I realized that I haven’t really written about my running program. I’m doing the Couch to 5K program from coolrunning.com. And apparently so is everyone else! I heard about the program from my friend Kelly. Since then, I’ve learned that Hannah is doing it and so are a couple other friends.
I really like the structure of the program. It’s really straight-forward and easy-to-follow. It’s 3 days/week for nine weeks. There’s a specified workout for each day and it gets progressively harder as you move along. They encourage you to complete each workout in order, even if you think you’re strong enough to “skip ahead.” I
I just finished day 2 of week 3 (my running weeks and my calendar weeks aren’t in sync due to some slacking on my part.) This workout consisted of:
- Jog for 90 seconds/walk for 90 seconds
- Jog for 3 minutes/walk for 3 minutes
As you can see, the longest run is 3 minutes long. And I can run for longer than 3 minutes, but today’s workout was harder than usual.
First of all, I was jogging outside. When I’m doing the Couch to 5K runs, I usually do them on a treadmill so I can keep track of my time. During the first few weeks there are a lot of walk/run/walk/run patterns, so I just didn’t trust myself to be able to keep up with them outside. Plus–believe it or not– I think I run too fast outside. I run too fast to begin with and then wear myself out near the end.
Hannah wrote about these podcasts that were specifically designed to go along with the program. They are free and it was a nice day, so I decided to hit the streets instead of the gym. I liked the podcast. The trainer guy was helpful, but not annoying. The music was okay. It was upbeat and had a good rhythm, but was a little too techno-y for my taste. It reminded me of the canned music they use for aerobics classes. Maybe next week’s will be better.
I just REALLY missed the digital readout on the treadmill. C25K is based on interval training and when I’m at the gym, I keep my eye on the time so that I know how much I have left to do. Obviously, this isn’t going to help when I have 20 or 25 minutes to run, but there’s just something about knowing I only have 2 minutes… now 1 minute… now 30 seconds left that keeps me going. With the podcasts, he tells you when to switch from running to walking, and he’ll occasionally pipe in that you’re “halfway through” the run, but there’s no way to know exactly how much more time is left.
So, for all you runners out there– I need some tips.
- How do you make it through long runs without getting bored or fixating on the amount of time left?
- Do you focus on something else (form, music, environment) or just let your mind wander?
- What are the benefits to running outside instead of at the gym?
- How can I get myself to stay on-pace and not run too fast?
- Any suggestions for good running music?