So Friday after work I completed the 20 minute W5R3, and spent all yesterday feeling really good about myself for having done it. This morning was supposed to be W6R1. I looked at the information, and it said 5-8-5 for running, with 3 minutes walking between. I'm a 20 minute machine now, how can I possibly go back to only 8 minutes (because in my mind only the longest spell of running really counts)!?
I have a route planned that starts about 5 minutes walk from my front door, has a nice loop by the river and returns past a church with a big tower, and if I run right back to the start point, is exactly 5 km. I had been saving it for when I got good enough. So I thought instead of the specified run, I'd set out on that route. I'd run for 20 minutes (justifying it as a "repeat" of W5R3, after all it's OK to repeat a run right?), maybe a little more, and finish the route as my warm-down walk.
I turned on the running app on my phone, and got some nice music going (hey, if it's just a straight 20 minutes, I don't need Laura to tell me that, and now I can have my taste in music, rather than hers). So with my thoughts on pacing in my mind (see my other post), I set out with the objective of keeping to a pace that I could maintain "forever", enjoy the spring weather (when I started C25k the snowdrops were just coming up, now the daffodils are out) and see where my legs take me. I reached 20 minutes, and felt pretty good. I thought I'd keep going. The voiceover from the app came on and told me I had done 4k. That seemed a good place to think about stopping, right? But then I saw the church tower. Perhaps I'll just keep going to the tower, it makes a nice landmark place to finish. So I did. By the time I got to the church, I was feeling reasonably tired, but not in a "I'm going to die if I keep going" way, so I just went on and finished the route. According to the app on my phone, I ran 5.01 km in 34'41".
So where does that leave me now? I've run for 30 mins non stop and I've run for 5k. Have I finished the course? Or does it only count once I've done 27 runs total? I am inclined to keep to this route, and run this 5k three times a week now, with the aim of improving my time, at least until I get bored of it and fancy stretching myself further. I am aware that part of the steady ramp up of distances in the course is to reduce the risk of injury, so is doing what I propose a really bad idea on that front? I should point out that for the last three years I have been cycling to work every day (10 minutes each way), so I expect this has given me a higher starting point of general fitness than a genuine couch starter.