Don’t Skip the Cardio

December 18, 2007 · 9 comments

It’s been about 5 weeks since I have used the treadmill.  Since that time I did get three 3 miles run in, but other than that - no cardio.  As you may remember (or maybe not since it has been so long since I have done any!) I am basing my cardio workout on the Couch to 5k plan.  This is a 9 week plan but I think that truly is for athletes getting off the couch - not people like me.  Me, I’ve been stuck on week 3 for two months now.

The good news is I have started up the cardio again like I promised myself I would this week.  The other good news is that I was so encouraged by my outdoor runs, despite not hitting the treadmill for over a month and not coming anywhere near actually fully completing a week 3 workout, that I actually stepped it up to week 4 this week.  The bad news is my treadmill totally kicked me in the arse.

For those of you following at home, this is what week 4 looks like:

Brisk 5 minute walk
Jog for 3 minutes
Walk for 90 seconds
Jog for 5 minutes

And a bunch of other things that don’t matter because this is where I downshifted back into a week 3 interval.  That first 3 minutes I was able to do but I only got about 2 minutes into the 5 minute run when my heart rate elevated past 170 and I just had to slow down.  And then I ended up walking most of the way and I quit after 30 minutes rather than going the full 45.

So that’s kind of depressing.

With strength training I have noticed that when I take a break I come back stronger than before.  Not so with cardio though, I think this is something I need to stick with.  I’m definitely back to week 3 for awhile.

Don’t skip the cardio!

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Steve December 18, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Hey John,

Keep plugging away at that 5K goal. I’ve found that you need to hit that cardio 5 days a week to really see the results quickly.

I didn’t try the couch to 5k program; rather I marked out a 5k route with my car (around my neighborhood) and just ran it 5 days a week.

The first day I ran for 1 minute and 12 seconds. I stopped at the corner, almost puked and walked the rest of the way. (An hour and 10 minutes). I just kept plugging away and within 8 weeks I ran my first 5k race without stopping. 30 minutes and 58 seconds.

Just keep focusing on that goal and you will get there.

FYI - my personal best is 23:15 in a race and I got beat by a 73 year old man!

john - from fat to fit December 19, 2007 at 6:07 am

Damn, that’s impressive Steve. Even once I get to the point where I am running the entire 5k I’m only going to be at a 36 minute pace. I can’t even fathom 23 minutes!

John December 19, 2007 at 7:13 am

“It’s been about 5 weeks since I have used the treadmill.

Have I ever told you how much I hate cardio? HA!

I really have to work to stick with it.

workout mommy December 19, 2007 at 9:40 pm

yes, it’s frustrating at how fast we lose our cardio conditioning, isn’t it? Get back on the ‘mill and be consistent. Pretty soon you’ll be jogging for 10 minutes and not even realize it! :)

GroovyBabe December 20, 2007 at 6:59 am

I couldn’t agree more. I recently had two weeks off the cardio and it took me a week to get any sense of fitness back and set me back weeks. I am now jogging for 10 minutes straight (me!) so it is worth sticking with. Good luck with week 4 when you start it.

Chris December 20, 2007 at 8:52 am

“This is a 9 week plan but I think that truly is for athletes getting off the couch - not people like me. Me, I’ve been stuck on week 3 for two months now.”

It may seem like it, but it’s really not. I’ve been following the Couck-to-5K program for the last 2 1/2 months, and I’m on week 9. Not only have I never been what anyone would call an athlete, I absolutely hated running for my entire life until I started this program. Now I can run over 2.5 miles uninterrupted.

Don’t get too discouraged — everyone builds up fitness at their own pace, right?

Skinny Guy December 20, 2007 at 11:27 am

Exercise, whether cardio or strength training, has been my nemesis since starting my weight loss, so I can relate to your inconsistency on the treadmill.

I’m planning on making fitness my focus for the new year, and as long as I take it as seriously as I did my weight, I should do fine.

Chris December 20, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Incidentally, week 4 kicked my ass the first time I attempted it, too.

Steve December 21, 2007 at 12:04 am

Isn’t funny how many people hate cardio? I know I did, but only because I wasn’t very good at it. After time though I started having fun with it and changed my attitude towards it.

Training for races really helps. I imagine all the people I will be beating and how high I’ll place at the end. Arrogance works for training and pumps me up, race day is a different story. Did I tell you I was beaten by a 73 year old man already :)

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