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A Smoker's Road To 5K - Week 7

Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Week 7 update for my plan to run more and smoke less using the Couch to 5k running program.

Week 7 is when it starts to get tough. No more alternating running and walking from here on out it's all running except for the warm-up and cool down walks.

Even though my goal is to be able to eventually be able to run 5K, I'm doing the program based on time and not distance. At the end of the 9 week program I should be able to run 30 minutes continually.

At my current running pace I would only cover about 2.4 miles in 30 minutes. It would take me close to 40 minutes to run 3.1 miles (5 kilometers).

On February 1st, 2014 there's a M-M-Manhattan Hot Chocolate Run in Riverside Park along the Hudson River that has a 10K and 5K race. That's a couple of weeks after I'm done with the C25K program which gives me some time to work on my pace and distance to hopefully get to 5K. Another Riverside Park race is in March which might be more realistic. I never planned to do any formal races like this. To be honest, I don't see the point in paying someone to run somewhere I can run for free. It's just something I'm keeping in mind.

Bosch PSJ120 Makes A Great Winter Running Jacket (Review)

Friday, December 20, 2013
Tool maker Bosch recently came out with a heated jacket, the PSJ120, which I've been using as a winter running jacket. Even though it was meant for tradesmen that need to work out in the cold it has some features, like reflective accents, that make it an awesome running jacket.

One big obstacle is I hate the cold. Keeping up with my hiking and running when the weather gets cold is difficult. Being able to wrap myself in Bosch's battery-powered, heated jacket has made dragging my butt out of a nice, warm bed early in the morning a lot easier.

A Smoker's Road To 5K - Week 6

Saturday, December 14, 2013
Week 6 update for my plan to run more and smoke less using the Couch to 5k running program.

Week 6 is similar to week 5 of C25K. One day with 3 running intervals, 1 day with 2 running intervals and one day with 1 running intervals but with more time running.

Below you'll find my daily training log with notes on how I'm doing on off days as well as info about trying to quit smoking.

I've been posting these updates at the end of the week. I'm going to start posting them on the first day and update them throughout the week now.

A Smoker's Road To 5K - Week 5

Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Week 5 update for my plan to run more and smoke less using the Couch to 5k running program.

In prior weeks you would repeat the same program for each of the 3 running days. Starting in week 5 each day is more intense.

On the last day of week 5 the program is all running, minus the warm up and cool down walks.

I took a sneak peek at Week 6 and it goes back to alternating running/walking again for the first 2 days and then all running on the 3rd day.

Merrell Moab Trail Running Shoes Review after 360 Miles

Sunday, December 8, 2013

When I was looking for new trail running shoes a lot of the reviews I read were from people that only owned the shoes a short time. I wanted to wait until I had a lot of experience before I posted my review. After putting over 360 miles hiking, trail running, road running and walking in my Merrell Moab Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes I wanted to share my opinion. These shoes rock!

When I first purchased them I could have sworn they were labelled as "trail running shoes" and not "hiking shoes". Either my memory is off or they've started calling them hiking shoes to help make it clearer that they're not the thinner, lighter minimalist or barefoot type trail runners. Who knows? For someone like me that likes the protection of a heavier shoe on rocky trails I run just fine in them.

If HealthCare.GOV was HealthCare.COM The News Would Be Different

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Not a day has gone by since the official launch of Obamacare that I haven't heard or read some news about issues with the healthcare.gov website. Usually multiple times a day. That's a lot considering I'm not a big news consumer. I might catch a bit of the evening news here and there, scan through the headlines on my phone's news app and a couple of times a week catch up with The Daily Show and Colbert Report online. Sometimes I have the TV on in the background while working or turn on 1010 WINS while having breakfast.

I have a lot of experience in web development and have been involved in product launches which causes me to find all the news very amusing.

A Smoker's Road To 5K - Week 4

Monday, December 2, 2013
Week 4 update for my plan to run more and smoke less using the Couch to 5k running program.

The program begins with a 5 minute brisk walk to warm up. Then it's 3 minutes running, 90 seconds walking, 5 minutes running, 2.5 minutes walking, 3 minutes jogging, 90 seconds walking finally 5 minutes of running before the 5 minute cool down walk.

Week 4 is getting tougher. 51% of the time on the treadmill consists of jogging including the warm-up cool down walks. Not including those 10 minutes it's 74% running. I have no problem breaking a sweat now.

A Smoker's Road to 5K - Week 3

Week 3 update for my plan to run more and smoke less using the Couch to 5k running program.

C25K Week 3 begins and ends with a 5 minute brisk walk. In between the schedule is 90 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking then 3 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking. Then repeat before the cool down walk.

Again, the 3 minute walk before the 5 minute cool down walk seemed awkward to me but I didn't add an extra run segment this time. Instead I came up with a different solution.

A Smoker's Road To 5K - Week 2

Week 2 update for my plan to run more and smoke less using the Couch to 5k running program.

As always the C25K session starts and ends with a 5 minute brisk walk to warm up and cool down. For week 2 the middle part of the session consists of 90 seconds of running followed by 120 seconds of walking repeated for 20 minutes.

Week 2 had the same issue as week 1. It ends with a walk before the cool down walk so I added an extra run before the cool down walk.

Day 1

Week 2 wasn't much more difficult for me than week 1 but I'm sticking with the plan except I'm still doing the extra running segment at the end. I did 2.1 miles in 33 minutes for an average speed of 3.6 MPH.

Day 2

Since I'm still not breaking much of a sweat I increased both my walking and running times. 2.1 miles in 33 minutes averaging 3.8 MPH.

I didn't think to start logging my heart rate monitor data until today. When I'm done I'll include a chart of my heart rate stats over the course of the C25K program. My target heart rate zone is zone 3 and of the 33 minutes on the treadmill only 9 min 16 seconds were in that zone.

Day 3

Day 3 I ran and walked a little faster but not enough to notice with the precision I'm logging the data. 2.1 miles in 33 minutes averaging 3.8 MPH 11 min 28 secs in zone 3.

A Smoker's Road To 5K - Week 1

Week 1 update for my plan to run more and smoke less using the Couch to 5k running program.

The program for Week 1 is pretty light. It begins with a 5 minute warm up walk then 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking repeated for 20 minutes. A 5 minute cool down walk ends the day's routine.

This is a lot less running than I was currently doing with my ad hoc program but I wanted to follow the plan as closely as possible.

C25K Week 1 Days 1, 2 and 3

The app is a little odd that it still has a walking part after the last run which is then followed by the 5 minute cool down walk.This was a bit confusing. When I hear the app beep I alternate between running and walking. Instead of starting the cool down walk I thought it was time to run again. When I noticed my mistake I decided to just do another 60 seconds of running then did the 5 minute cool down walk. I barely broke a sweat on the first day so this made me feel better.

The first day I took it a little easy to see how I would do. Not only is this program new to me but I just got a treadmill and still getting used to running on one. On days 2 and 3 I'll increased my walking and running speed. My plan is to do the same for each week. Do the first day a little easy to see how it goes then up the pace on the remaining two days of the week if I think I can.

Day 1 I did 1.9 miles in 36 minutes for an average of 3.2 MPH. On days 2 and 3 I cut my time down to 32 minutes for an average of 3.6 MPH.

A Smoker's Road To 5K

I've started running a few years ago but haven't really been serious about it. Mainly it's been a mix of trail running here and there during my hikes at Palisades Interstate Park with the occasional road jog in the morning if I have the motivation but don't have the time to head to the park. I enjoy it but I have been having problems with consistency, especially during the winter months so I decided to get a treadmill off of Craigslist to eliminate excuses over the winter.

I want to focus on improving distance and duration. The longest continuous stretch I've run on the trail was about 1 mile. That's not a lot but compared to the 1/2 block I managed to run when I first started it made me feel good. I decided to do the Couch to 5k beginner running program. I'll be tracking my progress in a series of weekly posts.

One of the issues I have with running is that I smoke. During the C25K program I'm going to try to quit or at the very least reduce my smoking dramatically.
 

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