Couch to 5 Miler: Week 1

A few weeks ago I sang (wrote?) the praises of my work’s GetFit challenge, and at the end of the post I mentioned that I was debating signing up for a running class. Well, it wasn’t too long of a debate in the end (a weekly class is excellent motivation to make me keep up the running!) and yesterday was my first session.

Ever since signing up, I’ve been pretty excited about this class. I took a 5K for Beginners class through GetFit two years ago, and that’s what truly kick-started me into running. Our instructor taught us all about proper running attire, gait, nutrition, dynamic stretching, foam rolling, etc., and I really learned a lot.

A picture from one of our last 5K for Beginners classes, doing some dynamic stretches. I look totally thrilled about it (second from right).

A picture from one of our 5K for Beginners classes, doing some dynamic stretches. I look totally thrilled about it (second from right).

Going into the Couch to 5 Miler class, in contrast, I don’t feel like as much of a newbie; I’m more taking the class as a way to keep me running during the winter (which I totally failed at last year) and to ease me back up to running 5+ miles after being out with injury for a while. That said, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the first session.

The 5K class was pretty big – about 15-20 people – and ran the spectrum of running experience. There were newbies like me, people who had been running for years, slow runners like me, and people who finished the 5K race at the end of class in under 20 minutes.

I was expecting another sizable group this time around, but the class is only 5 people! One woman said she had never run at all before, and the others seem to run pretty regularly. They all said they run pretty slow, so I had a good feeling that I’d feel more comfortable with this group than I did with the 5K class, where I was always dead last at everything. Our instructor is a triathlete and very knowledgeable, so I think we’re in good hands.

In terms of set-up, the class looks like it will be quite similar to the 5K class – we got a sort of syllabus that laid out topics to be covered, and they included gait, apparel, nutrition… all the same as before. However, I got the feeling that our instructor will just breeze through these and then get us out running, whereas the 5K instructor talked more at-length about things and had us do a little less running; she expected us to do most of the training on our own time.

Speaking of training… like last time, we got a training plan intended to get us ready for a 5-mile race at the end of March. Unlike last time, my goal is to actually follow it! Last time I had good intentions but didn’t really take it seriously, but now I really want to give it my all and see how well I can run this race. I’ve written here before about how I manage races okay given my bizarre training “plans,” but wonder how well I’d do if I actually stuck to one. Well, here’s my chance!

The plan we got is adapted from a Jeff Galloway 10K plan, and looks to keep me busy. Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday are cross-training, Wednesday is set aside for the running we’ll do in class (which will either be timed runs or intervals), Fridays are timed runs, and Sunday is long run day, with Saturday as the only rest day. Anyone who’s read this blog knows how I love my rest days, so this will be interesting. I’m going to go for it though, and am saying this here to hopefully keep myself accountable! I want to finish this 5-miler in under 55 minutes. Cross your fingers for me that I can stick to my plan and meet that goal!

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The goal race

After getting our plans and writing down goals for ourselves (I want to stick to the training plan and meet my time goal for the race), we did some dynamic stretching for a warm-up and then headed outside. It was in the low 30s, which felt gloriously warm after the single-digit and low-teen temps we’ve been experiencing lately, and we ran a simple route that included mostly clear sidewalks. It felt so nice to run outside again! I stuck to the back of the group for the first 10 minutes, going at about a 13-minute pace, since I couldn’t really fit around people on the narrow shoveled path, but when we turned around I took off at what felt like a comfortable-but-more-difficult pace, which ended up being a 10:15 or so. It felt great, and when I reached the end of the street I realized I was way ahead of the rest, so that was a nice little self-esteem boost for my slow self πŸ™‚

I’m really glad that I signed up for this class – it will be the kick in the butt I need to stay active, and sticking to the plan will ensure that I stay up on my minute goals for the GetFit challenge!

Have you ever taken a running class/clinic? How did you like it?

Ever done a Jeff Galloway training plan?

Have any fun weekend plans? Anyone racing?

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6 thoughts on “Couch to 5 Miler: Week 1

  1. I’ve never taken a running class or even run in a group outside of a race! Good luck with the class- that sounds fun! 3 cross training days? I have troubles doing just one! Good luck with your plan and class- they sound interesting and fun! You will nail your race!!

    • Yeah, I’m interested in seeing how those 3 cross-training days will go, too, since I have a history of dodgy (or no) cross-training πŸ™‚ Luckily for me, Drew is totally gung-ho about going to the gym like all the time, so I can tag along and hang out on the bikes or elliptical. And thanks, I hope I nail the race too! πŸ™‚

  2. This is awesome! So glad you’ve got something to get you back out there after your injury suckiness. I’ve never done a class or clinic, but I’d like to. My local Fleet Feet does some, but the location and times aren’t super great for me. We’ll see. Maybe after the show is over.

    • Me too! I think the structure of the class and training plan will help me work my way back without going overboard and reinjuring myself. I feel really lucky that this class is right here on campus, because other ones I’ve seen advertised are inconvenient times and places. I hope you get a chance to try a Fleet Feet class sometime!

    • Thanks! Hope so πŸ™‚ I’m finding the plan really helpful, especially since I have a concrete race to work towards AND a weekly class to keep me accountable πŸ˜‰

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