A Smoker's Road To 5K - Week 5

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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.

I can see now why the Couch to 5K running plan is so popular. It's very well thought out. Every

Day 1

I'm trying to get into the habit of walking outside for about 30 minutes on mornings where I don't run to help me break out of the habit of having coffee and a cigarette as soon as I get out of bed. It seems to be working. Each day I try and push something small I would previously do after my cigarette to before. Each the stress of waiting gets easier and I even forget to smoke after soem other smoking triggers.

I think Noom (formerly CardioTrainer) is still overestimating my mileage even though I set the GPS setting to "Exact". My path zig-zags across the road like I'm drunk.

Today the running program begins with a 5 minute brisk walk to warm up. Then it's 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes jogging, ending with a 5 minute cool down walk.

I used to lower my speed every Day 1 and increase it on Days 2 and 3. With the program changing now changing every day I don't think I can do that. I'll try to find a more consistent pace now that I realize the program doesn't repeat all week.

Today I did 2.0 mles in 31 minutes averaging 3.9 MPH including the 10 minute warm-up/cool-down walks.  11 minutes 34 seconds spent in  heart rate zone 3.

Day 1 Again

Yep, Day 1 again. For some reason the C25K app I'm using didn't advance to the next day and I didn't realize until almost half way through the program. I had to decide if I was going to adjust the times on my own or continue with the program as it was.

I decided to stick with the program because I wasn't feeling that great. Last night wasnt the most  restful sleep I've had and when I got up this morning I felt like taking an extra day of rest from C25K and just walk instead. Unfortunately it is dark and wet outside so I did C25K on the treadmill.

When I realized I was doing the same program again I started to do it a little faster to compensate a bit. I did 2.1 miles in 31 minutes averaging 3.9 MPH including the 5 min warm up/cool down walks. My heart rate spent 10m 38s in zone 3 and quite a bit in zone 4. I'm really starting to wish my HRM tracked time in each zone, not just my target zone.

Haven't smoked yet this morning. Sat down to write this update before my shower and don't want to getup and move to smoke or shower.

Three rest days between C25K sessions might be a better idea at this point. One rest day will be walking, the other day.... hmm... Might move another workout to the morning.

Noom is tracking distance a little better now that I changed the GPS update tracking frequency setting to 10 seconds instead of 1 second. Still a bit zig-zaggy but not as much.

Day 2

Day 2 consisted of 2 8 minute running intervals separated by 3 5 minute walks. 

I wanted to give myself an extra day of rest but didn't feel like doing anything else this morning so I did the C25K program. 2.1 miles in 31 minutes. Adjusted my pace as I went so I can spend more time in zone 3, 13 min 20 secs but did go above into zone 4 for about 3 minutes.

First time doing the program in a new pair of running shoes that are a bit lighter which helped.

Slipped up a bit with the smoking. :( Didn't want to wait until after my shower. It's going to snow today and I need to do some things outside to prepare for it.

Day 3

I took 3 days rest from C25K before doing day 3. On my rest days I walked 30-45 minutes instead. I'm having a hard time delaying my first cigarette in the morning on days I don't run. Not sure how to work on that. 

Day 3's program has the usual 5 minute warm up and cool down. 2 miles in 30 minutes including the warm ups. My pace isn't great even compared t to what I was doing 1 or 2 years ago. I really slacked off this year when it came to staying in shape. 

On the plus side, today was the first time I jogged more than a mile continuously. For now I"m just concentrating on time and will work on distance later. 

Heart rate was in zone 3 for 9 min 42 seconds. During the first 10 minutes of running it was zone 2 until I warmed up to zone 3. 10 minutes into the running part of the program I moved into zone 4 where I stayed until the running was over. During the cool down walk I walked fast and used the cross training arms to keep my HR in the middle of zone 3.

World class endurance athlete I am not. But I'm also not that guy that couldn't even jog half a block.

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