Couch to 5k: Week One

Posted on Mar 25, 2016

Posted in: Couch to 5K

Couch to 5k: Week One

Hello Friends!  Welcome to week one of my Couch to 5k journal.  Click here if you are new here and need an introduction.  Otherwise I am happy to report that I made it through my first week.  Well, I never had any doubt about “making it” but I was nervous nonetheless.  At the first meeting, Coach Trisha and the mentors, Bill, Scott and Heather, put me at ease right away.  They stressed the importance of starting slow, especially if you are new to running.  It is important to acclimate your body to the effort running requires.  Going too hard too soon can actually lead to injuries.  The success of the program comes from building a slow, steady base and then gradually increasing that base.  That’s good news for slow runners like me.

On Tuesday night we met at the Appleton Ice Area in Memorial Park.  It was the first night so we made introductions and filled out some paperwork.  We talked briefly about what kind of goals we want to accomplish with the program.  The goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and have a timeline.  As easy example might be to run 5 miles, as seen in this graphic:

Set Your Goals

After some consideration my goals for the program are as follows:

  1. To incorporate running into my normal fitness routine after the program ends
  2. To run continuously for 30 minutes without stopping
  3. To run the Cellcom 5k in 30 minutes

Then we did quick, dynamic warm-up that looked like this.  It was cold and windy so we were anxious to get started.  The first workout was a simple running assessment.  The task: run ten minutes and then turn around.  The purpose of the assessment is to gauge your fitness level.  Coach Trisha asked each participant to remember where they were when they turned around.  At the end of the program we are going to take another assessment and compare the two.

There were three groups to choose from: a run-only group, a run-walk group that alternated one minute of running with one minute of walking and a walk-only group.  I chose the run-only group.  I was cold, as was everyone else, so we started out fast.  I slowed down to a more manageable pace once my body warmed up. When the ten minutes was done I took note of my location and then headed back to the Ice Arena.  On the way back the skies opened up and it started raining buckets.  I was soaked in a matter of minutes and, consequently, the return trip felt a lot longer.  The rain reminded me that it is important to dress for the elements. Synthetic clothing is best because, unlike cotton, it wicks the moisture away from your body.  Wet cotton can pull heat from your body and also chafe at pressure points.  I was glad to have splurged on a new running outfit for myself, including good shoes and socks. Once we were safely back to the Arena we did some simple stretches and called it a night.

On Thursday night I was happy to see a few more participants had joined our group.  After some more introductions, we did the same dynamic warm-up as before.  Our task: run 1.5 miles.  Again, I chose the run-only group.  Besides some mild soreness in my hip abductors, I felt strong.  I started slower this time. When I felt comfortable and warm, I increased my pace just a bit.  I completed 1.5 miles in 18 minutes which means I ran a 12 minute mile.  All in all it was a great start to the program, despite the rain.

Thanks for joining me this week. I will see you back here next week for the second installment on my journey to becoming a runner.  Until then keep running!

couch to 5k first night