A Smoker's Road To 5K - Week 6

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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.

Day 1

On Day 1 the program consists of a 5 minute warm up walk, 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 8 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running and finally a 5 minute cool down walk. I was also stoked that I ran 20 minutes continuously which is something I haven't done in a couple of years when I first started running. (Need to find a way to keep it up regularly.)

I felt good this morning and had a lot of energy and decided to increase my running speed about 7% more than I was doing last week. It's not reflected in my average speed because I slowed down my walking speed so my heart rate would come down more before the next running interval.

Today's program was 34 minutes and I covered 2.2 miles on the treadmill averaging 3.9 MPH including the warm-up/cool-down walks. The faster running speed meant I spent more time in heart rate zone 4 but I was comfortable the whole time even though my peak HR was a little higher. I spent 9 min 52 secs in zone 3. 

On days when I run I have an easier time delaying that first cigarette of the day longer and longer but I'm not as successful on days that I don't run. I need to come up with a better plan.

Day 2

C25K W6D2 consists of a 5 minute warm up walk, 10 minute run, 3 minute walk, 10 minute run and a 5 minute cool down walk. 

Felt a little congested this morning but managed to complete the program. Did 2.2 miles in 33 minutes averaging 4.0 MPH including the warm-up/cool-down walks. Kept the same pace I did on day 1 which is a little faster than I was doing in week 5. I spent 11:20 in  heart rate zone 3. 

This morning while I was sitting and watching some tv before putting on my running shoes I glanced down at my heart rate monitor watch and was surprised to see that my heart rate just sitting was less than my resting heart rate before I started this program.

I plateaued a bit with delaying my first cigarette in the morning. I need to find a way to wait at least until after lunch. This video on breaking bad habits was linked in my Twitter stream and I found it helpful. Nice timing.

Day 3

This morning's schedule was 5 minute warm-up walk, 22 minutes running and 5 minute cool down walk.

I tried to keep my pace the same as I did in the previous 2 days. Normally I would slow down a little bit for these long runs. It wasn't too hard to stay at that pace for most of the running except for the last 4 minutes when my heart rate was getting a little high.

I've never run more than 15 minutes continuously before so today and last week's day 3 were pretty tough. In the past when I've run it's usually my heart that needs a break and not my legs. This time it was my legs that were aching. Keeping a good pace for my heart is something I'm finally understanding better. Plus in these past few weeks my cardiovascular health has been noticeably better. 

I did 2.2 miles in 32 minutes including the warm up/cool down walks averaging 4.1 MPH. I was able to keep my heart rate in zone 3 a little longer than last week, 12 mins 32 secs. 

Running on a treadmill is so boring though. When the snow melts a bit more I'm going to get some runs out on the road. My legs always seem to have a slight soreness but it's not unbearable.

Still having a problem delaying my first smoke on non C25K days but on my treadmill days I am doing well. I'm going to try to only smoke outside. See if that helps.

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