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.


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