Week 3

Week 3 ups the ante very slightly from week 2. After a warm up it’s:

– Run for 2 mins
– Walk for 2 mins
– Run for 3 mins
– Walk for 2 mins


Again it looks pretty steady, and indeed is, but the idea is that when in the running phases, you run at the speed you’d want to maintain over an entire 5k. Given I’ve set my sights on a sub-25 minute run the first time I do a race at the end of summer, I feel like I am way off my pace. Perhaps it was a glass of wine too many the previous night, or too much coffee and orange juice bouncing around in my belly, but I started with a disastrous 12:15 mile. This includes the walking time, so it’s hard to know what the running pace is at this point, but I am guessing around 9/min mile which would be about a 28 minute 5k. I did have some trouble with the workout seeming to skip at the start and standing still for about 30 seconds, but even so this was a crawl.

In the end I did 2.26 miles in 27 and a half minutes, but on Tuesday I will want to up the pace somewhat. But I need to make sure there is no alcohol the night before runs, and I am drinking plenty of water instead.

Distance: 2.26 miles
Time: 27:34
Temperature: 76/24

End of week 2, aches and pains and weight loss

Today I finished week 2, which is pleasing, especially after postponing my run yesterday due to a horrific thunderstorm. New York City has been having some interesting weather, and yesterday was a little too interesting for running in. So today, after dragging my arse home from a 10 hour office slog, walking the dog and then going out again into 88/31 degree soup, I managed to clock just over 2 miles and run my cool down minute at the end. Oh yeah.

I was rewarded with an another average sub-12 minute mile for the second time.

However, I am feeling a slight twinge in my right hamstring just above my knee. I suspect its from lack of stretching, or perhaps just general forty and unfitness is wailing against the effort. It gradually subsided as I ran, but I felt my stride slightly hobbled by it. I’ll keep an eye on that.

One thing I haven’t spoken about on this blog is weight. As a guy, I am not so much worried about how much I weigh, as how my body looks. Well defined is far more important than what I weigh, but I did notice I dropped from 186 lbs to 183.5lbs after the first week, and further to 179.2lbs this week. That’s 13 st 4 down to 12 st 11 in 2 weeks.

I really didn’t think I’d get this far

Distance: 2.05 miles
Time: 23:12
Temperature 88/31

The ‘Wall’

When running a marathon, runners will sometimes describe meeting ‘the wall’, which is mystical marathon runner speak for “I got tired”. The wall is a moment in a marathon, or any other long distance race, where your body simply refuses to obey your brain. Your legs become logs of wood, and your lungs take a nap. When you’re unfit, the wall is what you mee after running for around 45 seconds. On my Monday run, it felt tough. Like I’d been running for an hour before I even started. I don’t know if I was hungry, tired, it was the heat or something else, but it was the toughest run so far of the 5 lessons. Distance: 1.92 miles Time: 23:27 Temperature 88/29

Cranking up, and goals

Today I ran 2 miles in 22 minutes(ish) as Couch to 5K upped the pace slightly. According to Mapmyrun, I managed just over 11 min/mile for 2 miles. This got me thinking about my goals.

Back in 2006, I ran my first 5k. I had about 2 warmup runs and jogged around the course at a leisurely 34 mins. That’s pretty much the pace I ran today, except I didn’t go for 3.1 miles, only 2.

2 years ago, I ran on Randal Island and managed to do 5K in 28 mins 53 seconds, again with probably only 4 warmup runs (about as much as I have done in the last week). So, my goal is to run a 5K before the middle of Fall and beat 25 minutes and by next spring, beat 20 mins. I am not sure if at the point setting goals is getting ahead of myself, I think I just want to maintain running for more than 6 weeks without giving up…

But, one step at a time. I completed lesson 2.1

And as you can see, this cranked up the pace considerably, even though the exercise time was the same.

Not quite Olympic pace yet..! Speaking of which, go Team GB!
Distance: 2 miles
Time: 22.04
Temperature 73.23

Day 3 and a change of pace

Day 3 came and went without much fanfare. I ran 2 miles again in a little over 25 minutes following the last 1.x lesson of Couch to 5K. Unfortunately my internet is down so the blogging came to a grinding halt. Thanks to Baked just around the corner, I can at least make a quick post.

Today, a week after I started, I am going mountain biking and will get a run in this evening. Lesson 2.1, which is a change of pace.

In 2.x you run for 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, then jog for 90 seconds again and then walk 2 minutes. This one is about getting your stamina up a little higher but with a slightly longer recovery time. You do this 3 times. In theory, I should get a slightly higher pace than the 13 – 14 mins per mile the prior lesson tracked to.

For now, it’s off to New Jersey and Harteshorn Park for some biking…

Day 2 and 3

So day 2, yesterday, was rest day. Can’t say I got much rest, an Ikea trip and a couple of hours of turning flat-packs into furniture was the highlight of my Sunday. I didn’t get much in the way of aches and pains, so there’s a positive.

Today though, after 6 or 7 hours at work, I felt my legs tightening and the effects of my herculean 13.5 minute miles taking effect on my ravaged body. That and the 90/32 degree heat much much of today, and I was ready to wimp out. But, after getting home and telling my wife I was going running, I was committed, so it was session 1.2 of Couch to 5k.


I don’t know about you, but I don’t really love the heat, especially when it’s humid. It was about 88 degrees when I ran, with some headwind in one direction and none in the other. However, music plus reinforcement from my app telling me when to run, when to walk and giving me cues on the half way point, broke things up nicely and the run, if anything, was slightly easier than on Saturday. Only a slight pinging in my upper hamstring reminded me this was my second outing. I feel surprisingly good.
Bring on the last week 1 lesson. Weds… 95 degrees and thunderstorms!
Distance 2.14mi
Time 29:37
Temperature 88/31

Couch to 5K (1.1)

So today was the day, and push me over with a 5 star app rating if I didn’t actually do it. I decided to use Couch to 5k to get started, and managed 2.07 miles on my first run in probably about 2 years.

Obviously there was some procrastinating. Surely I wouldn’t be able to find my running shoes… unfortunately my far-too-organized wife had plopped them in our new ‘activity’ closet and they were easy to find. So slipping on my unfeasibly short shorts for probably only the second time ever, and a old Nike synthetic running top, I was off!

Couch to 5k starts you off with a 30 minute workout that involves 5 mins warm up (that’s a stroll to the nearest quiet street), then a mix of jogging for 45 seconds, walking for 90 seconds, jogging for 45 seconds again and then walking for 60 seconds. This is repeated 5 times, and I’ll be doing this three times this week. After that, there are 7 more weeks of slowly more intensive runs, getting you in gear to run 5k non-stop at a pace you’ll be happy with.

Yay – 1.1 completed

Lesson 1.1 at first felt easy, so the second jog or so I got cocky and ran pretty fast. After the 3rd repeat I was no longer getting my wind back during the walks and so eased off the pace during the run. When the announcement told me 1 minute left, I was quite glad but felt pretty good. Astonishingly, apps do actually make even running almost fun. Next run is Monday July 16th.

Distance: 2.07 miles
Time 26:59
Temperature 79f/26c, dry

Unless you tracked it on an app, it never happened!