Couch to 5K
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Taking it steady - How hard can it be?

I've bored you all with my injury sagas, and I am now on the road to get up to 10K again. This time though I am determined to take it easy, take it steady.

I started off by getting 5k's in the bag, then adding 10% each week to two of the runs. This sort of worked, but then I got a bit 'self-competitive', pushed on up to 8K in two weeks, and felt bad again. That should have been obvious to me. After all, I tell everyone else to 'take it easy'.

After a week of R&R (and neither of those stand for Running), I set off again, but with an all new strategy. This time Endomondo would be silent. No '1 Km in xxx minutes. Average Pace......' to drive me on. This time I would just run. I started off running a simple 5K route that I know. Then the following week set Endomondo to vibrate at me when I had run for 30 minutes. I would be then adding 10% to the time each week, until I hit 10K distance. Simples. Surely

This week is my 33 minute week. Day 1 I set off on a run with Endomondo silently watching my every step. 33 minutes came up exactly at the end of the High Street. Good run, enjoyed it. Today Run #2, same route. I set off quite keenly, so said to myself ' take it easy'. I adopted a new approach to taking it easy, called "running slower". This has to work, surely. Ran round the lake nice and steady, passing the same guy (running in opp. direction) twice. Good he must be a lot quicker than me, so I must be running slower.

It wasn't long before I was out of the park, and heading down the High Street. Now, if I have run the same route, and I am running the same amount of time, and I am running slower, then any school boy will tell you that I can't have run as far. I mean, how hard is that! Well, the end of the High Street arrived, and I rounded the corner. Still no little buzz on my arm. It was a full 90 seconds and over 200m before it did come, and there you have it. Tried to take it easy, and ran quicker. (Turns out my opening km was v. quick, but still my average pace was the same as normal). I am convinced now, that we all have a natural cadence (schoolboy physics would probably agree), and try as you may, this is very hard to break. You can up it for short periods, but reducing is damn difficult.

I am resigned now to sticking to my 10% on the time regime, and the distance is what it is. Until I hit 10Km, and I will, then you will hear about it.


2 Replies

Very interesting post... I agree that getting the pace right is so hard. My son has a garmin that beeps when you go too fast or too slow and I'm always surprised as I have no idea about how fast I'm actually going!! Finding your natural long run pace is tricky but takes practice... Good luck on the 10k I think you will nail that one v soon!


I'm on the same road .... Graduated in December 2013 and was too keen to get my distance up and speed down = injury at the end of January. Having just got going with my running, it was very frustrating to see my new-found fitness start to slip away as I rested my legs. I couldn't face going back to Laura (and her awful music) so started back running for 20 minutes and building up the time/distance each run. I'm now running 5k and my goal is to be able to run 10k comfortably. If my speed improves, that will be a bonus. I'm definitely in the "take it easy, take it steady" team, having learned from my mistake. We'll get there in the end!


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