I have just started week 4 of the "Couch to 5K" training program. It's still a little hard to believe that in four more weeks, I'll be running three miles straight.
Since I'm half-way there, I think it's a good time to step back, assess and ask for some advice.
First, I'd recommend this program to anyone looking to get fit. It's easy to stick with and the payoff, while by no means drastic, is noticeable fairly early on. That's a big incentive for a lot of people, me included.
I started this program for a variety of reasons, the least of which being that I couldn't find a bathing suit I liked this past season, so I am stuck with my old one that has become a little too tight for my liking.
Nonetheless, I am now spinning my plates with more vigor and, when they're shelved, I'm sleeping more soundly. Since I haven't changed my diet, I can only assume that it's because of the exercise (and maybe the fact that I'm usually too tired at the end of the day to eat anything).
While I think back and smile at how I was struggling to run for a minute straight a couple of weeks ago, this week's workout is a ginormous step up from last week. Per the program details, last week's maximum length of sustained running time was three minutes. This week, it's five minutes. Not a big deal, right? Nonetheless, I was glad other people were at the track, just in case. Each time I huffed and puffed my way around the track, the defibrillator affixed to the wall stared at me, silently reminding me of my sad physical state.
But I survived and I'll repeat it tomorrow and Friday.
The only downside so far is my right knee. I found out a couple of years ago that the pain I was experiencing was due to arthritis. Thankfully, the pace of the program has kept it at bay, but I know it's there, waiting to pounce.
Since I'll have to run for 8 minutes straight next week, I'm looking to any and all seasoned runners out there for some guidance.
Should I get one of those wraps to secure my knee as I run? Should I be running on a different surface? Should I look at getting new running shoes that offer better support? Are there any exercises I could do to strengthen my knee?
Thanks, in advance, for your input.
Finally, I'd like to give a shout out to some special people who inspire me to keep going - my special needs son who managed to pull a PR during a bad rain storm that hit during the middle of his race last week and a couple I know who just completed their first marathon. You guys rock!
Until next time, happy trails...