About 2 months ago, I started trying out the Couch to 5k (C25K – Link) running program to kickstart my running routine. For a person who barely gets his ass out of the couch, the program seemed tailor-made for me. The 9-week program starts off with a run/jog routine and slowly picks up until you’re able to run a complete 5km without stopping.
Of course, I didn’t follow the schedule to a tee by jumping straight into week 3 for my first session. This week is my 8th week of following the program and in today’s I was able to complete a Jog 2.4km/Walk 500m/Jog 2.4km, which puts me at about week 6/7 of the C25k program. By my own estimate, I should be able to complete the program by the end of the month, slightly longer than the 9-week period but it’s ok – baby steps. One important lesson I learn from this is that to take things slowly and listen to your body. At one point, I felt I wasn’t running fast enough and tried to increase my running speed. However, I ended up getting a bad back ache halfway through the session and saw my progress stalled for a while. I later read on an online forum that as beginners, we should always focus on building endurance and not on speed as speed would come later. True enough, I went back to my ‘normal’ speed and after a few weeks, I felt that my ‘normal’ speed is improving subtly and I rarely get the back aches now. As they say, always listen to your body and know your limits.
So, you might be asking why I am starting a series of running blogs. Well during one of my runs, I did question myself, “Am I really improving?” The thing is, because the improvements take place over a long period of time, sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the actual progress. Thus, I decided to note down my progress on a timely basis and what better place to do so than an online blog? I would hope that there are seasoned runners out there who could offer some tips for beginners. At the same time, I do hope that there are beginners out there who would join me in completing the c25k program. =)
Oh by the way, if you wondering if I did lose weight from all the running, the answer is NO. It takes more than that to lose weight – by incorporating strength training, interval training and tighter control on diet. Sure I may be a little disappointed by the weighing scale results, but it shouldn’t be a hinder to anybody. I don’t intend to just run for a week, a month or a year. I want to do it for life. Besides, I’ve felt much healthier and less prone to catch a sickness ever since I started. I’ve also found myself sleeping better whenever I exercise. Eventually, I would like to incorporate other elements into my weekly routine but for now it’s probably best to take it slowly. It’s a lifestyle change after all, not a short term one.
Looking forward to the next session already, rawr!