Monday 29 June 2020

Couch to 5K | Week 3

I can’t quite believe I’ve now got to the end of my third week of running and third of the way through the Couch to 5K! Do I still hate running? No. Do I now love running? Well, I’m not sure I would go quite that far yet, but I am enjoying the fact that I am making progress.


Something I have noticed a big difference in is the way I feel after I’ve been out on a run. My lungs feel clearer and fresher, I feel good in myself, and according to my Fitbit I’m sleeping loads better too. It’s no surprise I guess, given that around 20 minutes exercise will release serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine into the body, all of which make you feel good. I said a moment ago that I wouldn’t go so far as to say I like running, but I certainly do like the way it makes me feel.


This week was another step up in terms of difficulty, with both the running and recovery sections alternating between 90 seconds and three minutes, the latter being the longest so far. So, let’s see how each run went! 


Run one

I don’t know if I screwed myself over a bit by going on a run the day before rather than taking the rest day like I was supposed to, but the arches of both my feet really hurt on this run. Clearly limping along had an impact on my speed, because my average minutes per mile were a rather abysmal 13:21, which I’m pretty sure is barely faster than my walking pace.


I mentioned in my last post that I’m wearing rubbish trainers and I think the lack of arch support is a large portion of the problem. That said, I do need to be mindful that I’m using muscles that I haven’t used in this way for a while, and that could well be part of it as well. Strangely enough, they only really hurt on the walking segments and weren’t really as issue while I was running, which further leads me to believe it’s the footwear.


Other than one running segment I managed to run and walk at all the points that I was supposed to. On the three minute segment I’d slowed early by a handful of seconds, and I checked the time so that I could add it back at the end, and did end up running a little further.


Run two

Twenty six degrees. TWENTY. SIX. DEGREES. That was the temperature outside when I finished work and needed to go out. This heat makes me wish I was a morning person, because getting out before the sun is up would be a much better idea. I’d had a very stressful work day, and had ended up working just over an hour and a half or so past my finishing time, so I really didn’t feel motivated to do anything at all, let along exercise in 26C heat.


Despite my lack of motivation I forced myself into my gym gear and out on my run. The field I do laps round was pretty much still in full sun, so given the heat I made sure to set a slow and steady pace. Despite the temperature I managed to keep up and run for all of the sections I was supposed to, and even added a little to the end ‘just because’. Even though it felt like a very slow run, I was an average of 12:43 minutes per mile which is much faster than the previous run, although my foot pain was certainly still present for the latter half of the run.


Run three

Another scorcher, this time 27C. As I had plans on the Friday that meant I wouldn’t be out for my run I moved this up a day to Thursday, meaning I hadn’t had a rest day the day before, which the app recommends. Due to this I expected this to be a little harder, and was also curious to know how my feet would hold up as the pain in my arches seems to be most prominent when I skip rest days. Exactly as I had thought, about half way round my arches started to hurt, although admittedly not as much as before.


I set a slow pace once again due to the heat, and ran for all of the sections I was supposed to. Very frustratingly, about 8 seconds before the end of my very last run I misplaced my footing, rolled my ankle and ended up falling in the crops of the field I was doing laps around. Luckily, I think my slow speed saved me a little, as the pain was fairly minimal and I was able to continue my final few seconds, the cool down and the walk home. I had a minor swelling the following day and a small amount of stiffness, but I’m glad to have not done myself any real injury, especially as I feel that I’m doing quite well at the moment.




Given that footwear has been a growing issue through this week I decided to get myself some new running trainers to switch to. As I mentioned in my last post, I intend to get my gait analysed at some point in the future, but not until running becomes a more regular thing for me. There’s no point in splurging on a great pair of running shoes only to not use them when the 9 weeks are over.


So for now I’ve grabbed myself some running shoes from Under Armour. Under Armour always served brilliantly for much of my kit, especially my footwear when I played American Football, and I had a few pairs to switch between depending on if we were playing contact or non-contact, as the two versions demand slightly different footwear. So I’m hoping that their running range will serve me well too. They arrived over the weekend, so I’m excited to start using them for this week.


Just like last week I decided to do an additional run on the weekend, without the C25K app running and using only Strava. Like before I just ran for as long as I could, and switched to walking for my recovery. I beat my personal bests once again, which was really pleasing and just goes to show quite how much progress I’m making with the help of Couch to 5K!


Do you use any running or sport apps?


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