June 21, 2021

Couch to 5K : Week 4 Recap

I have finished the infamous Week 4 of Couch to 5K! Week 4 is the point in the program where it really makes you question whether you can even finish or why in the heck you thought it was a good idea to start.

Rather than quit, my advice is to make up your own "Week 3.5" to make a smaller jump in the running intervals. Or repeat weeks until they are more comfortable.

I already wrote about my first workout of Week 4. I had been super nervous about it, but I did it! I was thrilled. And then I realized it wasn't the first time. (Here is that post, in case you missed it.)

My second workout was another face-in-palm moment...

I did it on the treadmill again, and I started my Garmin. When I'm on the treadmill, I use the Garmin for the timer because the timer on the treadmill is too fast. But my Garmin doesn't accurately track my mileage and pace, so I use the mileage shown on the treadmill. (I really wish there was an accurate way to use a Garmin on a treadmill! If you've been reading my blog from the beginning, you know that already, haha.)

I have my Garmin set to the workout, which is based on distance--so even though the Garmin reads, say, 0.25 miles, I actually ran a little farther than that because the calibration isn't accurate. 

The workouts this week were:

run 0.25 miles; walk 0.125 miles
run 0.5 miles; walk 0.25 miles
run 0.25 miles; walk 0.125 miles
run 0.5 miles

I was waiting for the beep of my Garmin to tell me it was time to walk. When I looked at the treadmill display, it said I'd run 0.28 miles; the Garmin should have beeped, but it read that I'd only gone 0.03 miles. Then I noticed that I'd forgotten to turn off the GPS!

I stopped the treadmill and debated what to do. I could count that as my first interval, but I didn't have the "proof" on my Garmin (and even though it doesn't matter to anyone but me, I wanted that on there!). Other option was to do it all over. That's what I chose to do.

I ran an extra 0.28-mile lap during Week 4! But I'll tell you what--I'll never forget to turn off the GPS again ;)

I'd planned to do my third workout last night at around 11:25 PM so that I could start the run in the springtime and continue until after summer officially started at 11:32 PM. Basically, I wanted my workout to start before 11:32 and end after 11:32.

It didn't work out that way. I was SO TIRED yesterday. I hadn't gotten more than 2-4 hours of sleep each night for a few days and it hit me hard yesterday. (Even when I'm very tired, I have a hard time sleeping. My mind never shuts off.)

At around 11:00, I just decided to take a shower, get ready for bed, and then at 11:30, I'd walk for 10 minutes at a super slow pace--that way, I could complete the solstice run on my checklist challenge. And I saved the Couch to 5K run for today.

I was tired enough last night that I managed to sleep for six hours (that's a great night for me!) and I felt so much better this morning. I decided to do my "lunchtime run" on the checklist challenge--which means to run between 12:00 and 2:00 PM. The run itself was uneventful.

My heart rate definitely did not have the same decreasing pattern as last week, unfortunately. I expected it to be higher overall, which it was, because I doubled the distance of the running intervals.

The goal is to get my heart rate to stay in Zone 2 as much as possible. Zone 2 is comfortable; it's the perfect heart rate for an "easy run". Running was much more enjoyable when I was able to run for miles and miles in Zone 2--so I am hoping to build my endurance back up to be able to run just 3 miles in Zone 2.

Interestingly, the accidental 0.28 miles I ran on Friday before my C25K workout gave me some good insight into my heart rate...

This segment contained NO walking. I was running at 5.0 mph on the treadmill. So, you can clearly see that my heart rate is in Zone 4 during all of my running segments. The lower zones are when I'm walking. So my first goal is to lower the amount of time spent in Zone 4. I know it'll get there if I'm patient and keep working on it!

Next Monday, my Week 5 Day 3 workout is a 2-mile run. Yikes!

If you have a transformation to share for Transformation Tuesday tomorrow, please email it to me! Just send a before photo and an after photo, along with your name and a description of the transformation to me at: katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Yay! Good work and excellent insight about Zone 2. I found that slooooooowing down my run (but not my cadence - taking much smaller steps ala ChiRunning) really helped lower my heart rate. I also walk more. I'm really a run/walk/runner now. ;-) GO you!!!


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