I think it’s safe to say that graduating couch to 5k is one of the highlights of my summer. The program represented a long-term goal for my recovery from two broken bones, and I am so pleased to say that I conquered it!
I last checked in at the halfway point, which took us to right before the longer runs started. Confidence was high prior to Week 6, but I got served a whopping portion of humble pie.
- Week 6: 5:00 run/3:00 walk/8:00 run/3:00 walk/5:00 run
- Week 7: continuous 25:00 run
- Week 8: continuous 28:00 run
- Week 9: continuous 30:00 run
As an interval runner, these continuous runs were TERRIFYING, but I planned to stay as true to the program as possible.
So How Did The Last Weeks Go?
With the exception of Week 7, when we were in the mountains of North Carolina, everything went just fine. I was 100% not equipped for the elevation. Much as I didn’t want to take a break, I just postponed that week until we got home, so I didn’t do any kind of (additional) damage.
Other than that, my biggest issues were mental and emotional. I’m a head case athlete for sure.
What Did I Learn From the Experience?
I learned quite a bit about myself by graduating Couch to 5K. First, I learned that while intervals are comfortable, I can actually run a lot farther than I thought I could. I was also pretty pleased to learn that I haven’t experienced any of the anxiety I normally have towards the end of a run. Finally, I discovered that it’s ok to take it easy and a step at a time to reach my overall goals.
How Did I Celebrate?
With a big jump and a huge breakfast. Obviously.
I will also FINALLY complete my Starlight 5K virtual race from freaking December as my “untimed run.”
From here, I think I need to acclimate for a little bit. I think I will be comfortable settling at the 5K for a few weeks, and then it will be time to make a move. Before the pandemic, my goal was to be half marathon ready by December. It’s not a horribly unrealistic goal, but I think I will focus on getting to five miles, and then a 10K. Then I can see what happens.
I also need to decide about whether or not I will continue with straight running. The air quality has been terrible lately, thanks to summer humidity and the Saharan dust storm, so maybe I will ease up just a bit.
Do I Recommend This Program?
Graduating Couch to 5K for the second time emphasized how much I really do like the program. I would absolutely recommend it for new runners, and those coming back from injury. Yes, it does work off the premise that the user can lay down a 30:00 5K, but that really didn’t ruin it for me.
I found it a slow, steady and manageable way to come back from a serious injury without hurting myself. It wasn’t easy, especially in the last weeks when the intervals ended, but it wasn’t impossible, either.
Have you tried Couch To 5K?
Do you have any recommendations for a 10K program?
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