This training log comes from 2015 when I wanted to run a 5K from scratch. I was overweight and had not exercised in a while. I went from not being able to run for 90 seconds to being able to run a 5K without much trouble.
Not everything went as planned, but I made the most of it. There are great lessons to be learned here! Check out my thought process, as well as how I approached training below.
Table of Contents
I Want to Run a 5K But I’m Out of Shape
I’m currently out of shape and overweight and I want to run a 5K race by March. I want to not only document my progress in getting back into shape but also act as a hub of inspiration for others. I think there is value in having a person’s perspective that not only has had success but has lost it and is in the process of achieving it again.
Prior to this go around, I’ve tried more exercise programs and gained and lost more weight than most normal people have. Wrestlers are probably the only group that still have an edge over me in weight gain and loss, but I digress.
I’ve been meaning to do this project for a while but for one reason or another, it kept getting indefinitely postponed. Now, things are aligning and I’m finally able to make this project a reality.
The first part of this project is to follow the Couch To 5K Program as closely as possible. I’ll outline a few things during the weekly workout posts to explain why I make any alterations to the schedule (if any at all). This program is about 2 months long and there is a 5K race that is coming up in March that I want to do.
I happened to look at this information Sunday night, the 11th, and immediately made the decision to start the program the next day since this week coming up is the last week I can safely get started. So there it is, the first part of my weight loss project is to run a 5K that I absolutely waited until the last minute to start training for. Seems fitting for me to procrastinate that far, but now I have exactly 2 months to stop screwing around and make this race a reality.
This particular race is special to me since I’ve run it 4 times (it’s annual), with the last time in 2008. I have been unable to run it since then. I wanted to run it last year but I just wasn’t ready for it.
This time will be different. This time I will lose the weight. This time I will run the race and break the 7-year drought.
Let’s be clear on one thing. This is NOT a New Year’s resolution.
It’s purely coincidental that my project is very close to New Year’s. Why is that distinction so important you ask? It’s because I refuse to associate myself with something with such a high rate of failure.
At any rate, I hope the upcoming information is helpful to you. I plan to update at least once a week with the training log. I would like to have a secondary post a week talking about certain relevant topics in greater detail.
Feel free to comment and subscribe. Let me know what kind of training you’ve started and how your workouts are. Are they similar to mine?
Week 1: I’m Just Getting Warmed Up
Here we go! This week is special to me since it’s the first week of the 5K training using the guidance of the Couch To 5K program. I’m a little nervous. Historically, I always hated the first workout of a new program.
The anxiety of performance usually gets me pretty good. The funny thing is though, I used to run! Despite the looming thoughts of doom in my head, I made the decision to get back into shape by saying aloud: “I’m going to do this.”
I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not as good as I once was. I also know it’s going to take a lot of effort to get to where I used to be. What’s more, I know that I can get better with time and effort.
Let’s jump right into the workout by looking at the curriculum of the Couch To 5K program.
For the 1st week, at a frequency of 3 times, the original workout is as follows:
|Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 3|
|Brisk 5-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.|
I did a little more than the prescribed workout since I’m a big dummy. In all seriousness though, I did a little more because I’ve been doing martial arts for a couple of months and my cardio threshold is a bit higher than someone straight off the couch with no physical training at all.
I also plan on doing the majority of these workouts on a treadmill since I do not have a safe location to run. Since I will be alternating running and walking, I decided on alternating speeds every 2 minutes instead of the 60 seconds and 90 seconds respectively. I want to touch the buttons and settings of the treadmill as little as possible.
So I did the 5-minute brisk walk warmup and then alternated running and walking every 2 minutes until I got to 25 total minutes. After the 25 minutes were up, I did a light cooldown walk at a slower speed.
This wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but this workout kicked my butt. I could feel my joints and muscles shifting a bit, getting used to the motions. I felt a bit of pressure in my upper chest and I had a side stitch on my right side.
By the time I entered the 3rd period of running things got a little better. I ran the whole time during the running periods. I was able to nonchalantly gaze at the time to make sure I was in the proper intervals. I was proud of myself for finally getting things moving today.
I felt pretty good today. Things went as expected except I looked at the timer a little more than Monday. I was able to finish this workout by running the whole time during the running periods once again. After the workout was complete, I stretched out a little bit by swinging my legs around.
This workout was pretty hard. I found myself looking at the timer a lot. I added a little ab work in the form of leg lifts before jumping on the treadmill. I finished this workout by running the whole time during the running periods once again.
My side stitch came back and stuck with me the whole time. I stretched out my legs after the workout once again.
Even now as I’m typing this my right side still hurts, well after my workout. I really feel it when I breathe deeply. It makes me wonder if I stretched or bruised something.
Update: The pain went away by Sunday 1/18. It was nothing serious.
There you have it. The first week has been completed. I managed to do really well and was able to do a little more than some of the basic stuff. Overall, I feel pretty confident I can do this. I have the time and the will, barring any serious injuries, there is no reason why I can’t do this.
Week 2: It’s Already a Rollercoaster
Coming hot off the heels of last week’s success I dove into week 2. This time I upped the running and walking intervals to 3 minutes.
The 2nd week had the following workout at a frequency of 3 times:
|Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 3|
|Brisk 5-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.|
Once again, I added some variation since this week’s prescribed workout is similar to the one I did last week. After the 5-minute brisk walk warmup, I alternated running for 3 minutes and walking for 3 minutes until I got to 26 total minutes including the warmup. After the workout, I had a slower cooldown walk.
Holy cow this man is on fire! I don’t know what happened but I felt great this morning. Is it the fact that I ran in the morning as opposed to the late afternoon? I don’t know but I could have run more than the amount that I did.
I forced myself to walk when the running periods were over. In some cases, I overran by a few seconds because I wasn’t paying attention to the timer. If I don’t follow anything else from the Couch To 5K program, it will at least be the mantra of not skipping ahead.
The polar opposite of Monday’s workout, in the same week no less. I had a late meeting with my boss and instead of running into the fitness center around 3:00 PM like I usually do, I ended up getting in there closer to 4:00 PM.
This in itself wasn’t so bad but it was the icing on the cake for the day I had. This workout was brutal. I found myself glued to the timer, itching to change the running speed to walking speed down to the second.
I managed to get through it though, running the whole time during the running periods. I also was able to do some leg lifts for abs before hopping on the treadmill.
I spent most of today pumping myself up. I had a terrible headache all day. Surprisingly, this workout wasn’t so bad. I got on the treadmill at a decent time and the headache eventually went away. I was able to keep up the pace the whole time with pretty good precision. I forgot to stretch out my legs after this workout.
The 2nd week is now complete. This week was more of a test of will than anything else. I had highs and lows. I’m happy to report I was able to tough it out and put another perfect mark of attendance in the books.
Week 3: Ramping it Up
This week starts the staggered training. This is inherently the week the running starts to ramp up.
The 3rd week has the original workout at a frequency of 3 times:
|Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 3|
|Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then do 2 repetitions of the following: Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds), Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds), Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes), and Walk 400 yards (or 3 minutes)||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then do 2 repetitions of the following: Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds), Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds), Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes), and Walk 400 yards (or 3 minutes)||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then do 2 repetitions of the following: Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds), Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds), Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes), and Walk 400 yards (or 3 minutes)|
I added a little variation to this week as well, since I wanted to aline the staggered training with my first 2 weeks. In essence, the 1st jog period is the amount from the 2nd week and the 2nd jog period is double that of the 1st period.
After the 5-minute brisk walk warmup, I ran for 2 minutes and then walked for 2 minutes. After the 2 minute walk, I ran for 4 minutes and walked for 4 minutes. After the 4 minute walk, I repeated all 4 periods once again. This totaled 29 minutes including the warmup. After the workout, I had a slower-paced cooldown walk.
This workout was a bit difficult. Just when I got in the groove, it was time to switch tempo. I found myself having a hard time walking during the walking periods in between the runs.
I was constantly finding myself in the rear of the treadmill, maybe a step or so away from sliding right off. My calves and shins became very tight about halfway through the workout. I couldn’t even wiggle my toes and my feet felt like they had 50-pound weights on them.
I wondered if I could push through it. I toughed it out and managed to complete the workout 100%.
This workout was tough as well. My legs got a little stiff like last time but not nearly as bad. I was constantly eyeing the time, however. I lagged behind during the walking periods a little more than Monday.
My foot nearly slipped off this time so I made a harder effort to keep towards the front of the treadmill this time. I managed to run during the whole running period once again.
After the workout, I was able to remember to stretch my legs by swinging them around.
This workout was the best of the week. I didn’t have nearly as much trouble keeping pace. My legs didn’t give me any trouble and I mostly stayed towards the front of the treadmill.
I felt good today. As always, I ran the whole time once more during the running periods without stopping.
The 3rd week was definitely tough but it’s now complete. Another perfect attendance week down, 6 harder weeks to go.
Week 4: Focused on the End Result
The 4th week has the original workout at a frequency of 3 times:
|Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 2|
|Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then: Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds), Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes), Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes), Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds), and Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then: Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds), Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes), Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes), Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds), and Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then: Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds), Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes), Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes), Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds), and Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)|
I return to form this week. Once you’ve reviewed the prescribed workout you’ll know exactly why. It wasn’t my intention in the first place to switch things up. I was simply positioning the workout closer to my limits.
The staggered running times for this week are almost doubled. The workouts totaled around 28 minutes apiece including the warmup. After the workout, I had a slower-paced cooldown walk.
After what happened last week with my legs, I decided to stretch out a little more. Even still, my calves and shins became tight about halfway through the workout.
This workout was tough but I managed to power through it. Once again, I ran the entire time during the running periods. I stretched out a little bit after the workout.
I stretched out again before this workout. My legs still got a little stiff but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the last 2 weeks. This workout felt pretty good. I felt very strong today.
When there were times of fatigue and pain I thought of my end goal. I thought about having that runner’s bib attached to my shirt while I celebrated with my friends after the 5K. I ran during the whole running period.
This workout was pretty bad in terms of ease. Funny enough, I didn’t have leg pain or tense or cramping muscles. My body performed well as far as pain and movement are concerned but I got so tired. I felt myself taking shallow breaths.
I also felt my energy levels were in the negative. I tried to visualize my end goal once again, but it was to no avail. I then focused on my breathing, taking long breaths. I was breathing in longer and exhaling longer.
I also repeated to myself that “I am strong and my inner-man is strong.” I said those types of things over and over again, like a mantra. I focused on what I wanted to be and finally finished the workout. I ran the whole time once more during the running periods without stopping.
The 4th week was another butt-kicker. I’m proud to say I completed it successfully. Another perfect attendance was recorded.
Week 5: Turbulence Ahead
Just when I’m trying to conquer the limitations of my body, a curveball is thrown in my direction.
But first, let’s take a look at week 5’s prescribed workout. The 5th week has the original workout at a frequency of 3 times:
|Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 3|
|Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then: Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes), Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes), Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), and Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then: Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes), Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes), and Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then: Jog 2 miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking|
This is the week where the running begins to get more consistent. There are longer run periods and workout 3 has no staggered running at all.
I’m sad to say I missed a day this week. It’s not through lack of trying though. I found out on Tuesday the 10th that my landlord wasn’t going to fix a mold issue in the townhouse I was renting. This was after weeks of submitting work orders, emailing, calling, and going to the management office several times.
When the mold spot was finally looked at, the landlord simply wanted to cut out the water stain/mold growth, effectively patching the sheetrock and not treating the mold in the house. I mentioned this wasn’t good enough and later that day around 5:30 PM he hand-delivered a notice to vacate the premises by the following Tuesday.
Update: This property management company is garbage. They were later featured in the news since they closed up shop and disappeared, pocketing owner rents. I knew the manager of the company was an asshole, but holy cow, I did not suspect unethical behavior and fraud to go with it.
Since this letter was delivered so late I actually had 6 days to find a new place to live, move into that place, clean the old place, and follow their checkout procedures. This is all while working full time and having an extremely limited budget.
Despite these challenges, I found an apartment complex I was able to move into on Wednesday. I then moved all day Wednesday to an apartment that wasn’t on the first floor. I definitely got my exercise in but it wasn’t running for mileage. I was able to workout on Friday so let’s take a look at the 2 days I was able to workout.
I forgot to stretch before this workout but it didn’t come back to bite me. I did, however, do some ab work before the workout. I felt pretty good. I needed to motivate myself but I performed pretty well.
I could feel the heat rising from my body. The workout was pretty fantastic. I did remember to stretch a little afterward. The total workout time was 26 minutes including the warmup walk and not including the cooldown walk afterward.
All things considered, this was a fantastic workout. I ran on the treadmill at the fitness center at my new apartment complex. The 2 treadmills I tried were pretty abysmal though. The first one sank so much when I was on it that I had to get off. The 2nd one appeared to be satisfactory until I started running after the warmup walk.
I guess the belt was loose because I kept getting the sensation of slipping on a slick surface every 20 seconds or so. There were 2 other treadmills in the room but there were people on them. I decided to keep one hand on the grip in front of me and used my other hand to swing normally.
I was fairly uncomfortable but I ran the whole time once more during the running periods without stopping. I ended up doing Workout 1 again because I was thinking this week was the same workout every day as the previous weeks. I felt great until I realized that I was supposed to run 2 miles without stopping today.
I was a bit distracted and rightfully so. No matter, it was still a good workout. I managed to overexert my right hamstring somehow though. I walked with a limp for the rest of the day.
Update: Everything was back to normal the next day. I’m starting to recover faster than I used to from soreness, fatigue, and minor injuries.
The 5th week is now over but I wasn’t able to complete it successfully. I was a bit bummed that I’m behind. I made a decision that I wasn’t going to miss a workout and something happened out of my control.
If you’ve made it this far, I want to say that I haven’t given up. I’m still trucking forward and will try hard next week to fit into the current workout plan. Sometimes things happen and you’ve got to roll with the punches.
I was briefly depressed but quickly put a new goal in my head and overall I was proud of how this week turned out. I managed to react quickly and work out when I could.
The 5K I want to run is in roughly a month away. It’s time to turn up the heat.
Week 6: Still Behind, But Still Improving
|Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 3|
|Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then: Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes), Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes), Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), and Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then: Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes), Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes), and Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then: Jog 2-1/4 miles (or 22 minutes) with no walking|
Today was a holiday so I wasn’t at work and didn’t feel like going to work to use the fitness center. I ended up going to the fitness center at my apartment complex again. This time I used another treadmill. This one works just fine, which is a good thing since there are only 4 treadmills which only leaves 1 more I haven’t been on yet!
I felt pretty good during the run even though I’m terribly sick, again. It was hard to breathe properly but I managed to do it. I had the normal 5-minute warmup walk, slightly faster than usual, and then went into 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 3 minutes and 45 seconds of running, 4 minutes of walking, and then finally 1 minute and 15 seconds of running.
This was insanely tough. I counted down every second of that last bit of running. I told myself I wasn’t getting off the treadmill until I finished my 18 minutes of running. I was proud of myself when I finished the running even though I had to break up the last bit.
Besides the obvious miss of workout last week, this was the first workout where I couldn’t run the whole running period without stopping. I felt pretty good until I went home to compare my status with the curriculum.
I was supposed to run 20 minutes today without stopping. Yikes, so I’m a bit behind. Not only did I miss a day but I can’t quite make it to 20 minutes of straight running yet. I’ve been sick twice this year and it’s only February.
I also had an emergency move. I’m not trying to make excuses even though it’s sounding like I am. My plan is to keep going trying to do the next week’s prescribed run schedule as best I can. I will run this 5K race, or mostly run it and walk the rest.
Back on the familiar treadmill again. I stretched out a little bit before this workout since this will require some longer running than usual. After the normal 5-minute warmup walk, I ran for 10 straight minutes, walked 5 minutes, then ran for the second 10 straight minutes. This workout was a huge success.
I’m so proud of myself for being able to do it. The only way I could have made it better was to run the 2nd 10-minute run sooner than 5 minutes. A 10-minute run is the longest run I’ve been able to do so far. It was pretty hard but I felt really good afterward.
I knew going into this run that 22 minutes on the treadmill probably wasn’t going to happen. That didn’t stop me from trying though. My goal was to try to hit last week’s prescribed run at 20 minutes. I managed to get to 15 minutes without stopping. I walked for 7 minutes then ran for 5 minutes.
I didn’t quite hit my 20-minute goal for non-stop running but I did manage to run for 20 minutes. I’ll take the compromise. Once again, I hit a new all-time high.
Despite not hitting my goals twice this week, I actually was able to up my longest run time twice this week. I have mixed feelings about it but, nonetheless, I’m happy with the results.
Week 7: Trucking Ahead
|Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 3|
|Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).|
I felt fine in the morning but for some reason, my neck and shoulders started tightening up and I began to get a headache. I later got a pain in my right side that felt similar to a strain or charley horse.
My neck was stiff in the morning but this pain just crept up on me. I’m not really sure what happened. Despite this being out of the blue, I used to have a tight neck and shoulders along with headaches on a daily basis. I’ve been able to cut it down to every once in a while but haven’t quite eliminated it fully.
Unfortunately this neck, head, and shoulder pain lasted all throughout the day. This is compounded by the fact that I’m still congested. I’ve been sick for way too long. Not to worry, I still ran though. I just tried to run for as long as I can, knowing that running the full 25 minutes was most certainly not going to happen.
I stretched a little bit and after the 5-minute warmup walk, I ran for 10 minutes. After a 5-minute walk break, I ran 5 more minutes. I walked until I hit the distance of a 5K so I could at least start getting the mileage in. I can run or walk the 5K run, just as long as I can complete it in 1 hour.
I finished the mileage in about 47 minutes. Not quite the progress I should be making in week 7 but I’m still getting in there to try.
Earlier today I signed up for the 5K run! My predicted time was set to 35:45. I was a bit worried about that time being too quick since that’s not what I would have picked but I’ve become ok with it.
If I run the entire thing and keep pace around 5.2 miles per hour, which is slower than what I usually run, I’ll be extremely close to the predicted time. It’s a reasonable goal to shoot for, one that I didn’t have an intention of making but one I’m interested in now, especially if I continue to have trouble getting to 25+ minutes.
My neck and shoulders are still tense and hurting. I felt a little better today though. My goal going into today was to run at least 20 minutes of the 25 minutes I should be running. Like a dummy, I forgot to stretch before the run.
After the 5 minute warmup walk, I got to it. I felt fine in the beginning. Around the 11 minute mark (these times I’m mentioning will include the 5-minute warmup walk) I started looking down at the timer. Around 15 minutes I wondered if I could keep up the pace and do the 20 minutes.
I kept at it and tried to focus on my breathing. At 19 minutes I started getting really tired. I thought of this hard work as necessary to complete my goals. Which was obviously true, but I was re-affirming it to myself that this was necessary and I need to keep going.
At 22 minutes and 30 seconds, I couldn’t wait for the run to be over. I kept at it and forced myself not to stop. At 23 minutes and 45 seconds, I stared at the clock and counted down the entire 75 seconds. Once I hit 25 minutes I immediately changed the speed to walking speed and attempted to catch my breath.
I could feel the heat coming off of me. I went home this day excited, not only because I did way better than this week or the previous week, but I also hit a new record for myself. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to run 20 minutes non-stop.
I managed to do this at a different time than normal and without having lunch. Left my lunch at home and didn’t bring a jacket. It was rainy and cold so I decided not to get lunch since I have to walk down the street to get to a restaurant.
The last thing I want to do when trying to get back to 100% health is to get sick again for the 3rd time or even get worse than I’m currently feeling. Against all odds, I managed to hit my goal. What an incredible workout.
My neck and shoulders were in pain most of this week. The tension and pain have mostly subsided. I couldn’t really notice it today without paying attention to it.
Despite looming thoughts of defeat I tried to keep my mind focused.
Whenever a mental picture came about of me drowning in a sea of doubt, I began to think of completing my time for today. I got the feeling of completing the run.
As you could imagine, this was quite difficult since this whole week is set up for 25 minutes of non-stop running and I have yet to hit that time. The time of day was 2:45 PM, a whole 15 minutes before I normally go workout. I couldn’t get the run out of my mind so I got ready to workout a tad early.
I made a point to not look at the time for a while. The first time I glanced at the timer, I was a little over the 15 minute mark. This was of course including the 5-minute warmup walk but I was still excited to hit 10 minutes of non-stop running pretty easily.
I looked at the timer for around 18 minutes and wondered if I could make it to 25 minutes, let alone 30 minutes to finally be able to catch up. I looked at the timer again around 20 minutes, then once more at 25 minutes.
Excited that I haven’t keeled over and died yet, I tried for 30 minutes. From here I was getting pretty tired. I stayed focused on my breathing and made the decision not to stop until I hit 30 minutes.
I looked at the timer for minutes 27 through 29. Then once I looked one last time at 29:36, I counted down the last 24 seconds. I did it. Not only did I just break a personal record for non-stop running, at least in a very long time, I also caught up with the curriculum after being behind for 3 weeks.
As I slowed the treadmill speed down, I muttered “I did it” and put my hands in the air. It took a little effort, but I managed to catch my breath as I did the cooldown walk. Another thing I forgot to mention is my congestion has gone down quite a bit and it was far easier to breathe than it’s ever been during this 5K training.
Even though this training session was hard, it was probably the smoothest session as well. I’m beginning to build up endurance and the aches and pains are starting to diminish quickly or not happen at all.
Today was a good day.
I’m happy with my results but I’m also looking ahead towards improvement.
Week 8: I Will Not Be Stopped
|Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 3|
|Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).|
Before I walked into the fitness center this afternoon, I was spotted by a co-worker. She noticed I was wearing workout clothes and asked “going into the fitness center?” I replied, “you got it.”
She followed up by saying “make us proud.” I smiled and replied, “I will.” I know full well that nobody is monitoring or otherwise counting on me to achieve my running goals. In fact, no one really cares about the results of my training.
That didn’t stop me from feeling like it was important and pretending that people were counting on me. Even though the lady I mentioned previously was just exchanging pleasantries, it had an effect on me. I used it to form a mental picture that this training was more than attaining a personal goal.
Anyway, on with today’s training. I keep forgetting to stretch before I run. It’s a nasty habit I keep forgetting to break. Luckily I do a warmup walk so it’s not a huge deal.
I looked at the time way more than I should have today but I felt good. I’m not going to illustrate every minute and second I looked at the clock. Suffice it to say, it’s another bad habit I have and I’m trying to break it. My goal was to run at least 25 minutes to be on par with Friday’s workout.
Once I got in the high 20s (warmup walk included), I decided to push through and hit 32 minutes, a total of 27 minutes of non-stop running. It was tough but I managed to pull it off. I was so proud of myself. The prescribed workout was to hit 28 minutes of non-stop running but I won’t lose any sleep by missing 60 seconds.
I shot for 27 minutes and I hit it. A most excellent day indeed. My goal is to push through and hit 28 minutes of non-stop running on Wednesday and Friday.
I was still a bit sore from Tuesday night. We ended up doing kicks for the first half and the second half was sparring. Like full contact, only certain moves score points in sparring. So the matches ended up being pretty long.
You would think today would be the ideal day to remember to stretch but it probably wouldn’t surprise you that I didn’t stretch. Even if I did, I don’t think it would have prepared me for this grueling day of training. Not only did my legs hurt, but I also got into the fitness center late since work got a little busy towards the end of this workday.
I didn’t want to extend my day for too long and I didn’t want to injure myself so I ended up running for 18 minutes without stopping. That’s a total of 23 minutes, including the warmup walk. This is a full 10 minutes short of my goal.
Now you may see this as a failure since I missed a little over a third of today’s training. I don’t consider this a failure by any means. When I say that “I will not be stopped,” as you see in this week’s title, I’m referring to getting a workout in no matter what and running the 5K on March 14th.
I went into this training series with the intention of completing every bit of training perfectly to the second. As we’ve seen in my example, life happens. Many things in life aren’t controllable so you have to adapt. I switched my focus to giving this training my best shot.
It’s probably a good thing I toned it down a bit, my legs were even more sore later this night.
I made a point to use a roller the night before to try to lengthen my leg muscles. My legs, especially the calves, are still a bit sore. It’s not as bad as it was Tuesday and Wednesday but bad enough to try to take care of it.
Periodically throughout the day, I said to myself “I WILL STRETCH TODAY.” I need to since I will attempt to get as close to 30 minutes of running as possible. I did in fact stretch today.
The workout was still tough but I managed to hit 28 minutes of non-stop running. I’m proud to hit the target for this week’s amount. I seem to do pretty well during the first 3rd of the run. Then, up to the second 3rd of the run, it really starts hitting me.
I tend to look at the timer quite a bit during this phase. Finally, the last 3rd of the run is pretty grueling. Normally I’m looking at the timer way more than I should and I can’t wait to be done. I have the body tolerance, I just have to get the mental part in check.
I’m excited. I can’t believe the 5K I’ve been training for is coming up in 1 week. Next week I need to focus and hit those 30-minute workouts!
Week 9: Wrapping Up
|Workout 1||Workout 2||Workout 3|
|Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).||Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).||The final workout! Congratulations! Brisk 5-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).|
Mission complete! I hit 30 minutes of non-stop running.
The last 10 minutes are still a butt kicker though. I’m excited that I’m capable of running 30 minutes, but now I need to get in a groove for the rest of the week so that hundreds of people don’t think I’m dying when I get over halfway through the 5K.
I forgot to stretch again but I didn’t have too much muscular trouble. I had my right shoulder, lower back on the left side and right shin hurt throughout the run.
I’m not sure what is causing such a strange zig-zag level of pain. It’s probably my running form or my shoes. I recently bought new running shoes I’m going to start breaking in tonight.
I’m so excited!
I started the day off feeling a bit off and sore. It’s also bleak out there, a day of dense fog and wet roads. I need to get in the zone. Today is potentially the last day I will be running before the 5K.
Tomorrow is another sparing day and Friday is right before the 5K! I can’t get injured before the big day! Not only that, but I will also be picking up my runner’s packet right after work on Friday.
Everything is awesome! I hit my 30-minute mark once again with minimal pain and suffering.
The last third or so of the run is still difficult. However, I should be more than capable of completing this 5K. I can hit the 3.1 miles in roughly 36 minutes including 5 minutes of walking so I’m extremely close to my predicted time.
I would like to run on Friday but it may not be a good idea. My legs hurt in a way that feels more than muscle fatigue. The last thing I want to do is pull something or injure myself before the big day.
I did not train on Friday the 13th. I didn’t want to risk injury at all.
It sounds lame I know, but it’s a decision I stand by. I’m going to run the 5K tomorrow morning no matter what!
Mission Complete – Another Full 5K Run in the Books
Today is a most glorious day. I did the 5K run in its entirety. I was so focused that I don’t even remember the whole run. I just have snapshots in my head of the run and of some of the people who were extravagantly dressed.
I did it. I made a training goal and met those goals 9 weeks later.
In the beginning, I could barely run for 2 minutes. And now, I ran an entire 5K race without stopping. I was pretty close to my predicted time. This was the only time I came anywhere close to my predicted time, even though I was in better shape in previous runs.
This was mostly due to just signing up for the run and not caring about the time. So the times picked were random, mostly hovering around the 30-minute mark.
I didn’t stay for the after party. I went back to the parking garage a few blocks away and went to the nearest gas station to pick up a couple of drinks. I went home shortly after.
9 Week Training Recap
|Week||Day||Weekday||Great||OK||Rough||Warmup||Walk||Walk Periods||Run||Run Periods||Workout Total|
|Week Total||Day Total||–||Days Feeling Great||Days Feeling OK||Days Feeling Rough||Warmup Total||Walking Total||Walking Periods Total||Running Total||Running Periods Total||Total Workout|
I actually lost close to 30 lbs over the last 3 months, averaging out to around 10 lbs per month.
I started at 293 lbs and after training, ended around 265 lbs.
I felt so good after this race. I can’t believe that not only did I run a whole 5K but I was able to excel when my training was more tumultuous than not.