Tuesday, July 13, 2010

C25K, Week 3, day 1

So, as some of you know, I'm working my way through the C25K program, also known as the couch to 5K program. After my overuse injury, I started over a few weeks ago, so today was the day that I started the third week.

After my last run, I told my husband that I didn't know if I could do it. I had just finished week 2, when the running intervals are 1.5 minutes. I didn't find it too tough to go from week one to week two. After all, I just went from 1 minute running intervals to 1.5, an increase of only 50%, only 30 seconds more.

Week 3 calls for 3 minute running intervals though. Um, don't know if anyone told the creator of this program, but that's double! Like a 100% increase. I was quite capable of those 1.5 minute intervals, but by the time I was done them I was ready for a walk break. 3 minutes?

My husband is a pretty level headed man, and isn't given to the same level of drama I tend to insert into my life. When I told him that I was a bit frightened of week 3, he looked at me and said "nothing to be frightened of. If you can't do it, you just do stay at week 2."

Simple as that, right?

Well, yes. It actually is pretty simple. Nothing says I have to follow the program exactly how it's written. In fact, I've already played with it at times: spending an extra day at week one when I switched from track running to outdoor running, starting over again after I messed up my knee.

Now having said that, I took that statement as a bit of a challenge. What do you mean if I can't do it? I never said I couldn't. Just that I wasn't sure. I might be able to do it. In fact, I think I can. I certainly can try.

So, this morning, after rolling out of bed at a crazy early time, I headed out to the path. I did my first interval, which was only 1.5 minutes, then, after it was time for the 3 minute running interval.

And, I discovered something about how to run.

Previously, when I did the running intervals, I had it in my head that I just had to run a short distance. Once I did that, I could walk. In some ways, this attitude is good. As a beginning runner, looking at it in such a small segment makes it much easier to get started. To get past those beginning distances though, I realized I had to look at it a different way.

Rather then looking forward and telling myself "probably just to that tree", I simply let myself fall into the running. I concentrated on my pace and looked out at the river. I wasn't just running to that tree or that rock; I was simply running. When the chime came to switch back to walking, I was actually a little surprised. Already?

And with that, I tore down another barrier. Sometimes it's easy to think our roadblocks are physical, but they're not always. A lot of those barriers are a mental thing and we just have to recognize that they aren't really there at all.

What are the barriers that you've come past? Which ones still remain?


  1. I don't get on the treadmill very often but when I do I love to do jogging intervals. I don't think I can call them 'running' because I am pretty slow even at my fastest. I find the time goes by so much faster when I am only concerned with 2-3 minutes spans.

  2. I've come to believe that most barriers are mental in nature. I have hit several while learning to live healthier and lose some of these pounds I've been carrying far too long; many obstacles which I never would have guessed in a million years.

    The craziest one (to me) is the fear of success; not "Will I succeed?" but "What will I do when I succeed?" I haven't been below 200lbs or have been able to run for more than 17 years. I don't know how to be like that anymore. It freaks me out to think that I can be anything like that again.

    I started the C25K program a couple of weeks ago, but had to drop it temporarily due to injury. I am looking forward at taking up the challenge again as soon as I'm able.

    I'm so glad you posted this. I can easily see myself having the exact same concern when I get to Week 3. I hope I can push through it as beautifully as you have. :)

  3. For running, its adding distance. Its hard when before you even step out the door you basically have yourself convinced that you can only do what you've already done. Even adding just 1km can require more of a pep talk than it took to get out the door.
    Which is right there with the whole barrier of trying something new. The unknown. Thats a hard one to break through.