Just felt like sharing.
I finished the third week of my running plan and I was like, ON TO WEEK 4! but the plan directs you to take a hard look at how you actually did. The hardest workout started with a fifteen minute run, which at first seemed entirely impossible. I promised myself I would not walk until at least 8 minutes in, but once I got close to 8 minutes, I changed it to 10 minutes, and then once I got there, I decided to challenge myself to run the whole 15 minutes. I reached the first mile at about 14 minutes, which is a little slower than it has been the past few weeks but much faster than that six-month 16 minute/mile plateau I was stuck on for a while. Seeing 14 minutes makes me start to worry that I’m backsliding, but I quickly tell myself to cut the crap, because it’s actually completely fantastic.
This plan doesn’t call for any speed training, but focuses rather on getting you to go the distance with long runs. Basically, the first plan wants you to be able to run for 30 minutes at whatever pace you run, and the harder version tosses some speed workouts at you to help you better your time. Maybe I’ll switch things up a little in the next level and switch out a distance run for speed intervals. I want to crush my 5K PR and I know, for me, run/walk intervals is the way to go.
I took a really good look at how I ran: there were three running workouts and I cross-trained once or twice. The cross training was good – coach/husband made one workout intense, and the other I kind of phoned in so I’ll have to dial that up a little. Each run consisted of walk/run intervals, starting with a longer run then walk/run/walk of varying times. I kicked butt on the runs that started with 5 minutes and 10 minutes. When I finished the 15 minute run I was shocked and I wondered how I would ever do it again. That was a sign that I wasn’t really ready to move on, because the runs are only going to get longer and harder.
So, I started the third level over again. I did the 15 minute run on Wednesday and I was surprised by how confident I was when I approached it this time. I never doubted I would be able to run the whole time. It was tough around the end, for sure, I didn’t have to bribe myself with the relief of a mid-run walk. I almost can’t believe that I can run a straight mile without walking and it’s, like, no big deal. I’m not sure that I’m beating my times from the prior week, but to be fair, it’s been really hot and humid, and I’ve been trying out some route with different terrain. I just hope this mugginess breaks soon.
I really do love this plan; it’s pushed me and given me attainable goals and it never makes me focus on running a certain distance. My aunt Kara is also running the 5K in October with me (!!!!) and she started trying to run with the Couch to 5K (which was my first training plan, and the first training plan that I scrapped, because I hated it.) It’s not working for her either – she found something else which is great because she can change the length of the intervals to fit her better. It’s really important to find what works for you. I’m really excited to move up to the next level next week!
We’re gearing up for another busy weekend: running tonight, seeing friends, birthdays, BBQs, cleaning, packing, going to the movies to see Guardians of the Galaxy (again), reading & studying. Cue me taking a long nap on Sunday.