Couch to 5K
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Monday morning blog

I never get much of a chance to catch up with the world of C25k over the weekend, so Monday morning in work with a coffee always starts with a lengthy browse over the pages and a chance to put together a few words about my weekend's escapades. And here we are again!

I have found my two post graduation runs to be incredibly tough... I'm not sure if it's to do with the psychology of it, in that I feel that I have graduated so my mind thinks that I should automatically find it easy, or I am pushing myself harder to run a bit faster and I'm tiring myself out earlier. But either way, I'm having a hard time with the 5k. Saturday morning's run was a toughy. I set out to complete 5.5k, in an effort to increase up gradually to my 10k target for my race next year. The first 2.5k I felt like I was gliding, it was going really well. I barely broke a sweat. Then all of a sudden, the wall came. My pace dropped right down, and I felt like I was running through treacle. I managed to run to 5k on the dot, and stopped. I was a bit disappointed with myself, especially as it wasn't beyond me to push for another 500m, after having done what I had done.

So, at least I made 5k. That's my minimum acceptable target. I know it's only been two runs since graduation, but I am restless. I have loads of time before my 10k (it's in April), but I am itching to get up to that standard. I guess i should relax for a week or two, and just enjoy the 5k and accustomise to it, but the 10k target is always in the back of my mind.

I did, however, notice a wonderful side effect of all this running. We had our housewarming party on Saturday, and all of our nearest and dearest descended on the house with their kids in tow. I'm a sucker for a kid who wants to play, and I was the one they came to to play chaseys or to kick the football with them. I couldn't believe how much easier it was to chase after them and not get out of breath. In fact I spent most of the day either chasing or being chased, or with a small child on my shoulders running around like a lunatic. many of the adults even commented on my new found athleticism!!!

Hope everyone has had a successful weekend!

3 Replies

Your experience matches mine, Narmour. Patience. I was reminded on my first post grad run, that I wasn't an instant superhero, by my body abruptly refusing to run up the local hill called Breakheart. I will conquer it one day but slow and steady (does that sound familiar) is the only route. I am aiming at a 10k race in May (if I am not tempted into entering something else before that) and did my first 10k run this weekend after gently extending one run per week over the last month or so. Pacing is the key (see my post on negative splits) but is extremely difficult. I am adding 20 second fast intervals every five minutes which are inevitably followed by a slow recovery pace before resuming a steady pace up to the next fast 20. This is teaching me the difference between three varied paces and I am beginning to recognize each by my body reaction rather than relying on any monitors or tracking. The bursts of speed are exhilarating but Gwendolen wasn't playing ball, on this misty morning, so I am not sure whether my 5k time improved or not, but it was fun. The intervals will be increased to 30 seconds in time.

Try one 5k run at a deliberately leisurely pace without any PBs in mind and you will probably find that you enjoy it more and you will not be that far adrift of your best times anyway.

This morning a dog walker said to me as I passed her for the second time, "You are SO fit". That is a first in my entire life. My reply was, "I'm not, but I'm getting there."


I will have to try pace intervals and see how my body reacts. Maybe just set out without a specific target, just to try a fast interval every 5 minutes as you say. If I can only manage 20 minutes doing this, then that's where I start.

I'm sure you can understand as I'm sure you are the same, but I need a plan. As long as I feel I am progressing towards something, I'm doing OK. I get bored very easily, and frustrated when something isn't improving. It's the reason why I have a long history of discarded hobbies, ranging from guitar to homebrewing to photography!!


Post grad doldrums! It is easy to feel a bit lost, post C25k, so find a plan and a target you can hit in just a few weeks. With your record, you will get to 10k pretty quick, maybe a month of increased duration runs. I am going to push on up to about 15k (on one run per week) and explore new routes, especially ones with hills and occasionally run my "standard" 10k route to see if times are improving. 60 minutes being my next target for 10k and my big challenge is to try to match my freak Parkrun PB, some time soon. Runkeeper allows you to set a goal with a target date, which is a big incentive to push and create your own training plan.

Keep pushing, Narmour. Remember all those kids, you are running around with, are growing up all the time and they will get more and more demanding. Maybe you will be lucky, like Juicy Ju, and be running with your children in the future. Now that will be a real challenge.


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