Today I decided to try out the Couch-to-5K program as started by Cool Running. Certain truths made themselves very self-evident within the first few minutes.
- Never, EVER, forget your water bottle. Especially in Texas at mid-day at the beginning of summer (Spring? What Spring?). Thankfully half-way along my route is a convenience store and I did not forget to bring ID and debit card.
- Proper footgear is important. Yes, I already knew this one — but apparently the shoes that serve me perfectly well at a brisk walk are total poo when I try to jog.
- Your form probably sucks. Get over it. I haven’t run — I mean really run, not just a sprint after a kid here or mad dash out of the rain there — since I was in middle school. I feel like I run in very bad form, lumbering along like a hulking beast. Then I see other people along the path — and guess what? We all run like crap. Even some of the really fit ones look like they are doing damage to themselves the way they place their feet and hips. Occasionally I see someone look graceful running around my neighborhood, but they are the exception rather than the rule.
- Which brings me to…if you’re already sore, perhaps you should start a new workout at a slightly softer pace. I hesitate with this one, because it is the story of my life the past few years. A back injury caused my physical activity to drop to almost nil several years back, and getting the problem diagnosed and rectified has helped, but I still have a lot of weight to remove. It is easy to say that a workout is too hard because I am just a little sore from the last one (and thus perpetuate the cycle), but at the same time I have to balance the work so as not to truly damage myself again. A week worth of rehearsals has started a few spasms in my lower back again, although I can honestly say I was not stretching out my muscles enough to cover the extra work my back was doing this week; perhaps a jogging routine was not the wisest course of action. Granted, due to my shoes, I was only really able to jog the first couple of intervals – the others were more just upping the speed of walking.
I know I can walk a 5K – heck, I can walk several times that distance. This time I truly want to see if I can work myself up to running. As I noted before, I’ve never really been a runner. The middle school cutoff is not arbitrary: it is when I started to develop curves – ones for which I’ve yet to find proper support garments, despite the many brands I’ve tried. We’ve got the technology people; surely there exists a good exercise bra that I can get into without dislocating my shoulders, one that actually performs as advertised! One of my favorites pre-injury actually had so tight a band that I physically was unable to wriggle into it post-injury. Now that a few years (and a lot of rehabilitation) have passed, I might try the brand again, but I really wish there were better solutions out there.
All in all, I finished the workout about 5 minutes after the podcast I am using ended. I didn’t track the exact distance I covered, but the next time I will – I’m curious as to my speed over distance using the intervals. It’s a Christian Indie podcast, and it was nice to hear some bands with which I’m not (or less) familiar. If I can keep to the schedule, I should do another walk/run on Tuesday or Wednesday. That may depend more on whether I can find shoes that work well for me – otherwise I’ll keep to my walking for now, but it’s a start!