Time for Plan B After Week 8 Struggles

I learned this lesson in Weeks 7 and 8. Week 8 was a rough one.

On Tuesday morning, I realized that I forgot to set my alarm when I woke up at the time I needed to leave for the gym. So, I was out to the gym on Wednesday instead. It was time to up my run/walk from a 3 minute/2 minute to a 4 minute/2 minute. After the failure I had on the Sunday before, I was a little worried heading into this gym workout. It didn’t bode well for me. However, I decided that I needed to try and not make any decisions about my training until week 8 was over. After all, if I made each and every run interval of 4 minutes for the week, I’d be back on track.

I haven’t run for 4 consecutive minutes in several years. So, I had no idea if it would workout to even run one full interval. Happily, I was wrong! On the first run interval, I told myself that it would take longer than it felt. I was super happy to look down at the timer for the first time and see I was more than 3 and a half minutes into the run interval! The second and third runs went okay. However, I had a rough time recovering from the second run interval. Even though I completed the 4 minute run interval, it was very difficult. So much so that I thought of walking for 3 minutes before trying the last interval. However, I decided against that and needed to see if I could make it. Sadly, I didn’t. I lasted 2 minutes of that last 4 minute run interval. It was very discouraging. However, I stopped on the treadmill for a minute and then completed the last 2 minutes. So, I ran as long as I needed to overall. But, I didn’t do it in the manner I was supposed to. I was pretty bummed that I had failed in my second straight treadmill training session.

So, I upped the weights on the machines and increased my resistance level on the elliptical machine to compensate. Because I spent an extra few minutes on the treadmill, I knew my elliptical time would be lowered. That made it much easier to deal with the increased resistance.

As the day went along on Wednesday, I started thinking about what it meant for my training. Was it too much for a person of my weight to expect to run an entire 5K without any walk breaks in such a short time? Could I bounce back on the next day? If I were to alter course, what would that look like?

I got my calendar out and started looking into a plan B. When I last ran an entire 5K without stopping, it was on a treadmill in 2010 and on a treadmill. I’ve never run a 5K on the streets without any walk breaks. How I got there was pretty slow. Here’s how I got there…

  • I ran a quarter-mile, walked, a quarter-mile and repeated 3 more times to reach 1 mile total completed of running time and 1 mile walking. I did this 3 times a week for 2 weeks.
  • Then, I ran a half mile, walked a quarter-mile, ran a half mile, and cooled down with walking a quarter-mile. I ran a mile and walked a half mile. I did this 3 times a week for 2 weeks.
  • Then, I ran a walked a quarter-mile, ran a mile, walked a quarter-mile. I ran a mile and walked a half mile. I did this 3 times a week for 2 weeks.
  • Then, I upped the distance I ran by a quarter-mile. I would do each new distance 3 times a week for 2 weeks.

So, this is what I’m going to do. Starting this week, I’ll run a quarter-mile and walk a quarter-mile 4 times on the treadmill. I’ll do this 3 times a week for two weeks and proceed like I had done before. It’s a slower process to reaching my goal of running a 5K without walk breaks. But, as I looked at the calendar, I should be up to 6 miles of running by the end of the year!

So, that means no Hollywood 5K for me. I had yet to register for this race. So, I’m not out any money.

My next race will be the Angels Baseball Foundation 5K. However, it will be a race for fun. The wife and I are deciding if we are going to do the 5K as a family or not. However, this will not be the 5K I try to run without walk breaks.

So, when will I make that first 5K attempt? At the Cypress 5K/10K.  I last ran this race back in 2012. It was supposed to be my first 10K. However, lack of training made this a 5K for me. This is the perfect course for me to run an entire 5K without walk breaks. It’s a flat and fast course. Plus, the race happens at the end of my second week of running 3 miles. So, it’s perfectly timed for that first effort.

So, there you go. I’m onto plan B.

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