I'm one workout away from being halfway through this 5K training program The big run is on April 20th. And since it's a color run, I don't see "speed" as much of a goal since it's more about looking colorful and messy at the end.
Having said that, although I was already exercising, I decided to do a legit training program for two important reasons:
1. I wanted to be able to breathe and walk after 3.1 miles; and
2. Given what my body and mind has gone through the last couple of months, I needed some structure to my workouts, which compliment my weight loss program.
This last workout this week (which will probably take place on Wednesday), is a doozy:
Walk 1.5 miles. Run 10 minutes, walk 5 minutes, run 5 minutes, walk 5 minutes, run 10 minutes, walk 5-10 minutes.
I'm not used to running for long time periods. (and by "running" I mean what you probably consider "jogging" - 5.0 mph; but don't judge, remember that I'm only 5'2.5")
So on Friday when I had to do: Walk 1.5 miles. Run 10 minutes, walk 5-7 minutes, run 10 minutes, walk 5-7 minutes.
I was quite scared. But I made it through, slowing down to 4.8 mph for the last 5 minutes of the second 10-min run. I was happy that my legs felt good and had finally caught up to my heart and lungs, but now it seems the tables have turned and it's not my cardio endurance that needs to reach the next level. I'll do some cross-training tonight, take tomorrow off, and then see how Wednesday goes.
I'm glad I've done a training program because I'm a lot further along than I would have been on my own for 3 weeks. I'm also glad because it exposed me to the fact that I was wayyy undertraining. I was not prepared for this level of mileage per week, and would have never done this much mileage on my own. I'm obligated to 4 days of exercise a week, but those days are LONG; most if not all workouts have clocked in at over an hour. My legs did not have that kind of strength, so I've seen drastic improvement. I get so easily bored by the long walk workouts, but am doing them because they are part of the program, and have seen really good results in my pain level and in my leg strength. I think I'll definitely incorporate long walks as part of a long-term routine.
I'm starting to toy with the idea of a 10K race in August in California, and/or a half marathon in the fall in the Philadelphia area, but I think I'll wait until after the April race to make any decisions.
On a related note - I've officially lost the weight I gained in February, plus a bit; in fact I'm just under the weight I was at before the holidays, which is a nice accomplishment. I have some short and long term goals associated with that and I'm currently on track. I've clearly lost inches - I was able to fit into my "next size down" pants this morning, and although they aren't quite ready to wear yet the fact that I could button them was exciting!