Monday 14 February 2022

PWR Couch to 5k Weeks 5/6/7

Week 7

The reason this project is a 12 week project is that pitfalls await as the training and exertion increases. There is a moment when the body starts to need longer to recover than 24 hours, if the exertion increases too steeply. 
Also, there are other obstacles, including  in my case, the daughter's half term break which disrupted the routine, a few niggling injuries, and a lingering cold. These all conspired to decimate weeks 6 and 7. This also coincided with two heavy storms which made running extremely unpleasant and tree-fellingly risky.
I am hoping for better weather in week 8 and for the hamstring to have loosen up a bit.
Let's call week 7 a restorative week.

Week 6 Couch to 5km

After week 5 resting sore calf muscles, I plan 4 runs this week of 40+ minutes.

Week 5 Running diary
One long run this week and an enforced rest due to commitments, injury and rubbish weather.
the benefits of the rest week will be seen in week 6 when I try to run again!

New route: Gregson Lane circle
Run #1:  4.08 miles in 43m 50s

😎 After 4 weeks and 14 morning runs, progress has gone from:
  • 2.24 miles in 30 minutes - 13.4 minutes per mile pace to; 
  •  3.56 miles in 40 minutes - 11.2 minutes per mile pace

I'm relatively happy with this progress. I still required the walking breaks, to rest the cramping calf muscles, which I never used to get before the hiatus. 

Running the same route at the same time of day, increasing it gradually, after the same preparation - a coffee and a glass of water - for 4 weeks has strengthened my legs and lightened my walking style.

My back is stronger as a result of running and my heart and lungs are much improved.

The fat burning component of running, in my opinion, only seriously starts to kick in when you run past 40 minutes and into the 60+ minutes segment. The problem is with this, is the fatigue and pain caused by a 60+ minute jog would probably cause stiffness that would prevent running the next day.

Hence, while rest is the logical step to take to improve the running time and distance, it slows down the frequency of workouts, and hence slows down the fat-burning benefit of frequent (daily) jogging.

The 12 week programme is designed in order to negotiate this problem. A week of longer, less frequent runs, say 3 in total, would be best in the long run, as the calf muscles take this time to adapt and recover.

Eating correctly during the rest days will be important to negate middle-aged spread, keep the weight off, until the next big fat-burning run in a couple of days.

Staying-hydrated and preparing for Week 5 runs by having more fluids and a banana. And home-made pancakes, with oats, are being introduced for more pre-run energy.


Tuesday 8 February 2022

Monday 7 February 2022

PWR Couch to 5k Week 4

 Week 4 Aims

✨ Increase distance to 3.5 miles and stick to the same route for the week

✨ Run for 5km non-stop


🤕 Sore, stiff, weak calves give up after 20 minutes

🍏 Currently running on an empty stomach - may try a bit of breakfast first

😤 Carrying 20lbs bodyfat isn't helping the legs. Eat better!

😤 Daily runs aren't allowing enough recovery time

3.5 miles (5.63km)

✨ Run #1 Monday: 40min 16s

✨ Run #2 Tuesday: 41min 16s

✨ Run #3 Thursday 40 mins 00s.

All 3 runs produced cramping and stiffness in the calf muscles after 10-15 minutes. More pain in the left calf than the right, but enough to force me to stop. This cramp eased and I ran again, but only after a few minutes of walking and a stop to stretch.

This calf tightness may need some treatment and investigation. I conclude that I have increased the distance too quickly, due to impatience. But, I have to admit and be content with the fact that I am yet to manage a 5k non stop run after 4 weeks. My stamina is progressing well. But the legs are certainly feeling it. I set an initial 12 week plan (on January 1st) I am well on target, but need to consider other available cardio options to keep the stamina progressing and to keep burning bodyfat, while relieving the calf muscles in between runs. Swimming and cycling will be brought into week 5.

Lostock Hall to Ribble bank

 Discuss your goals with Paul:

Tuesday 1 February 2022

PWR Couch to 5k Week #3 : 3 Runs and a rest!

After increasing the distance from 2.25 miles, in week 1, to 3.2 miles in week 2, I completed 4 runs in week 2. In week 3 i stuck to the same distance of 3.2 miles but by the third run of the week the calf muscles were struggling and painful. Sacrificing fat burning, I decided to take the hints from the body and stop running for a few days, to allow some recovery.

Run #4 Was replaced by two laps walking around Preston Dock.

Week #3 Run #1. Accompanied by friend, Stu Smith, with conversation a welcome distraction from a few aches and pains that I am still concerned about, but the end result was a steady pace throughout, only one or two walking intervals. 

Week 3

Mond: Run#1: (2.85miles) 29min 45s

Tues: Run#2: (3.2miles) 34 mins 05s

Thurs: Run#3: (3miles) 33min 35s

Frid: Sore legs; Rest for 3 days.