Thursday 20 January 2022

PWR Couch to 5km Jan '22

 After a period of inactivity due to a combination of laziness, injury and the odd sniffle, I've embarked on returning to some light and steady jogging. The goal is firstly, to feel fit and, secondly, to burn off some excess adipose tissue gained during 20 months of uncertainty surrounding career, decision making and opportunities.

The goal is to complete a 30-minute jog (approximately 5km) - non-stop - every day. This used to be fairly comfortable. Not anymore!

1. First up, find a route that is safe, convenient and enjoyable. Roughly a 30 minute walk/jog route (about 2-2.25 miles).

2. Secondly, build up to the 5km distance at a very comfortable pace.

Taking each run very easily by swapping intervals of walking and light jogging, paying attention to any pain or fatigue, and adjusting the speed and tempo at any time according to those signs and sensations. For example, during the first run, I jogged for one minute and felt a twinge in my left knee. Half of my brain said run through the pain. Had I continued, I would have crippled myself for a few days and had to rest up, which is not good for the daily fat burning component of the programme. So I slowed down to a walk, gave it a stretch and a rub and stopped any unwanted injury. As it happened, the next day, the knee felt fine, so the judgement call was proven correct.

3. Stick to the same route for 10 consecutive runs. 

Record the time for each run. Try to shave off some seconds each run by lengthening the jogging intervals and walking for shorter periods. Again, be mindful of pain and fatigue, always keeping tomorrow's run in mind. Walk the entire route if the legs are tired or painful.

4. Eat and drink well

Flush toxins via the kidneys by drinking lots of water through the day. More than you think is normal! Eat fruit and vegetables and good proteins. Eggs, meat, fish. Soups. I also eat a protein shake each day, using a pea protein to avoid cow's milk, for digestive system health.

5. After 10 runs, increase the distance

What took 30 minutes to walk/jog now takes much less as jogging replaces walking. Increase the distance to a genuine 5km/3mile distance by adding another 30% distance. Restart the plan. Set yourself 10 attempts to complete the 5km in under 30 minutes. Remember to keep the intensity at a comfortable pace, mindful of being fit to repeat it the next day - to retain the fat burning component!

Progress so far.... 17th-21st January 2022

Route: 2.25 miles

Walton Park to Ribble banks

  •  Run #1: 17th January 2022 : 30m
  •  Run #2: 18th January 2022 : 27m 21s 
  •  Run #3: 20th January 2022 : 25m 27s
  •  Run #4: 21st January 2022 : 24m 55s



5 minutes shaved off my time after 4 runs. I felt tired legs at the end, and I was out of breath for a minute or so. Areas of concern are the calf muscles, the ankles, knees and lumbar back. But all felt much better and stamina is increasing, allowing 5-10 min intervals of continuous jogging. 

I'll attempt 4 more runs next week and aim to jog the entire 2.25 miles non-stop before increasing the distance to 3 miles.


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