July 19, 2021

Couch to 5K : Week 8 Recap

I made it through Week 8! That means I have just one week to go and I'll have finished the Couch to 5K plan.

This week's workouts were all the same: Run 2.75 miles (no walk breaks)

I did all three of them on the treadmill, mainly because it's been hot/humid outside. I ran all of them at the same speed I've been doing each week (5.0 mph). I'm going to stick with that speed until my heart rate can stay in Zones 2-3 for the entire run. Like I keep repeating, my end goal is to be able to run three miles and have it feel easy again. I don't remember how long that took for me when I first started running.

Anyway, here are the details from my runs in Week 8...

Week 8, Day 1 : Run 2.75 miles. (treadmill)

I was really nervous about this run. Even though I'd run 2.5 miles in Week 7, I still worried I wouldn't be able to do it. But I really wanted to focus on keeping my heart rate down--trying to run easy and focus on my breathing.

I was reading a book that I really wanted to finish (it was exciting) and when my Kindle said I had about 45 minutes left in the book, I figured I'd better get on the treadmill so I would have something to read while I ran. I actually felt really good! It didn't start to feel very hard until after I got about two miles in. Still, though, I didn't struggle to finish, which was encouraging.

I was happy with my heart rate, too! I spent more time in Zone 3 than in Zone 4. My average heart rate was 152, so I was borderline between Zones 3 and 4.

Week 8, Day 2 : Run 2.75 miles. (treadmill)

I had a feeling that this was going to be a bad run because I just didn't feel good even before I started. I felt weak, tired, and my heart rate was already fast (my resting heart rate is usually 55-60 bpm, but it was at 90-ish--I have no idea why). I hoped I'd feel better once I started running.

That definitely didn't happen. First, I forgot to turn on the floor fan that I put right behind the treadmill. I was SO HOT. I didn't want to stop running to turn it on, but after about a mile, I couldn't take it anymore and I hopped off the treadmill to turn it on.

My legs felt so heavy and weak. No matter how carefully I tried to run, and no matter how much I concentrated my 3:2 breaths, I just didn't feel good. And my heart rate showed it when I was done. It took everything I had just to finish. As soon as I stopped running, I was gasping for breath. Even when I was showering 10 minutes later, I was still trying to catch my breath.

My average heart rate overall was 154--but the second mile was 156 and third mile was 159 (compared to 150 and 152 respectively during the previous run).

Week 8, Day 3 : Run 2.75 miles. (treadmill)

I was dreading this run because of how hard the last one was. I really didn't want to feel like that again! My anxiety about it didn't help, because it made my heart speed up before I even started running. I texted Caitlin (who is doing Couch to 5K with me) and she said that when she ran Week 8, Day 2, she felt terrible and it was super hard to finish--same as me. She said her third run was much better, which gave me hope that mine would feel better.

It seemed so much longer because the book I'm reading is pretty slow-paced. I found myself looking at the treadmill display way too often to check my distance. I didn't feel terrible, however! I actually felt much better than the previous run. I have no idea why that is--it's so weird how two of the same runs can feel so different just a day apart. After this run, I was slightly out of breath, but not bad at all. Nothing like the run before!

My heart rate didn't show that the effort was any easier, though, which was kind of odd. My average for the run was 153 bpm--it was more consistent though, at 154, 153, and 154 for each split.

Overall, I'm proud that I was able to finish all three runs, especially the second one. I'm disappointed that my heart rate didn't improve, though. I was really encouraged after the first run went so smoothly. I'm going to start paying attention to what I eat/drink and maybe how much sleep I get and see if there is a correlation with how my runs feel and whether my heart rate is high.

Week 9 is going to be interesting... my first two runs will be while I'm at my sister's property in the upper peninsula of Michigan. I know she has a treadmill there, so I may do that if it's super hot outside. But it would be nice to do the runs outside if I can. It will be my first time running three miles in a long time, though, so running on asphalt in sun and heat would make it so much harder. I'll just have to wait and see!


  1. Are there any wooded trails near your sister's? Running in the forest is always nicer! I'm impressed you can read while running. I can't focus on anything to read even when I'm on the stationary bike, so I usually just watch a show.

  2. I was on vacation last week up in Petoskey, and the mornings were lovely for running - about 60 F. I hope you get some kind of weather so you can enjoy the outside while you run.

  3. Go you! Hope you get cool weather in the UP. Also, my heart rate varies a ton based on hydration and nutrition. Glad you're factoring that in. So inspiring.


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