I have finally conquered running for 5 minutes at a time, and increased my running time by 3 minutes! Even with the two weeks when I wasn’t running often, I have still been able to make some progress in my running training, which I’m proud of. Considering the fact that there was a time when I couldn’t even run a minute without giving up, I celebrate whatever progress I make each week.
This past week, I focused on doing the week 5 day 2 workout every other day instead of moving on to another workout. This workout involved running 8 minutes, walking 5 minutes, and then running 8 minutes again, with five minutes of brisk walking before and after the workout.
The week 5 day 3 workout is running for 20 minutes with no walking, which I am quite sure that I’m not ready for, so I decided to focus on getting comfortable with running 8 minutes at a time instead of pushing myself with too much too soon.
I’ll be honest, when I saw that I would be running for 8-minute segments, I was definitely anxious about it. Since I had such a hard time feeling confident about running for 5 minutes at a time, I couldn’t imagine going for 3 extra minutes! As it turns out though, I was able to push through those 8 minutes without having to stop to walk. Of course those extra minutes weren’t easy, but I still did it!
This makes me so happy, because it means that I’m actually getting stronger as the weeks go on. Sure, running for 8 minutes doesn’t seem that hard, especially to seasoned runners, but when I first started this running journey, I couldn’t run at all. In fact, I hated the thought of running because I didn’t like feeling so out of breath and tired whenever I tried. If my past self could see me now, I’m sure she would be shocked.
Something else that I noticed this week is that my legs no longer hurt for days after my running workouts, which is further evidence that I’m actually strengthening my muscles, slowly but surely. When I first started running, my legs ached so much after that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue. I pushed through that though, and now I’m finally starting to see some of the results of my hard work.
Sometimes I still feel embarrassed by how slow my running progress has been. I feel like I should be running for longer periods of time and working toward more running and less walking. I see people running all the time, and it seems like it’s so much easier for everyone else. But everyone’s journeys are different. Like I mentioned above, what I need to remember is how far I’ve really come, and how many goals I’m hoping to achieve in the future. I shouldn’t be discouraged by slow progress. Instead, I should feel encouraged that I have progress to talk about!
For now, since that next workout includes running for 20 minutes, I’ve decided to go off the running program for a couple of weeks and come up with my own “program.” Eventually I will be able to run for 20 minutes, but going at my own pace makes more sense at this point. I definitely don’t want to risk injuring myself, so I’m okay with slowing down and going off the program for a little bit.
This week, I’m planning on increasing my running time to 10 minutes. I don’t think I’ve ever ran for 10 minutes before, unless I’m counting the obligatory dreaded mile-run in high school gym class, but I’m excited to take on the challenge and see how it goes. Since I did so well with running 8 minutes at a time, I’m hoping that this will go well too.
I always say this at the end of my running updates, but seriously, if I can do this, you can to! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never ran before in your life, if you take a chance and stick with it, you’ll get better over time. I am proof of that.
Feel free to share your running tips with me, I’m always looking for pointers!