Monday, May 2, 2011

Back to "normal"

After a weekend of traveling, a week of playing sleep catch-up, and a weekend of tennis and rain storms, it is back to what passes for normal in my life. It is still raining - we had as much as 5 inches 12 inches in the last few days! - so Miikka may not get a walk this afternoon, but I did make it to the gym for the first time in over a week. I had to drag myself out of bed, for even though I posted last week about being a defiant athlete and wanting to train for a 5K race, it is sometimes still hard to do what I love. 5 AM comes mighty quickly when it is cold and rainy.

At the gym, I started actually training for the 5K, by following a Couch to 5k plan that has been adjusted for the treadmill. Since I only have 5 weeks before the race, I started at week 5. And you know what? It was easy, too easy probably. It only really had me running for 15 minutes, which is less than I was running with my intervals a couple of weeks ago, and although they were in 5 minute increments, I was able to keep up. Actually, I had to tack on an extra 10 minutes at the end, because I had only gone 2 miles, and I am used to going at least 3 when I am on the treadmill. I guess that is OK, and it means I am in better shape than I thought (I tend not to be good at judging my own fitness - what a surprise).

And that is my main criticism of this plan (obviously a well-thought one at that, after one whole session!): I am not sure how they expect you to go 5K in 30 minutes at this stage. Am I not supposed to be going 5K at this stage of the plan? I guess not. I mean, to do that in the time they have you running, you have to run about a 10 minute mile for 30 minutes. I can do that for some of the time, although I don't know if I can yet do that for the whole 30 minutes. I doubt that anyone who is truly coming from couch potato-ness would be able to run that fast, even after 9 weeks of training. They have the running segments ramp up pretty quickly, which again, I don't think someone who is truly un-fit would be able to do.

Hey, it's not perfect, but at least I have a plan to give me some structure. If I have to do more time on the treadmill to get the full distance I am used to, then so be it. That can't really be a bad thing, can it?

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