Those of you who keep up with my little blog probably know that I am gearing up to run my very first 5k at the beginning of May. This is a very big deal for me because running (or any type of athleticism for that matter) is not something I am “good” at. One of my new years resolutions was to change that by challenging myself, so I signed up for a 5k. Since late January, (when I signed up) I have been making an effort to train. People who run on the regular might think it sounds silly to need to train for a small 5k, but I am the definition of a beginner and train, I must. Also I want to make sure that I can enjoy my race experience and not feel like death by the end.
So I’ve been training with an iPhone app called Couch to 5k. It is exactly like it sounds it, going from nothing to something. The format is this: 3 runs a week for 10 weeks. For the most part the runs are timed intervals, alternating between running and walking. Each week the running time gets longer and the walking time gets shorter.
I am so pleased to share that so far my training is going super well. Obviously some days are better than others but I am managing to increase my speed and distance while following the timed intervals as indicated.
As someone who suffers from asthma, keeping control of my breathing is one of the most challenging parts of running for me. I must constantly focus on in through the nose and out through the mouth if I want to be able to keep going. I have found that music with a heavy beat helps me stay focused on a regular breathing pattern.
This week the first run looked like this [5 min warm up walk, 5 min run/jog, 3 min walk, 5 min run/jog, 3 min walk, 5 min run/jog, cool down]. The first two runs/jogs went well but the last 5 minutes was exceptionally difficult. Surprisingly the difficulty was in my leg muscles. I think I have finally reached a place in my training where I have figured out how to breathe and manage my asthma (which has been my biggest problem in the past) and so my leg muscles are finally being pushed and challenged for the first time. I am thrilled that my body is finally starting to benefit from the training! Usually my lungs quit long before my legs feel remotely fatigued, so reaching this point is a huge accomplishment! Way to go lungs!
That being said, I still have a long way to go. Due to Canada’s never-ending winter, it is too cold for my asthmatic lungs to do vigorous breathing outside. Therefore I am stuck inside on the treadmill. Obviously the treadmill training is working/helping/making a difference but it isn’t comparable to running on pavement. Treadmill running has forced momentum. By this I mean that whether you like it or not that track is going to spin and you just need to keep up. Whereas outside the momentum is all you. I expect that when I start running outside my muscles will become fatigued faster and that I will run at a slower pace on average. That is okay with me, the main goal is just to finish the race, but I if I can do a decent job at the same time that would be nice. I am hoping that spring will spring into Toronto soon. I’d like to get at least two weeks of outdoor running under my belt before the race day.
Anyway, that is my progress update. Check back in a few weeks to see my progress & to see the result of the 5k event! Maybe I’ll get one of those cool running action shots!
Have you ever run a 5k? Got any good advice about training for a run? Share in the comments!
PS. The title of this post was inspired by this great song of the same title by Woodkid. The video is rather dark but it has a great beat. Check it out!