June 17, 2021

The Infamous Week 4 Workout (and a Cringe-Worthy Mistake)

I did it!

I was planning to wait until Monday to post about my Couch to 5K progress, like I usually do, but as you know, Week 4 was a big deal for me. I finished Week 3 on Monday and yesterday was my first workout for Week 4.

I know I've explained this several times, but just in case someone is new here, here's a quick backstory:

I had attempted to do the original Couch to 5K plan several times (maybe not several--maybe 3-4?) back in 2007-2008-ish. I hadn't yet lost the weight (I didn't start losing weight until 2009). I would do okay with C25K until I got to Week 4. Week 4 is a HUGE jump from Week 3--the running intervals in Week 3 are 1/8 and 1/4 mile long. Then in Week 4, they are 1/4 and 1/2 mile. When you're a beginner runner, that's really tough!

Each of my attempts ended during the first 1/2-mile interval in the Week 4 workout. I just couldn't do it--and I got discouraged and quit.

When I was losing weight, I was thinking about trying it again... but I found that I was dreading each and every interval. I really don't like run/walk intervals--I'd rather get all the running out of the way at the beginning. So, that led to my creating my own plan (you can find that here). I was able to bump my distance up to 5K pretty quickly!

From there, I went on to do 10K's, half-marathons, and even three full marathons.


I never finished the damn Couch to 5K plan! And it's been in the back of my mind for all these years. Now that I'm back to losing this weight I've gained and focusing more on my health, I want to get back to running again. I've tried lots of other exercises over the years, but I like running the best.

And since I'm a true beginner again, I decided that it's a good time to attempt the Couch to 5K plan. Again.

It's been very humbling, to say the least. Running for a couple of minutes at a time is much harder than I expected! But that's what happens when you quit running for three years (other than 12 weeks of half-marathon training in 2018 and some three-milers here and there).

I'm slow, but I'm totally okay with that. Someday, if I want to get faster, I know how to do that. But my ultimate goal is to be able to run three miles at an easy pace 4-5 days a week--just for fitness.

Anyway, I was really nervous about yesterday's workout! The start of the infamous Week 4. This is the workout:

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

[For those that asked, I don't use an app--I just printed out the plan and keep track the old-fashioned way. There is something I really enjoy about crossing off each run! The plan is no longer available where it used to be (Coolrunning.com) and I can't find the whole plan written out as it used to be. I typed it out in a spreadsheet--you can get it here if you'd like.]

I decided to do it on the treadmill so I could control my pace--I wanted to set the speed at 5.0 mph for the running intervals and 3.3 mph for the walking. To keep my mind occupied, I actually read my library book! I increased the font size on my Kindle to enormous (believe it or not, that was only at about 75% of the largest font) and I put it in the tablet holder on my treadmill. Then I got to work.

Last week, the 0.25 mile intervals were really tough--and I had to do those again yesterday, PLUS two 0.5 mile intervals. Lowering the speed to 5.0 mph (I did 5.5 mph last week) was a big help. I concentrated on my book the best I could and hoped I could make it.

And I did it! I got through all four running intervals. I was very sweaty when I was done, but I was THRILLED that I completed the workout! I'm officially the furthest I've ever made it in this plan--and I am determined to finish it :)

Ohmygosh. You guys.

I was just getting ready to post this when I thought it would be fun to look up my first Couch to 5K workouts (from 2007). As I was looking at them, I realized there were more than I expected--if I only did Weeks 1-3, that would be 9 workouts total (10 if you count the attempt at Week 4, Day 1).

You can forget about everything I wrote in this post. It turns out that I actually DID complete Week 4... and Week 5, Week 6, and Week 7!

How totally embarrassing to have come up with this whole story about never having gotten further than Week 3--but also hilarious. All this time, I was so sure that I never made it past Week 3. But here it is--the first workout of Week 4, completed November 5, 2007:

I went back through the download of my old blog (it's no longer online) to see if I wrote about it, and I did--here is what I wrote after Week 4, Day 1:
"Okay, yesterday's C25K... UGH! I started Week 4, and was a little stunned by the huge jump between Weeks 3 and 4.
Week 3 was:
Walk 5 minutes (warm-up)
Run 0.11 miles
Walk 0.11 miles
Run 0.25 miles
Walk 0.25 miles
... and repeat one time. The longest part was the run of 0.25 miles, which was difficult for me, but I managed.

THEN, moving along to Week 4:

Walk 5 minutes (warm-up)
Run 0.25 miles
Walk 0.13 miles
Run 0.5 miles <-------(wha-wha-what???!!!!) 
Walk 0.25 miles
Run 0.25 miles
Walk 0.13 miles
Run 0.5 miles <------(jeez mother!)

To jump from not-even-a-quarter-mile to 1/2 mile in one stretch like that was reeeeally hard. Not to mention that it was so windy I almost drove my car off the road on the way home from working at the doctor's office, AND it was raining, AND I was on Day 1 of my period, AND I hadn't eaten lunch. Complain much? But I fucking did it!!!"
This is so funny (and totally cringe-worthy!). Reading my old posts is embarrassing--which is why I took that blog down when I started this one in 2011. However, going through it just now after realizing that I actually DID get pretty far into Couch to 5K (I'd started Week 8, Day 1 and quit during that) is interesting.

I thought it would be fun to share quotes from my old blog about my runs in the past when I post about them in the present. 


  1. Regardless if you have completed this in the past, you should be so proud of yourself! AMAZING!

  2. I'm confused, did you get a diagnosis from your doctor and get some treatment for your pain? Last month you couldn't open a can to make dinner, and now you're running 2 1/2 miles?

  3. Can't love this enough!!


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