Jim Fixx I am Not

August 29, 2007 · 4 comments

I finally started my cardio program this week.  Having done some jogging in the past (I even ran a 10k once) I found myself drawn to Cool Running’s Couch-to-5K Running Plan, which it seems like a lot of other folks are trying as well.  The idea is you start easy with mostly walking and some jogging and you make slow progressions over the course of 9 weeks until you are able to run the full 5k.  This seemed like a sensible approach to me.

I’ll be doing my cardio on a treadmill, at least until I feel like I won’t be looking like an idiot to the outside world.  The first thing to decide on was what pace I wanted to do my brisk warm-up walk, my normal walk and my jog.  I decided on 3.2 mph, 3.0 mph and 5.0 mph.  These times are very slow.  For example at a pace of 6 mph you are still only talking a 10 minute mile.  According to the Man Test I need to get up to an 8 minute mile just to be average.  So I thought I picked a reasonable pace.

Nope.  It kicked me in the ass.

Including the 5 minute walk the program is supposed to take 25 minutes.  I lasted 12.5.  I just couldn’t do any more.  My feet felt great thanks to my new shoes, but I was just completely beaten down.  That’s not good.  So, I’ll be adjusting those paces down even more, which is just pathetic to think about but I’ve got to start somewhere.  It’s certainly going to take longer than those 9 weeks for me.

 Jim Fixx I am not.

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Angela August 29, 2007 at 12:36 pm

I started the Couch to 5K two years ago this January. I’ve continued jogging at least once a week since completing a 10K last November….usually, I run twice.

And I still run a 12-13 minute mile. Now THAT is slow. I can run 3-4 miles at a clip, but I run them slow….but I figure, I’m doing it instead of sitting on the couch, still. Right? Right!

Distance over time is my motto for now. It’s easier on my psyche.

john August 29, 2007 at 11:22 pm

That’s the adjustment I’m making too Angela. I put in a complete week 1 workout today but I had to ramp down to 3mph for the brisk warm-up walk, 2.5mph for the walk and 3.5mph for the jog. My heart rate was decently elevated and I put in a pretty good sweat, so I felt good about it. But because I was going so slow I only ended up going 1.22 miles (1.96km) including the warm up, so not even close to the 5k goal. Still, it’s a start. And I’m not on the couch either!

fatblokethin August 31, 2007 at 4:09 am

I have tried the c25K as well and had the exact same experience. I have resolved myself to losing more weight before going on the programme.

What is not made clear in the hoo-hah surrounding the whole c25k thing is that this programme only really works for people that are NOT grossly overweight, but just mildly over weight and /or unfit.

I think once I lose another 20 pounds ( i would then be 220lbs-ish) I will start the programme again properly.

I am still excercising but I am doing cardio and fitness stuff in the gym (I am finding this a MUCH better option than the constant dissapointment of failing to complete my c25K effort).

john August 31, 2007 at 9:11 pm

Funny how they don’t mention that eh? I guess it should be obvious. In any case, the idea of making slow incremental improvements toward a goal is still something I am interested in and I’m going to stick with it - I’ll just be at week 1 for a long time as I work on increasing my times. I’m still getting a good sweat at the lower speeds and that’s a good sign.

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