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Couch to 5K Program question (Read 1055 times)

    So I'm just competing week 5 of the program - jogging 20 minutes without walking. My dilemma is this - I'm only reaching about 1.6 miles within 20 minutes (mostly due to side stitch issues which I'm working on). Do you think I should move on to week 6 or wait until I can actually do 2 miles in 20 minutes? Kimmer
    My goal in life is to be as happy as I possibly can. - Me


    Needs more cowbell!

      I know I wasn't doing the 3 miles (5k) in 30 minutes when I finished. I can only do 3 miles that fast at race pace and I've been running for 5 months. I think they assume that *most* people would be up to a 10-minute mile pace by the end of the program. That's one reason I run for time and not distance. I'm no speed demon and it's easier for me to fit runs in that are X number of minutes than it is for me to plan to run X number of miles in a given run, since I am usually crunched for time. k

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

        Yeah, I have the same time-crunch situation. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't moving too fast in the program. I don't think I'm really built to be a speed-runner. At least not yet...so I do run for time, but I was just noticing that I wasn't reaching the '2 mile' mark that the program mentioned and was just curious if that was a bad thing. Kimmer
        My goal in life is to be as happy as I possibly can. - Me
          I had another thought, btw, regarding this program. I'm actually running 6-times a week instead of 3, just cause I have the availibility. Do you think I'm not giving my body enough time to rest between runs, since I'm just starting out? Maybe I should cut back to 3 for now? Kimmer
          My goal in life is to be as happy as I possibly can. - Me
          Mile Collector


          Abs of Flabs

            I agree with Kirsten, that the plan make certain assumptions that aren't valid for all runners. As you have already suggested, you can decouple time and distance and just run for either of them. The goal of the plan is to build up your endurance gradually so you don't get hurt because you got over zealous. Use it only as a guide. You'll have to decide if you should follow the plan by time or distance and stick to it. As you get stronger, your pace will increase. For now, just go out there and enjoy the nice cool weather here in New England. Looks like the sun's finally out today.


            Needs more cowbell!

              I think I would cut back to maybe 4-5. Or do the 3 days/week with plans to increase to 5-6 once you graduate. Maybe you aren't giving yourself enough rest, as you are thinking. When I first started I think the 3 days/week was the perfect amount. I've been running 4 days/week all Summer and come Fall I will be going to 5. I'm at the point now where I really feel antsy on my rest days. k

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              Mile Collector


              Abs of Flabs

                I had another thought, btw, regarding this program. I'm actually running 6-times a week instead of 3, just cause I have the availibility. Do you think I'm not giving my body enough time to rest between runs, since I'm just starting out? Maybe I should cut back to 3 for now? Kimmer
                Assuming that you started your running life 5 weeks ago (because you just completed week 5 of the program), then YES! You should not be running that often. It takes a while for your body to adjust to the pounding. It takes a while to build stronger bones and to grow stronger muscles to support the motions involved in running. I'm inclined to say you should cut back to 3-4 times a week, but it really depends on how you feel the next day. If you feel refreshed, then you can run more days per week. However, if you feel tired or have no energy, then you might be over training. If you're not sure, then it's better to be safe and cut back. Another good rule of thumb is to cut back every 2 or 3 weeks in your weekly mileage so your body can recover.
                  Time is just a number. I know many runners who've been running and HAVE run marathons that still run 11-12 minute miles. As far as moving on, if you feel like you can go further move on. As far as how many days a week you should run. My thought is to cut down to 3/4 days of running. Pam

                  Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson

                    Kimmer - Unless you're on a strict time-table for a specific race, don't worry about repeating a week here or there in the couch-to-5K programs. They're supposed to get you out the other end able to run a half hour without hurting yourself and still have you enjoying running. That's it! If you feel you would benefit from repeating a week, do so. But don't fret that you're not running "fast enough" just because you can "only" run 1.6 miles in 20 minutes. Girl, you're doing better than I am if you're going that pace. A thought for you - side stiches are often a phase people go through, but you might be able to get rid of yours by slowing down your running a notch or two. Makes things a lot more enjoyable... Enjoy! Janell

                    Roads were made for journeys...


                    Needs more cowbell!

                      As you get stronger, your pace will increase.
                      Ha...I keep waiting for this to happen, LOL! My pace seems almost etched in stone, but at least I can now run 8+ miles at my pace--that increase in endurance is something! But I am sure that I could now run a 5k race a bit faster than my first 5k race back in late June. Big grin k

                      I shoot pretty things! ~

                      '14 Goals:

                      • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                      Mile Collector


                      Abs of Flabs

                        Ha...I keep waiting for this to happen, LOL! My pace seems almost etched in stone, but at least I can now run 8+ miles at my pace--that increase in endurance is something! But I am sure that I could now run a 5k race a bit faster than my first 5k race back in late June. Big grin k
                        But it did happen for you! You just said you could run a 5k a bit faster than before. Increasing endurance will definitely help you improve your speed for shorter distances. You can't expect to run 8 miles with a faster pace if that's the longest you've ran.
                          A thought for you - side stiches are often a phase people go through, but you might be able to get rid of yours by slowing down your running a notch or two. Makes things a lot more enjoyable...
                          Hey Wingz, Thanks for the kind words. Also, re: slowing down - I think that's a great idea, but my boyfriend (God bless him for running with me and doing this program with me!) would kick my butt if I slowed down any more. He seems to be doing better on this program than me, at least he seems to find it easier than I do. Seriously tho, I'm thinking him and I are gonna have to start doing our own separate running in the morning. Kimmer
                          My goal in life is to be as happy as I possibly can. - Me
                            I have been trying to run 6 days each week, but weather as cut that to about 4 or 5. Fact is I don't think I have yet actually run 6 days. I bought a simple heart monitor and use that to set my pace. Took some getting used to having a strap around my chest but I ignore it now and would not run without it! When is your 5K race? right now I am running about half that distance (walking when the HRM says my HR is of 75% my msx) and not doing to bad for time, being an fat old man in all. And when I run the 5K I digned up for (Sept 23) I'll finish, I am sure, although I may be walking across the finishline. BTW I happen to live in #20's home town.

                            To paraphrase an old poster: Today is the first day of the rest of your training. It doesn’t matter where you started or how far you’ve come. Today is the day. Your training didn’t start 6 weeks ago. Your training started the last time you hit the road. John “the Penguin” Bingham Life is not tried, it is merely survived if you're standing outside the fire

                              I actually think I'm gonna do a local Thanksgiving Day 5K. Should be fun. And yay for living in Tony's home town!!! Kimmer
                              My goal in life is to be as happy as I possibly can. - Me