Couch to 5K
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The dreaded week 5 run 3, and some cool technology

The dreaded week 5 run 3, and some cool technology


I've been reading a few blogs on here every so often, but have reached a personal milestone, so thought I would logon and share :) Especially after this week, reading about week 5 run 3 and going from thinking I had no chance, to actually thinking it might be possible.

Well, guess what, this morning I got up at 7:30am. before it started to get properly hot (over 30C in the UK at the moment, who would have thought it!) and gave it a go. I didn't use Laura for this run, I just put on my own music, strapped on my garmin and away I went.

20 minutes later, run done, actually not too bad!

Now, I'm a bit of a gadget freak, and last time I tried to start running I bought a garmin foreunner with heartrate monitor, so here are a few pretty graphs and data samples which might be of interest...

I have a 3k loop which I use whenever I feel like running, which has a 20m elevation difference between the bottom and top. Not massively hilly, but enough to notice the up and down bits in the short distance. Over a year ago I bought the Forerunner, used it a couple of times then stopped running as I hated it, I was unfit and it made me feel like crap. Fast forward a year and as mentioned i'm halfway through the couch-to-5k course at the moment, but i'm still using the same 3k loop to run on.

So I have some data, one of the last runs I did when I had no idea what I was doing, and the run I did today on the couch-to-5k course.

Old run:

Distance: 3.05 km

Moving Time: 20:26

Avg Moving Pace: 6:41 min/km

Avg Moving Speed: 9.0 km/h

Avg HR:166 bpm

Max HR:191 bpm

Week 5 run 2:

Distance: 2.88 km

Moving Time: 20:54

Avg Moving Pace: 7:16 min/km

Avg Moving Speed: 8.3 km/h

Avg HR: 162 bpm

Max HR: 182 bpm

Week 5 run 3:

Distance: 2.84 km

Moving Time: 20:45

Avg Moving Pace: 7:18 min/km

Avg Moving Speed: 8.2 km/h

Avg HR: 151 bpm

Max HR: 177 bpm

So i'm a bit slower than I was before, which is interesting.

However, look at the picture I added ( link here ), top graph is the run from a year ago, middle is week 5 run 2, bottom is week 5 run 3.

A massive difference in the amount of times I had to stop, the speed at which it hit my limit, and the time it takes me to recover between the first and second, the third was a slower pace, but over the full 20 minutes I never hit my previous peak heart rate!

The most impressive thing is how much longer it takes for my heart rate to hit peak, and this is only after just over a month of regular running. Quite a distinct improvement I think.

5 Replies

Interesting to see the difference visually in the graphs. My son has said I may borrow his Garmin forerunner if I wish, so may do so one day. I'd like one myself, but recently bought a Garmin Oregon, for geocaching and hillwalking, and can't really justify another gadget at the moment.


I've actually been using runkeeper on my phone for the past 2 weeks, which is free in basic form and pretty good, but the garmin forerunner is easier to see when running and has heartrate tracking, which is what I really wanted it for :)

This is me on runkeeper

If anyone else uses it, they are welcome to add me as a friend to track against :)


Ha ha I treated myself to a Garmin after graduating and love it to bits, the most useful facet for me being keeping an eye on my heart rate, but I have yet to analyse the results (am a technophobe so havent even loaded the software yet!). I must make this my next challenge - feel the fear and do it anyway :-)


Thats very interesting, do you find that you keep hold of your GPS signal at all times with your Garmin? The other thing I would be interesting in knowing, does it tell you the time it takes for your heart rate to return to resting point which is an important factor in seeing how fit you are, the quicker its returns to normal the fitter you are (I think). Smashing seeing all that info, I didn't buy a Garmin as they were just too big for my little wrist. Might have to see if a friend has one I can try out and maybe rethink.


You should be able to see the full details on that page I think? You can see from the chart that it takes around 3 minutes to lock on, which is an age but I set it going on my warm up walk and it is up and ready when I start to run, there is also one blip on the 20 mins where it loses the signal and thinks I'm running at world record pace :)


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