Fighting Through Couch to 5K

by Jessica B. | June 5th, 2012 | Cardio, Mind & Body

A few weeks ago I posted about my ambition to start the Couch to 5K again after a long break due to a broken foot. While the foot has recovered, I haven’t quite found my way back to the running trail, and I miss it. I am also afraid of reinjuring my foot and leaving myself unable to do the other sorts of workouts I enjoy, like yoga, elliptical, and just plain walking.

But a few weeks ago I decided to start again. Here is what I have learned during my first few weeks of Couch to 5K.

1) You cannot start at the same speed you last ran. I thought I would pick up where I left off. I was only going to run for 90 seconds at a time the first week. 90 seconds is nothing. I was convinced I could just start up at about a 5 minute kilometer. I was sadly mistaken. I was exhausted after the third interval. Remember, learning to run isn’t about becoming disasterously out of breath; it is about building up a good solid pace. So I had to slow it down. I started running a bit over a 6 minute kilometer. That was pretty much what I ran 2 months after I had my first child when I decided, crazily, to run a 10K local race. I had hoped I could top that being a lot smaller and a lot more fit, but not so much. That is OK. These things take time.

2) Book a time and stick to it.  I am very grateful that I wrote here about my desire to start running Couch to 5K again, otherwise it never would have gotten done. I kept saying I would do a day tomorrow, as tomorrow I will have more time. I never had more time. Finally, after two weeks of stressing and getting my runs in on the last possible days, I started booking a ‘meeting’ just for my runs. That got it done.

3) Make sure you have the shoes. I thought I would use my old running shoes. They have been collecting dust in my closet for months. After a few runs, I realized they were not giving me the support I needed, so it was back to the running store to get my new gait analyzed for a better fit. It turns out I need more support now. I’m still a bit bigger, and I am nervous about putting too much strain on my foot, so that certainly affects my stride. Running shoes are expensive, but they are the only gear you need for running. Invest in them.

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