Workin’ It Out

SO. Now that we’ve talked about the idiots I run into when I “run”…

Let’s talk about the actual WORKOUT PLAN.

A few months ago I attempted the much lauded C25k plan … and hated it. Partially because I was breaking down muscle I’d built through years of dance (Fun fact: many dance styles build muscle along the sides of your calves. Running builds it along the back. According to my doctor, the two do not mix.) and it hurt like HELL, and partially because … well … it’s just a really poorly thought out plan.

I mean seriously, you cannot expect someone who hasn’t done any kind of exercise in a while to run 60 seconds at a time with only 90 seconds in between each set. Sure, the first few times it’s easy, but when you get to the 6th or 7th set, you’re going to be hurting.

I plodded along with it, but once I hit week 4 (or was it 5?) … and you jump from 8 minutes at a time to 20 minutes at a time? Yah, I was done. My legs hurt, my back was sore, I was tired all the time and I decided to sell my race registration. I was wussing out. Not something I’ve done in exercise before, so I was pretty sure this plan was not for me.

Let’s skip ahead a couple of months. Husband decides he’s got a deathwish and registers for the Marine Corps Marathon on October 30th, and do I want to run the 10k? I’m helpless when he gets excited about including me in his stuff, so I signed up … not particularly caring that I had NO IDEA how I was going to make it through 6.2 miles.

Enter the Couch-to-10k Plan I found on Daily Burn.

click to embiggen

Yes, the workouts are twice as long. But look! In week 1 you get 4:30 to recover after each :30 of running! EASY! And from there the first 6 weeks you work your way up :30 at a time! True, in week 9 you jump 2 minutes up, and in week 10 you double … but by then, you’ve been running regularly almost 3 months. And if Alyssa’s running journey is any indication, that jump will be a piece of cake, with or without the little running lady’s encouragement.

An added bonus? By week 6 this plan has you doing just shy of the 10k (as in .21 miles shy … or 2 minutes of running) in 75 minutes. (At least, that’s at my current paces.) which means, by week 6, I’ll be sure I can finish the race in a respectable time, even if I’m doing run-walk pacing. Woot!

So is there anyone out there who wants to do this with me? We can encourage each other, and make it through, and BY OCTOBER be running 6+ miles. 6 miles is downright RESPECTABLE. Think about it … it’s enough to enter various races (St. Paddy’s Day 8k anyone? Rachel, I’m looking at you!), and enough to join in if people ask if you want to go for a run.

I’m going to keep track of my progress like so:


Oh hey, look! That’s a screencap of my. own. blog. See the little “Workin’ It Out” tab? You got it!

I’ll keep updating every couple of weeks (or weekly, if I get motivated to) to keep us all on track. So far, week 1 is in the bag. ONWARD TO WEEK 2!

5 Comments to “Workin’ It Out”

  1. I mean, I’m happy to join in…but I ran 8.4 miles on Saturday and am doing my third half-marathon in October, so I’m not sure if you really want the likes of me hanging around. I’m pretty useful for injury advice though, I’ve seen a lot of it. Also, I really want to get faster but I’m not sure how to do that.

    But yes, 6.2 miles is downright respectable. I actually think that 10ks are the perfect distance – respectable, worth the money, but don’t hurt you and the training is much less likely to lead to injury.

    My problem when I started running and tried a C25k-type program was that any amount of walking was too much, and I didn’t want to run again. I had much better luck when I went out and ran a mile, then I went out and ran a mile and a half, and then I went out and ran two miles. After I ran two miles without stopping, I felt pretty badass and started to run more. After I did my first 5-mile run, I was like “boo-yah! I can do ANYTHING!!!” which was mostly true, as long as I wasn’t stupid and didn’t try to increase my mileage too much.

    Maybe all the bloggers can get together and do a race! How about the Hot Chocolate 15k? 9.3 miles is also a totally badass/respectable distance (and they have a 5k as well).

    • By all means, hang around! Like I said, the husband is in the midst of marathon training (he’s done several half-marathons), and is faster that I’ll EVER be (he generally comes in just behind the elites, the punk). His mileage PER DAY is generally what mine is in the entire WEEK. The point is about support and morale boosting though … just think how awesome it would be to have us all cheering each other on! (You know, like your project! ::winks:: )

      It’s really interesting to me that walking completely turns you off to running. I’m the exact opposite. But hey, we find what works best for each of us, right?

      Ah, the Hot Chocolate races! I was just looking at them! (Sweet jackets as part of the race bags? Yes please!) I’m not sure if I can foot the $65 right now, but if I find the cash, I’d be down!

  2. “many dance styles build muscle along the sides of your calves. Running builds it along the back. According to my doctor, the two do not mix.” Iiiiiinteresting. Though I haven’t danced in years, it was my main form of physical exercise throughout my formative years and I’m pretty sure most of my muscle in my legs is because of it. And running was awful for me. Even though I started slow and built up slow, I kept getting pain in my knees and calves. Wonder if that might have something to do with.

    Good luck… though I think I’ve given up on running myself.

    • That was EXACTLY my experience (I danced for 22 years … I’ll have to tell that story this week). I understand that muscle break down is part of starting a new exercise, but it was EXCRUCIATING. I’ve never had muscle break down hurt like that before. Which is why I went to the doctor in the first place.

      Interestingly, this time, there’s little to no pain at all. So, it took about a month, but I think we’re just on to the building portion now. Thank God.

  3. Good luck Sarah! I’ve had “run a 5k” on my goals list forever, so hopefully all this talk of running will motivate me to get moving. Thanks!

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