Oh yeah, those were the days. Give me vintage "Real World" any day over the Kardashians. Although, I still watch the Kardashians. I'm not proud of it, but all girls need at least one trashy tv show, right?
Oh crud. I got off topic. My bad. That isn't what I wanted to tell you about. I wanted to talk about getting real with starting my workouts up again. Half marathon training should officially November 5; however, I want to feel ready for that day. That won't happen unless I start doing things now to get myself back into shape. Honestly, I have worked out 3 times in the last 4 weeks, and of those 3 workouts, 2 of them were in the last 2 days. So to say that I am going into this 6 month training plan at a disadvantage would be somewhat of an understatement. I decided that it was high time to evaluate where I was at, and how I could best reach my goals.
In the past, I used a 6 week running plan from Women's Health in order to get into shape running wise. I had even intended to use it again for training for the first 6 weeks of my half marathon program. However, there's another program that I have heard A LOT about. Maybe you have too...
Couch to 5k program. It's a 9 week program that uses interval training to get you into running shape, and to increase endurance. This program is much different than the program I've previously used. First and foremost is the quantity of running in each workout. The WH program starts with just 3 minutes of running on day one, and builds up to 30 minutes total in 6 weeks. C25K starts right off with 8 minutes of running on day one, and builds up to 30 minutes of constant running by week nine. So while WH requires that you increase your endurance more quickly, it starts out at a lower intensity.
My brain spun a little bit the first time I tried to digest all of this. What it boils down to, however, is endurance. C25K makes really good sense if you have a higher level of fitness to start with, or are accustomed to interval work. It's really going to push you each week, but gives your body plenty of time to improve before you have to add more time to your intervals. WH works really well for the individual who can achieve a high level of endurance rather quickly.
In order to test which program was right for me, I hopped on my treadmill to see how long I could run at a 12 min/mile pace before I needed to walk. I found that I could steadily maintain for about 12:30, before I really needed a break. I walked for 5 minutes, then bumped my speed back up to 12 min/mile for another 12:30. That showed me that I retained some of my running fitness from the spring, when I did my first ever running training program. What that made me decide is that it is in my best interests to use C25K this time, because I will be consistently training at a higher level from the beginning, which should hopefully allow me to progress more easily than training easier, and then trying to build up to 30 minutes over a short period of time.
This also means that I'm starting half marathon training... yesterday. Yup, wasn't lying when I said that things were getting real. Part of me doesn't really believe that I'm already at this place where I need to start training. The other part of me wonders if I have a shot of being ready to run 13.1 miles come May 5th, even with an early start to my training plan.
Do you have any big fitness goals on the horizon? Have you worked with the C25K program before? Want to join me and try it out too? Let me know below, and we can push each other to meet our goals!