Couch to 5K, Week 7, continued: The Benefit of Walk Breaks

On Saturday, my husband and I were going on a day trip out of town to visit a friend and I got out for my run before we left. I did another 25 minute run on the Couch to 5K. I’ve sort of stalled at week 7 – most of the time I can run for 25 minutes straight, but at an incredibly slow pace. When I try to speed it up a little, it totally wears me out and I wind up having to walk about 8 minutes into my run, and then I have to take walk breaks every five minutes. I’m starting to accept that walk breaks are just part of my running style, and my time is a lot better when I walk and run. I sort of feel like cheating if I move on to the next week without being a more solid runner at the 25 minute mark. I don’t want this challenge to just fade away into the ether, though – I always see more progress if I’m following some kind of training program. I’m worried that I’ll finish it and it won’t be strong, and then I’ll be totally aimless. 

So like, the last time I did this 25 minute run and rain straight for the whole time; 1.42 miles. On Saturday, I wound up walking a little about halfway through; 1.48 mile. I read an article the other day about the benefit of intervals with walking – taking a little break allows me to recover a little, preserve some energy, and then when I start running again, I’ve got more oomph.

I read about this Timeless method of running, where you don’t run with a watch, or you just don’t look at it, and you run just by effort. Basically, it’s what I did before I got the watch. It’s probably a good idea for me to try it – the Couch to 5K is totally reliant on clock-watching, same with my speed intervals, so I don’t really just run anymore. I focus so much on beating the clock that I’m not paying attention to how I actually feel. I care so much about a good pace or a good mile time but that doesn’t seem to change too much, so maybe I should just focus on enjoying it. Next run (& next race), I’m going to wear the watch, but I’m not going to pay any attention to the clock. I’m just going to run in response to how I feel.

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2 thoughts on “Couch to 5K, Week 7, continued: The Benefit of Walk Breaks

  1. Sounds like a good idea. I find running by feel rather than worrying about pace (or time) takes the pressure off, and there’s nothing wrong with walk breaks – Jeff Galloway has built a whole running philosophy based on run/ walk which you might like.
    The important thing though is to enjoy it. Have fun! 🙂

  2. There’s nothing wrong with running and walking, but if you’d prefer to stick with running only, or at least try, going by effort sounds like the right thing to do. Don’t try to speed it up yet, and concentrate on running longer.

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