June 28, 2021

Couch to 5K : Week 5 Recap

Week 5 of Couch to 5K is in the books!

I'm more than halfway done now; it's going by super fast. Just as I was nervous about Week 4, I knew that the third workout this week was going to be a tough one. The amount of running without walk breaks was a huge leap from last week.

First, though, Week 5 Day 1 - Run 0.5 miles, walk 0.25 miles, run 0.5 miles, walk 0.25 miles, run 0.5 miles.

This one started out great. I've been reading a book while I run instead of watching a show (I just can't find a show to get into lately, which is probably a good thing.) I'm currently reading 'One of Us Is Next'--the sequel to 'One of Us Is Lying'. Reading makes the time go by a lot faster than watching TV while I'm on the treadmill, which is nice.

I was caught up in the book while I was running my first 0.5-mile interval and when I looked down, I saw that I'd run 0.64 miles and my Garmin hadn't beeped. I realized I'd forgotten to turn off the GPS on my watch--AGAIN. (I wrote about this on Friday Night Photos.) So, I wrote a note and taped it to the treadmill to ensure that I don't do it again.

These two "accidental" runs have actually been a little helpful to check out my heart rate, though--since they include only the running portion (no walking), I can see what my heart rate was strictly from the run. This 0.64-mile run wasn't good as far as my heart rate goes. I spent almost the entire thing in Zone 4. (Remember, my ultimate goal is to run three miles in Zone 2--my MAF heart rate.)

When I realized my mistake, I stopped the treadmill, caught my breath, and started all over again after turning the GPS off. I felt pretty decent, but judging by my heart rate, I was working very hard. Too hard. By looking at this in comparison to the one above, I know that the only time my heart rate is in Zone 2 is when I'm doing the walk breaks.

Week 5 Day 2 - Run 0.75 miles, walk 0.5 miles, run 0.75 miles

I remembered to turn off the GPS, thanks to my note. This run wasn't as hard as I expected. I actually was tempted to cut the walk break short because it felt really long. But after the second 0.75-mile interval, I was definitely ready to be done!

Since my main goal is my heart rate, here is what it looked like for this workout:

Week 5 Day 3 - Run 2 miles (!!)

This was the "scary" workout--a random two-mile run at the end of Week 5 (next week goes back to intervals). I wondered if I'd even be able to do it. The farthest I'd run without a walk break so far during the plan was 0.75 miles.

Interestingly, I was looking forward to this workout. First, because I still hate doing intervals; I much prefer to do all of the running at once. Also, I was genuinely curious to know if I could complete it.

I turned off my GPS, set up my book, filled my water bottle, and set the speed at 5.0 mph. I tried to just focus on my book and not think about the fact that I was running. And I did it! I finished two miles--and honestly, I felt like I could have kept going. I was definitely tired when I was done, but I didn't feel like I was going to drop dead or anything. The time actually went by really quickly.

I was pretty happy with my heart rate, too--I stayed out of Zone 5 completely, and I spent more time in Zone 3 than I did in Zone 4. Considering this was a two-mile run--no walk breaks--that's pretty remarkable in comparison to the accidental 0.64 miles I ran on Week 5 Day 1.

I think that keeping the speed low has been most helpful--if I'd tried to bump the speed up, I'm sure I would have collapsed when I was done. I'm just going to stick with this speed until my heart rate is able to stay quite a bit lower, and then maybe I'll increase it a bit. But even if I stay at this speed forever, I'm cool with that.

I'm really excited about how this week went. That two-miler was a big confidence boost!


  1. Fabulous progress! You seem to be having fun as well and that's the best part.

    1. Thank you! I actually AM having fun with this--it feels brand new again. My goals are totally different than they were several years ago!

  2. You're doing great, especially considering the chronic pain issues you've been having!

    1. Thanks! I actually think that the running may be helping with the pain/stiffness. It's hard to get started, but my joints always feel looser when I'm done.


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