More effort on the groundwork for a faster 5k

Published July 13, 2011

Here’s a revelation. Trying to come up with your own running schedule, and more importantly sticking to it, is pretty darn tough. Today I said to Mr C: “I’ve been thinking about signing up for another Runkeeper Class, because it’s not working so well doing it by myself.” He replied: “I don’t remember the last time you went out!”

Well, it was a few days ago, and the time before that was a few more days ago. I had set up my own workout in the Runkeeper app, a simple 5k and just ran until I reached the deadline, or felt particularly dead. That’s not exactly fun, fun, fun. That’s just… pounding the pavements and hoping for the best.

So, I’ve gone the Runkeeper Class route again, and this time, I’ve gone back to basics. A 5k in 30 minutes. Every justification I have for this sounds like an excuse, so here goes, a list of brilliant excuses:

  • A timetable. Having something to stick to is far easy than waking up and thinking “should I go out today?” because the answer to that turns out to be no far more often than it is yes.
  • Fun workouts. This is back to basics, I’ll admit that. I completed the first run of the programme which was four minutes running, one minute walking. I graduated that a long time ago. But, this time, I’m pushing it more when I run. This isn’t about getting the distance, this is about seeing what I can do.
  • 3 runs a week. The last one, which I really did enjoy, despite failing at it miserably, was four runs a week with a back-to-back crossover Sunday and Monday. The timetable didn’t really fit my schedule, and I was always conscious of there not being much room to manouevre. As someone who is about as opposite to hardcore about running as you could get, three runs a week is much more appealing.
  • The coach. The guy who has set out what we’re supposed to be running seems to have set up a gentler workout, which helps, and if I enjoy it, he has other Fitness Classes that I could progress to - those also seem far more approachable than the other one.
  • Confidence. Ultimately, I’m coming at this class with more confidence than I did the last one. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do everything in the last one, I just wanted to do my best and see how far I could get. I wasn’t comfortable with getting behind, and I didn’t really know what to expect. This time, I know I can run a 5k (I’m not sold on the 30 minutes thing), I’m confident I can complete every workout in the class (give or take a bad day), and even more than that - I’m looking forward to them. I’ve tried to do a bit more research this time, and look at what I’m signing up to, and there aren’t any runs that I’m dreading. That is a good sign.

I thought I’d feel guilty about taking what could be considered as a step backwards, but I don’t. Left to my own devices, I am sure the gaps between runs would get longer and eventually I would lapse into a coach potato again. If it takes going back to 5k interval style basics to keep me going out there, I’m happy with that. Going outside, looking forward to runs, even having fun while I’m out there is the whole point, after all.

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