiser. Enjoy!)


    P.S. I think the only way this Iron Matt is making the leap to an Iron Man will be in a suit of high tech armor, a la the films! ;-D

  • Nope it's only 5k (only!)

  • *giggle* Remember when "only" was the last word that we would use to describe a 5K run! :-)

    Back in the early days of Couch-to-5K, those Week 7, 8, and 9 runs seemed like a supreme achievement! Twenty-five minutes at a time? Twenty-eight?? *grin*

  • Gosh yes, but some days it still is a supreme effort! I had a shocking run recently where I stopped after less than 1k! Pulled myself together and got through it but it was touch and go! ;)

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