Fat Girl Running’s Couch to 5k (C2. Review and Tips for Starters – Fat Girl Running. It seems most appropriate to start where I started, and that was with the C2. I’ve never been a sporty person. I’m short (5ft 2), I’m heavy but I was fed up and wanted a change. My boyfriend brought up c.
16 Responses to “My Experience with the . I have too found the couch to 5k program excellent. 8 months ago I started running with the program and have continued running. Reviews; Running; Running.
I looked into it. Seemed easy enough so I thought I’d give it a go. This was early October 2.
I downloaded the C2. Phone app (http: //c. I would thoroughly recommend and started on my journey. Under the C2. 5k programme you run three times a week. When I use the word “run”, I really mean more like a very slow jog, but I got into the habit of calling it a run and it’s stuck so you’ll have to put up with it I’m afraid. Each work out starts with a five minute warm up- meaning 5 minutes’ brisk walking, and a five munite cool down- again five minutes’ brisk walking. The first week sounds easy.
If you’re anywhere near as unfit as I was, it isn’t. After the warm up you alternate running for sixty seconds and walking for ninety seconds, for a total of twenty minutes. So you end up with eight of each. In all honesty, this was probably my hardest week. I remember my first run. I walked most of it, I felt sick, I was sweaty and smelly and felt really ugly and fat.
BUT I did it and I felt GREAT afterwards. Honestly, I felt like I’d just run a marathon- nauseous, knackered, but incredibly like I’d achieved something massive. So I carried on. As I said, you’re supposed to do three runs a week. In all honesty, most weeks I repeated a day. If I didn’t feel I’d done as well as I could have or that I wanted to do it one more time before I moved on then I just tried the last day again. That worked really well for me and the i.
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Phone app is flexible enough to allow you to do that. For the first four weeks you simply follow the same routine each day. These are: Week one – five minute warm up, alternate 1 minute running and 1. Week two – five minute warm up, alternate 1. Week three- five minute warm up, then run 1.
Week four- five minute warm up, then run 3 mins, walk 1. I got through them ok.
I remember having trouble with week three, only really getting through it on my fourth attempt. Week four I was nervous about because the running parts are suddenly longer than the walking parts but I was fine. Whenever I found myself struggling I just had to force myself to slow down. This was my main problem- I seemed to have a speed which I naturally ran at, but because of my weight and lack of fitness I couldn’t physically maintain that speed. So I spent a lot of time consciously telling myself to slow down. Don’t be afraid of going slow.
Don’t worry if you feel like a snail could overtake you without trying. That’s how I felt but it meant I could get through each week. Please understand, if you’re a complete beginner like I was then NONE of these weeks are easy. Not even the third or fourth day of each week. You will feel sick, you will be exhausted, you will be achey. They aren’t designed to be easy.
But they are possible. And at the end you feel as if you’ve really made progress and you’ve really moved forward and achieved something. At the end of each session I did ache terribly, but I never ached the next day. I think that’s because it’s broken down so much you’re not putting too much stress on your body. At the same time, when you’re doing well it can be tempting to skip one of your rest days and run for two in a row. Maybe that’d be fine for someone fitter, but if you’re out of shape just don’t. You may not feel achey, you may feel desperate to move forward and carry on going, but running too soon before your body is rested and ready WILL give you the aches and WILL lead to injuries.
I tried it in my second week I think, regretted it after about 5 minutes and ended up limping miserably most of the way round. Week five includes the first BIG RUN. You’re moving from running 5 minutes to suddenly doing 2. The first two days are gentle: run 5 mins, walk 3 mins, run 5 mins, walk 3 mins for day one and then run 8 mins, walk 5 mins, run 8 mins on day two. Day three just involves your normal warm up and then running for twenty minutes. I got through days one and two easily.
Day three was a real killer though. I had to try three times. But once I finally got it, I was SO proud. I even cried on the cool down (out of happiness, not pain!).
If you’re trying it remember- go slow, find a flat route, and listen to your body. If its saying you can’t do it yet then have a small walk, start running again when you’re ready, have a couple of days to let your body recover and then try again. It’s when you start doing the longer runs that I found you start getting the aches the next day.
I’ve never had them too bad but being 2. My boyfriend definitely gets them worse than I do. Week six is similar to week five- two days which are split up with walking and then a long 2. Once you’ve done the 2. It’s about this time when I found I’d stopped struggling and could finally start working on my speed and distance.
After week six you move away from the broken down runs and just do full 2. At this stage I moved away from the c. I found the c. 25k a fantastic starting point. It is meant to last nine weeks but I always seemed to be a week or so behind and then moved away after week six, so it probably lasted me 7- 8 weeks. The app I used was also fantastic. You upload your music from your i.
Phone onto the app and then when you set out it plays the music automatically and either says out loud or vibrates when you need to change from walking to running. If your phone’s on silent it automatically sets the app to silent, which caught me out a few times, not feeling the vibrating and expecting to be told when to start running, so just be aware of that. If someone had said to me I’d be able to run for over half an hour without stopping and without feeling too much out of breath, which I now can, within six months I’d never have believed them. But here I am, living proof. And I’ve lost about a stone in weight.
I feel happier in my life, healthier, and just generally thrilled with how the c. I’d recommend it for anyone who wants a running programme which is doable, and which will give you a daily sense of achievement. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come.
Good websites for more information: http: //www.
I’ve continued to run since then, meaning I’ve been running for about 3 months straight now, and have been reading running mags, running books, and lots of running articles on the net, and I like to think I’m not quite the noob I started out as last August. With this knowledge, I can look back at C2.
K and evaluate it a bit more than I could have in the beginning or middle of it. First of all, let me say that it’s a fantastic program for what it intends to do. If you are, like I was, living a pretty sedentary life (“on the couch”, so to speak), I’m not sure there’s any better way to get up and running. For one, C2. 5K is so easy to get started with – pretty much anyone can run for 6. Second, it’s a relatively straightforward program. It’s a pretty nice gradient, increasing just a bit each week, nothing too complex in terms of routines – run and walk. And it’s not too long – once you get a little ways into it, the end is not too far out of site.
When you are beginning, it’s very helpful to have that kind of disciplined routine. Without a strict schedule, it’s easy to skip days, and before you know it skip weeks. I also know that without the program, I would have started out way too hard and fast and burned out immediately. Third, it’s gained enough popularity that there are all kinds of forums, mailing lists, Facebook groups, i. Phone and other device apps, logs, t- shirts, blogs, etc.
I know 4- 5 people on my twitter follow list who are or were at various stages of the program. So you’ll be able to find all the technical and moral support you need. My only criticism of the Couch to 5k program is the “5k” part. Really, it’s a couch to 3.
In fact, from week 3 onward, the program mixes times of running with distances: Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)The final week has you jogging “3 miles (or 3. This is a fatal flaw in the program, and a reason I think many people don’t finish it. The program should be either in terms of time or in terms of distance. Using both time and distance automatically hooks you in to a specific pace. I actually managed to do it, but I realize now that I was pushing myself a lot harder than I really should have been. I am sure that others doing the program are even much more out of shape than I was to begin with, and implying that they should be running that pace is just setting them up to feel like they’ve failed.
Now, you could say that it doesn’t specifically say to do 3 miles in 3. OR 3. 0 minutes. But which should you do? There, the miles are emphasized due to the face that the time is in parentheses. But in earlier weeks, the time is emphasized with the distance in parentheses. I know that personally, if I wasn’t doing the mileage specified in the time specified, I felt like I wasn’t going fast enough, and pushed myself harder. At any rate, the name of the program implies that you should be running 5 kilometers, or 3. At 3. 0 minutes, that’s even faster than a 1.
This all came to light after I finished the program and as a prize went out and bought a Garmin Forerunner 3. GPS watch with a heart rate monitor. After figuring out my max heart rate and heart rate zones and doing the first couple of runs at my usual pace, I discovered that I was constantly in zone 5, i. While running at such intensity has its place in training programs, it’s definitely not what a beginning runner should be doing for the full time of every single run. Furthermore, various studies show that there are different benefits to running in different zones.
Of course, running harder means you will burn more calories overall. But running in lower zones, you burn a higher percentage of calories from fat. And I assume that a good number of people starting C2. K have losing weight in mind as one of the primary goals. In short, C2. 5K is a great program, but as laid out, a bit confusing or misleading. My suggestion is to stick to the mileage or stick to the times, and ignore the other. I suggest go with the time as that’s easier to measure.
Just wear a watch. If you are counting time, ignore the distance.
If you run 3. 0 minutes without a break and you only cover 2 miles instead of 3, congratulations! Don’t feel like you wimped out. You just ran 3. 0 straight minutes!!! Could you do that 9 weeks ago? If you are doing this program, I can pretty much guarantee you couldn’t. So rejoice in the fact that you are in far better shape than you were.
And keep going. Likewise, if you are counting distance, ignore the time. I bet most of your friends can’t do that. So what if it took you 4. Check out the results for a local 5k (3. I bet you wouldn’t have been in last place, would you?
In fact, from the race results I’ve looked at, if you ran a 5k in under 3. So how fast should you be running? Well I’ll leave the technical details of that to your mad Googling skillz. But I’ll say this: if you are really struggling with any part of C2.
K, or you are thinking of giving it up because it’s too hard, you are absolutely going way too fast. If you are serious about continuing to run, I highly recommend getting a heart rate monitor. I absolutely love my Garmin Forerunner 3. You can pick it up most places for well under $2. I’ve even seen it as low as $1. It has more functions than you’ll ever user or likely even understand.
It’s totally changed the way I run. You can also get devices more dedicated to just monitoring heart rate and at even lower cost. Polar is a well respected brand.
Do yourself a favor and make sure you get one with a wireless chest strap though. The monitor straps around your chest and sends signals to the watch.
This gives you a constant and pretty accurate readout of your heart rate. Better and more accurate than the ones without a monitor that require you to press some buttons and hold them for a few seconds to determine your heart rate. The chest strap seemed like it would be annoying and dorky at first, but once you are running, you really don’t notice it at all. Once you have it working, do some research (beyond the device manual) on max heart rate and heart rate zones, and figure out what range you should be in.
I guarantee that you will feel like you are going too slow. It’s actually going to be frustrating to run that slow at first. But if you do the research and understand why you are going that speed, know the benefits, and start feeling them, you will be sold.