Couch to 5K

W9R1, Compression Socks & Gremlins

W9R1, Compression Socks & Gremlins

This was hard, both physically and mentally. I've been fighting a huge, hairy gremlin who has been sitting on my shoulder and muttering in my ear that I peaked with week 5 run 3 and will never manage 30 minutes.

I was going to run yesterday but, despite having enough sleep, I was under par and tired all day and fell asleep in the afternoon. I figured I needed an extra day's rest.

Things I have learned: your state of mind can have an out of all proportion influence on your ability to run, by which I mean any kind of stress can drain your body; a diet of donuts and apple pies is not conducive to physical activity, so I have been taking myself in hand for a couple of days and eating salads, buckwheat pancakes, vegetables etc; compression socks are a wonderful thing, and whoever invented wicking material deserves a medal (thank you ClarkeyCat for birthday gifts); if you wear a hat in anything over zero degrees you will have a sweaty head; running downhill is your reward for slogging up slopes; the first ten minutes are hell, as are the last two; walking up that mega steep hill that was such a struggle when I was recovering from surgery last year is a piece of cake as a warm down walk.

I've deliberately slowed myself down to try to alleviate the out of breath uphill syndrome...I doubt if i will reach 5k for quite a while thanks to the fact that every 30 seconds I'm running uphill.

My VO2 max is slowly improving (hurray!)

I feel bloody marvellous.

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Well done... I think a few of us struggled today... but you did well... and I am so glad you are feeling marvellous!!!

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It’s a curious thing, but I almost dread each run, but once it’s accomplished I cant wait for the next one, only to repeat the cycle of dread and procrastination when the day arrives. I do have a problem with the hills. I can run on the treadmill without being even slightly out of breath, but almost from the first few steps of an outside run, I have problems with my breathing. I dont know what the answer is other than keep at it or take a bus to somewhere flatter. I know it’s possible to master the slopes because I see other runners round here doing it. But it’s what often discourages me from going out now the runs are longer.

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I think a lot of readers on the forum are probably jealous of all your hill running, i'm not sure I would get out the door if I had to face huge hills everywhere. It'll be amazing when you get to do a park run somewhere flat though..you'll blitz it. :)

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Well, not all of them are huge, some of them are slow gradual slopes that go,on and on ☹️

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They do get easier... they do..if you have a spare moment, and want a giggle read this:) xx

healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

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Me oh my Oldfloss, this: "A steady run, not too far and enjoyable, despite my little hill sighs. I would though, just for once, like to run on flat ground. I am curious to know what that feels like; will I run further, will I run faster, will it be easier? "

Judging by the fact I ran 40 minutes on my treadmill once, (because of a techno mixup), without getting out of breath and with my heart rate well within the max for my age, then yes, it would be easier. But like your own experience, it is not to be.

So you were a 'proper' runner in your youth, one of the few of us who wasn't always last at school! I suspect it didn't really help all that much, since we are learning stamina, not speed, but I hate you all the same (not really).

Thanks for that. as a writer, i appreciate your lyricism. I'm still blown away by your Remembrance Day post this year xx

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I did wonder what V02 Max was all about on my new Fenix watch. Reading your post I thought I would investigate. It seems not to be that great which makes sense as I assumed you'd have to be rigged up with a face mask on a treadmill to measure it.

"What about my GPS watch reading?

Bad news, sorry:

Because a VO2max value needs to be tested in a lab (you can’t get VO2max without measuring ventilation, oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration of the inhaled and exhaled air), readings from your Garmin are just a rough guess, so ignore them."

info found here runnersconnect.net/is-vo2-m..."

I haven't tried my compression socks I got for xmas yet, how did you find they helped you?

Oh and I have an admission to make, I got myself one of those blue and orange zipped x-lite running jacket/tops after seeing your post.. it was really nice to run in last night :)

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Yes, VO2 max is only a rough guide, and mine has been abysmal, but I figured that if it’s improving, even if it’s innacurate, it must be good news.

The compression socks apparently keep your blood vessels open or something. Ive been getting pain in my left calf after running, but not today, so I guess they are worth the effort.

Yeah, I had my x-lite top on tonight. 😊.

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I'd better give them a try then. I do still get a tender calf on the left leg after running. Park run tomorrow so they will see there first outing :)

Do you need to calibrate anything on the fenix for the v02 max or do you just take what it tells you?

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It seems to assess you as you go along, so I havent set it. The Garmin learns all sorts of things about you and adjusts accordingly, for example your recovery time after activity.

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Well done. Glad you like the socks! 😊

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Thank you, and the socks are amazing. No calf pain at all, and it was a longer run

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This made me chuckle because I used to go out of my way to avoid hills and now I drive to places just to find the flipping things! Can’t imagine how tough it must have been starting C25k somewhere hilly - sounds like it’s doing you good though! 😀

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Lol, come to Chipping Norton.

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Er, I have enough trouble with slight inclines!

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Flatten that gremlin!

You and I will get to 5k when we are ready! 😀

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Thank you 👹👹👹👹👹👹👹👹👹😉

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You're coping so wonderfully with those hills! I really don't know if I could do the same. Bravo! I was thinking if it's a time when you feel tired, why not have a shorter run like 20 mns in between the two 30 mn ones? The hills will still be there but less daunting?

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Thank you 😊 i think I will see this final week through, then maybe I can do some shorter runs in between longer ones.

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I'd forgotten you hadn't completed the programme yet! Because running all those hills makes you a graduate in my eyes already :-)

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Oh, you ARE kind. Im not very good at them, I get very out of breath, but hopefully it will get easier.

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Still better than me! I'm getting out of breath if I alternate running the little mounds in the park. I'm practising the tracks for my postgrad runs but not every run because they're muddy and slippery (riskier when running down). So we will take the time we need, slowly but surely (and safely)!

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I wish we had a park here. When I lived in Oxford there were three huge ones within easy reach and several others further apart. I have to go back there if I want to do a park run. Mud is bad unless you have trail shoes.

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I might consider investing in trail shoes in a few years ;-)

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My problem is that my runs here will always be a half and half mixture of road and trail. I would use trail shoes for the whole run, but they wear out quickly on the road. So I use road shoes all the time, but they dont grip on mud, as I found out the other day.

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No brands offer mixed grounds proper running shoes? If you "like" running on uneven muddy grounds, better wear the trail shoes on rainy days to be on the safe side, I suppose.

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There are some hybrid shoes, but i think it's a trade off and they don't do either as well as shoes specific to each activity.

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Bugger that gremlin Flick, next time out take me with you and we'll trot along together nice and steady, with matching compression socks and fairy lights xxx

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I would LOVE to run with you, fairy lights an all, but I think I would slow you down 😟

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If ever we get the chance we will and don't even think about slowing me down we will trot along at a comfortable pace and to be honest i'm sure as you get fitter and stronger it would be me slowing you down

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We could take the pointy dogs too 🏃🏼‍♂️🏃🏿‍♀️🐕🐕

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What a lovely post! How inspiring!😁

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Thank you 😊x

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I was getting calf pain and tried two new things this week; tippy toes and standing on the edge of steps.

The walking in tippy toes was just alternating walking around on tippy toes for one minute, minute normal walk, tippy toes for another and normal walk for another minute. So only a few minutes!

And the standing on the step thing was standing with just my toes on the step, going up onto tippy toes for the count of fifteen and then slowly sinking down with my heels off the step for the count of fifteen, then slowly up again etc. Just repeated it a few times.

And today, no calf pain on or after my run!! So think I will stick at this as very easy to fit in. Just an idea if it comes back. Stiff calves are classic for those of us who love hills!!

Best of luck with those gremlins, I know you can do it!

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Thank you, I'm going to try tippy toes! I didn't know the calf stiffness was due to hills, though it makes perfect sense.

Mr Gremlin has gone for now. I think they are par for the course and just need a bit of love ;)

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Your calves are doing everything on the hills; powering you up and acting as the brake on the way down. So hills put them under greater pressure than on the flat. Strengthening them through calf based exercises, plus really stretching them well after a run should make the stiffness go away I hope! Best of luck!

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And i have old injuries to my left leg, my left calf is thinner than the right, and it's the left one that has been stiff. I must do the stretching. my sister (an ex physio) was going to show me them when she was here on Tuesday, but we ran out of time and forgot.

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Well done Flick! That is tidy running and you are inspiring a lot of people, including me.

I start week 9 tomorrow: I feel quietly confident as all my week 8 runs turned into 30 minute sorties due to a combination of being defeated by Gary the Garmin, poor eyesight and inherent stupidity. If I can keep injury free -particularly the daily pounding by the combined 95 kg of 2 big Russian Blacks-I hope to graduate around the same time as you...although with far less class.

The donuts and apple pie diet is interesting but might I suggest Jerusalem Artichoke soup as a starter: take it a couple of hours before your run and you will be literally jet powered on those hills. They didn't have the same propulsive effect when I was swimming but they did mean I got the pool to myself.

Don't worry about reaching 5k: just treat the distance with utter contempt: tell it you aren't bothered and just keep chugging on...you'll find it will come to you.

I wouldn't bother with VO2 Max either: those teenage drinks are full of all kinds of junk.

See you on the podium.

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Oh, boy, Pm3eak your posts always have me rolling with laughter! Gary the Garmin! My previous Garmin was Wrist Imp (a la Terry Pratchett) but this one is Ming the Merciless, mini wrist dictator.

I'm glad you find the post inspiring. That is my motivation for writing, but I always think people must be thinking here she goes again! Especially as my inherent politeness means I feel i must reply to everyone, which means the responses get rather prolific.

Thank you for dietary advice. Unfortunately I can't stand asparagus. could you suggest an alternative? Clearing the pool would be particularly useful since it is always crowded.

I shall go easy regarding the 5k since i have mild skinflints this morning, something i usually only get on the dreadmill.

See you on the podium indeed, when we can toast each other with a nice VO2 max in a frosted glass!

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