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.