I keep hearing people talk about a "Couch Potato to 5K" Program where over 10 or 12 weeks they go from sitting on the couch to running in a 5k Race. The thing is, I keep thinking, "It's only 5 kilometers!" My complete thought is that I could go out and run 5 kilometers without the extensive training program. Since my sister has undergone one of these programs, I thought I'd ask her what a normal time was. She told me a decent time was 44 minutes. Not sure why it's 44 instead of 45, but that's the number I got from the conversation with her. So my idea was to run 3.1 miles in under 44 minutes. I walked around a spot in a local park and noticed that it was 0.6 miles so I had my course laid out--five laps of the park path.
As a "test" I went out and walked a mile then ran a mile (3 laps) and did it in 24 minutes, so I knew I could do it. Wednesday night I got a very late start, but went out and started my 5k to Couch Potato Program. At the 3 kilometer mark I fell down with a massive coronary.
No, just kidding after all it was only 5 kilometers. No coronaries, no cramps, no problems at all. I did the 5 kilometers in 37:38 without any training leading up to the event. Now before you start to do the same thing, I did spend six years and four months in the Army where 5 days a week we ran anywhere from 1 to 12 miles every day. That was over 12 years ago, and I have exercised extremely sporadically since then. If I lumped all of the exercise together for the last 13 years I may have 3 months worth of it, but I certainly know how to stretch first and the importance of warming up. I don't exercise more often because of what happened the last year I was in. I couldn't run because of feet pain. After getting out I became a disabled vet because of my feet. Running hurts, walking hurts, standing hurts, but I tend to ignore it most of the time.
It ain't all candy canes and Christmas cards though. When I got done I shortened my cool down period and drove about 10 miles. When I got out my legs got very tight. They're still tight. Lucky for me, the next step of my program is to go back to being a couch potato. Currently I'm blogging and watching David Letterman.
Of course the point of the CP to 5K program isn't just to run 5 klicks, it's to get you used to exercising and into a pattern of working out. My system doesn't do that. Remember, don't take your health care or exercise advice from someone on the internet. Especially if that someone is me.