Post-Couch to 5k: My first ever outdoor run. - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Post-Couch to 5k: My first ever outdoor run.

kayface profile image

It's been about an hour and a half since I returned, and the pain in my chest is only just starting to die down.

I was SO excited to find a nice park to run in (with a 5k route!) while I was staying up North with my boyfriend for the rest of the summer. Literally, the weekend couldn't have gone quick enough I was so desperate to get back out there.

I woke up this morning and headed out, felt ever so invigorated as I started, then realised I was going wayyyy too fast. So I slowed down my pace (or so I thought...) but I just couldn't keep to the steady pace I was used to on the treadmill! My body naturally just kept trying to make me go faster, and by the time I'd run for 20 minutes (including managing 2 steep-ish inclines which I am not used to either) I had to stop. Either that or I was going to drop dead and/or vomit. GUTTED is not the word. I walked for about 4 minutes and started running again until the end of my 30 minutes, but just, agrhghrghrh.

As I was doing my not-quite-so-brisk walk home I could barely take deep breaths because the pain in my chest was ridiculous. I had a look at my stats on my phone and I'd managed 4.57k which is the furthest I've ever done in 30 minutes. My average speed was also 5.6mph (sorry, my units are all over the place, I'm a miles girl really but aiming for the 5k!) My speed on the treadmill was always 5.3mph, so my new average combined with my walking break must have meant I was really REALLY pushing my body without realising it.

Looks like my new aim is to learn how to run outside without Mr. Treadmill doing everything for me. SLOW DOWN KAYLEIGH, SLOW DOWN!

Frustration is slowly fading with the more cups of tea I drink :)

Thanks for reading if you have done, hope it's managed to make sense haha! x

13 Replies

Hope you're feeling better now! Can you download the new 5k+ podcasts where you are? The stepping stones routine is designed to get you running faster without too much effort so you might enjoy having Laura's help again. Try them out and see what you think :)

kayface profile image
kayfaceGraduate in reply to happierswimming

Thank you! I did try replying to this on the day but for some reason it wouldn't let me...

The pains eventually went by the next day, I obviously had just pushed myself way too fast. I downloaded the new Stepping Stone podcast upon your recommendation and have just returned from it - happy, challenged and back where I should be :D

Deryn61 profile image

That is an amazing achievement, sounds like you really challenged yourself!

Judging your pace is definitely really really essential!

I can only stick at a manageable pace thanks to a Garmin running watch (my sister lent me hers till I knew I was definitely going to keep this up and then I invested in my own), and hills too! Well done :-)

kayface profile image
kayfaceGraduate in reply to Deryn61

Thank you for your kind words! It's that support that will always keep me going :)

I've heard about these running watches, might have to look into it!

cvgough profile image

If you don't mind a suggestion, have a think about getting a heart rate monitor (you don't have to spend a fortune on one. Aldi and Lidl sometimes do them for under £15) then set an alarm to go off if your heart rate goes too high. You can decide for yourself what "too high" is but, if I remember rightly, 75% of our maximum heart rate is about right for general fitness. Of course you may not know your maximum hear rate in which case you can use (222-<your age in years>) as a rough rule of thumb.

Hope this helps.

I'm so glad you wrote this; yesterday was my first outdoor run in the park, and it was torture! It was Week 6, Day 1 for me, and I couldn't believe how hard it was. Right off the bat I was out of breath. I was so disappointed, having just done the 20-minute run of W5D3 on the treadmill the other day with no problem.

I guess I am not nearly as fit in the real world as I thought I was from my workouts on the treadmill. :( I've really had no problem with C25K up to this point, beyond repeating one or two weeks and taking a break for illness. I feel as though I've been living in a fool's paradise.

It sounds like your run was really challenging. I'm a little worried about your chest pain; it seems as though the run might have been too much for you and perhaps you could cut it a bit shorter next time until you get acclimated to working out outdoors? From what you say about the pain, I'll bet it was your lungs protesting. I remember that burning from my gym-class days in high school. (btw, I'm in the US but have been following the NHS program because of Laura's podcasts, so that's to explain any linguistic differences you may notice in my post.)

happierswimming profile image
happierswimmingGraduate in reply to Lu25k

it's very easy to run faster outdoors than you do on a treadmill, because you don't have any numbers in front of you so don't worry about your fitness levels too much. If you've had no problem up to now, then you were almost certainly running faster outside than you thought you were. If you want to run outside, go really slowly and you'll probably manage it. Go for distance first and go as slowly as you need because you can always build up speed later.

I hope this isn't a double post; I tried to reply earlier but it disappeared. Anyway, in brief, thank you for so kindly making a good point about speed and the lack of a reference point outdoors. I am going to try the same workout again tomorrow. :)

kayface profile image
kayfaceGraduate in reply to Lu25k

Hi! I'm glad you found my post helpful, it really is the most relieving thing when you realise you're not alone (so thank you to you too!). I couldn't believe how much of a difference it was off a treadmill, I guess the treadmill is at a constant flat too and my legs weren't so prepared for that haha!

My chest pains faded towards the end of the day, and disappeared entirely over night. It only really happened when I took in deep breaths so I definitely agree with it being a protest from my lungs! I really must have pushed myself. I tried again today, but with one of the new Couch to 5k+ podcasts. It went SO much better and I feel back on my game again :D

I hope your runs are going okay! We all have to get off the treadmill at some point, so just listen to your body and do what it tells you! Even if you feel you have to repeat a podcast, at least you're making the effort towards your fitness and ability, which is always something to feel proud of :)

All the best.

Lu25k profile image
Lu25k in reply to kayface

Thanks for your good wishes! I actually haven't been back outside, or run at all this week, in fact, after my outdoor run. I had a medical issue for a couple of days, but I think I'm better now and will most likely run with my friend tonight after work. She's also been doing this program, but outside. I got her involved after I started, but what with my breaks and repeats, we are synched up.

I'm glad it's going well for you again. I hope to be able to do W6D1 successfully tonight. But if it's still hard, I just have to recognize that the lack of correspondence between success on the treadmill and outdoors for me is not "failure." I mean, I measure my heart rate on the treadmill and it's in the healthy aerobic zone, and my legs and knees are stronger now, so there's no way I'm not benefiting from the exercise. :)

shelleymcb profile image

you should be really proud of yourself!! stop beating yourself up. I think that being able to run for 20mins solid outside after treadmill is an amazing achievement. I did all of c25k on a treadmill & just could not manage any more than about 5mins outside on my own.

I was lucky that 2 of my children decided to take up c25k recently so I made them do 1 run a week outside (which I joined them for) until week 5 where you get 3 different runs & then we did all the rest outside, with them repeating runs on the treadmill if they felt they needed to. for me I ran too fast & having to pace myself with them was all I needed to give me the confidence to try outside again, but sounds like you coped really well on your run, even realizing that you were too fast & slowing it down a bit. well done you!

Im sure that the outside world will be fantastic for you. just start your next run nice & slow & am sure that you will be fine. good luck x

kayface profile image
kayfaceGraduate in reply to shelleymcb

Thank you for this reply! It's so lovely to hear that I'm not alone with my struggles, and also to be reminded of how far we've still come! It's madness how different it is outside isn't it? I really pushed myself on Monday, but that's a learning curve for me :)

Have you tried the new Couch to 5k+ podcasts? I just went back out into the outside world with the Stepping Stones one, and I managed a heck of a lot better and I'm feeling that wonderful buzz again :)

Well done on getting out there with your children, must be lovely to see them succeeding too! Good luck to all of you, and thank you again for the kind words :) x

shelleymcb profile image
shelleymcbGraduate in reply to kayface

you are very welcome. yes, tried the stepping stones podcast this morning. its the first time in about 3 weeks that Ive managed 30mins solid running (kids off school so they take over a bit!) so was really pleased with how it went. listened to a bit of the speed one on the walk home. that one sounds interesting ~ not sure if Id be able to finish that one.

best wishes. shelley x

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