Training for a 5K in 11 weeks: Week 1

I’ve made the commitment to train for a 5k in November. Specifically, I’m going to run for Out Run Hunger, which is a charity that helps feed hungry families is November and December. I’ve never run a 5k before. I can’t even run 5 straight minutes without dying. But it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I think it’ll help me get fit. I’ve decided to run 3 days per week, strength train 2 days per week, and optionally walk one extra day per week. Tuesday August 18th was my official start date, and it started with strength training as I wanted to run on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I do the following exercises at the gym:

•10 minutes on the bike
• 3 sets of 12 hip adductions and abductions
• 2 sets of 12 lat pull downs
• 3 sets of 12 leg curls
• 2 sets of 10 shoulder press
• 3 sets of single lying leg raises to failure
• 2 sets pushups to failure
• 3 sets of bridge to failure
• 3 sets planks to failure
• Stretch: shoulders, hips, hamstrings, calves, quads

This workout takes me 30-40 minutes to complete. The purpose of the strength training is to cross train. I don’t want to develop any injuries and I want to attain overall health and fitness while training for this 5k. I’ll probably also add in some other exercises to help reduce shin splints.

On Wednesday I went for a quick run with my dog. I was going to start c25k at the gym, but my boyfriend’s grandma (who we live with) was picking up dinner and I wanted to be back before she got back. It definitely motivated me to run faster!

On Thursday I was bad and half-assed my gym exercises at home.

On Friday I started week 1 of c25k (which I’ll be repeating this week since it was only one day). I remember the last time I started this, I was miserable. I had never really run before, so it was extremely difficult. I found it hard to run more than 4mph and I was out of breath at the end of each running cycle. Then my hips started hurting, so I quit running. I went to the doctor for the hip pain and was prescribed exercises.

Now, almost a year later, I’ve taken it up again. I noticed that this time, it was a lot easier. I’d been running on and off and doing other cardio (bike and elliptical) in the meantime so I guess my cardiovascular fitness had improved. I found myself actually feeling perfectly fine (though still out of breath) at the end of each running cycle and felt like I could both run longer and faster. Hopefully that means that the rest of week 1 will be a breeze and I’ll actually be able to complete week 2.

Even though it was easier this time, I found myself feeling pretty beat by about the 10-15 minute mark (it’s a 25 minute workout). But I pushed through, remembering my goal, and had a nice stretch afterward. I’m looking forward to my next workout today.

Tip of the week: Don’t worry whether or not you can stick to it. Just get started!

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