liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Tuesday I got to the gym really late, so only had time for a 20 minute run before the gym closed. But I managed to do the whole thing at 8 kph, and I know from experience of going through C25K that once you can do 20 minutes continuous you can usually just keep going. 2.7 km in 20 minutes, therefore.

Which meant I was feeling confident today and went for a full 2 miles (3.2 km) at pace, so that's 2 miles in 24 minutes. Managed that without too much trouble, walked to recover for 4 minutes instead of my usual 5, and then did the last 10 minutes or so at 8 kph again. That made my time slightly faster than I've managed before, 38'43''. I think I'll try to go for 30 minutes at 8 kph next, and then build up to 40 minutes fairly fast if that goes well.

Yay progress.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I procrastinated on going running today but when I did go out it was actually pretty good. I feel like I'm getting back to a stage where I'm improving again. I managed the longer intervals, 2 x 17½ minutes at 8 kph, without too much trouble. That gave me a total time equal to my PR of 38'58'', and I'm not expecting to get much faster until I can actually run the full distance at pace, but that's starting to feel attainable now. And when I run at the top pace that's properly sustainable is when I'm most likely to get a post-running buzz, which indeed I did. Next mini-goal: 20 minutes continuous at 8 kph.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
This has been an awful week in which I didn't even manage to run my minimum twice. And running is still just hard; I've been doing 10 minutes at 8 kph followed by walking intervals the last several times. Today I pushed myself to do 12½ minute running intervals instead, and it really was a push, it was right at the limit of what my lungs can do. Still, I completed it successfully, and I ran 3.8 km in 30 minutes, and I even got a bit of an endorphin buzz at the end. Onwards.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Well, so much for my grand plans of increasing my pace interval to 20 minutes today. Everything about this evening was a struggle, and I think it was really my lungs not cooperating, rather than just being lazy. I just about pushed myself to run 10 minutes at 8 kph, then a 5 minute walking recovery, and a second 10-minute run. So that was fairly miserable, but I hope it's keeping my fitness up.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
It's scarily cold out, so even just walking to the gym my lungs weren't feeling great. And the campus gym doesn't have aircon, they just open the windows a crack, so I was breathing in freezing cold air, which is the thing I was trying to avoid by running in the gym. So I wasn't sure how today would go, but actually once I got going the running was ok.

My goal was something I was fairly sure I could achieve, namely to run two lots of 17½ minutes at 8 kph. And this pace is definitely getting more doable, I was working hard but never struggling. 5-minute walking interval in between, giving me a time equal to my PR over the distance, a second under 39 minutes. I think it's still good for me psychologically to have achievable small increments at the moment, so I'll probably go up to 20 or 25 minutes next time, rather than trying to do the whole thing and risking failing.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I ran two lots of 15 minutes at 8 kph today, walking breaks in between, and completed the 5K in 39½ minutes. I feel like I'm getting over the hump and I probably am capable of running the whole distance at my new pace. But I'll keep on incrementing gradually, I'll try for 17½ minute running intervals next time.

The Zombies! Run plot is getting pretty exciting (up to S2 mission 14). I just wish it weren't so hard to hear Archie when she's such a major character.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I found running a struggle today, both getting out to the gym, and actually completing the run. I managed two lots of 12½ minutes at 8 kph, but I didn't manage to run slowly during the recovery interval, I was finding things hard enough going that I let myself walk instead. That gave me a total distance of 3.8 km in 30 minutes, which is sort of a PR except that I've done a couple of 5Ks faster than that. Anyway, progress I think.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
I listened to [personal profile] rmc28's sensible advice and stopped feeling guilty about taking walking breaks at the moment. Having dragged myself out in the sleet and darkness to get to the gym, I ran 10 minutes at 8 kph and recovered for 5 minutes by walking, then did that a second time, then ran for a couple of minutes at the end at pace because I wasn't struggling so much with the recovery as on Monday. So that gives me 3.7 km in 30 minutes.

My lungs are feeling a lot better, I think I'm getting my fitness back or getting over minor respiratory crud. I think I will try going back to running slowly in my recovery intervals instead of walking, but still stick to 30 minutes rather than the full 5K.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
My lungs felt somewhat better today but I didn't want to push myself too much, so I did 7½ minute intervals at 8 kph, with 5 minute walking breaks. I felt I wasn't properly recovering during the breaks, but anyway, I'll keep on being gentle with myself until I recover my fitness, I suppose.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
The Christmas break I managed to run twice in three weeks, which is not great, but the main reason is that the middle of Christmas was the wrong time to sort out ways to run when I'm in Cambridge and it's too cold outside. I was doing really a pretty decent amount of walking, at least a mile every day, walking into town and back most days, which is between 40 minutes and an hour each way depending on where in town, so I hoped I was maintaining my fitness at least somewhat. The first week back at work running just didn't happen; I hiked up a big hill on Sunday, and played a bit of Ingress (which is really good for making sure I'm not completely sedentary even when I don't have time to run), but other than that, having got out of the routine I couldn't make myself start again.

So today I dragged myself out, just barely. It was sleety and dark and horrible even just walking to the gym, which didn't help. I left it to the last possible minute to be able to leave the house and get a run in by a reasonable time in the evening, which is the last day I can run and get a second run (let alone a third) in within the week.

I wasn't feeling great, a bit coldy, but I told myself, if I keep saying I'm "sick" when it's this minor I'll never restart my regular running. That may have been a mistake, because in fact my lungs really weren't coping with running. I hope that's incipient cold and not that all my fitness has evaporated in the past month. So I did intervals of 5 minutes at 8 kph and 5 minutes walking, which on the one hand should be easy for me, but on the other was putting me pretty close to getting asthma, so I think that was a reasonable compromise between giving up too easily and pushing myself too hard. 3.5 km in 30 minutes.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Tried running 5K at 8 kph again today. I increased my pace intervals to 15 minutes instead of 1.5 km, with a 10 minute recovery interval at 7 kph, and that was doable. That gave me a total time of under 39 minutes for the distance, so a PR. And I ran a whole 2 km continuously at 8 kph, which for one thing makes me feel like I realistically say that I can run at that pace. And for another gives me my first actual unarguable 12 minute mile, so yay.

I really hope I can manage to get at least some runs in over the Christmas period, but if I can't, that felt like a satisfying note to end the year on. My attempt to build up my stamina for running 5K at 8 kph so far seems to be going better than the other half of my self-designed training programme, the one where I'm trying to redo C25K with the running intervals at 10 kph. But I expect the latter is probably helping, even if I'm finding it a struggle to get past week 3.

And the gym was nearly empty as all the students have gone home, and I was watching a buzzard wheeling and plunging in the winter sky outside the fitness room windows. Given I can't run outside at this time of year, that felt quite nice.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Ended up having to postpone my run by a day again, due to a work crisis yesterday evening. So I won't fit in a third run this week, which is partly because in the cold weather I don't have a good way of running at weekends when I'm in Cambridge.

Today I moved up from running at 8 kph for 1 km, to running at 8 kph for 10 minutes. And that was doable, with recovery intervals of 7.5 minutes at 7 kph. That gave me a total time of 39'37'', trivially faster than the previous run, but with 25 minutes at the faster pace instead of 23.5 minutes, and longer sustained runs. So I think that's a meaningful improvement.

My lungs were ok but my calves started aching a bit towards the end. It's always interesting when I get to a level where my speed is limited by my muscles more than my lungs. Hopefully more alternating 5K runs with fast C25K intervals will continue to build up my strength, though.

Next time I think maybe 1.5 km fast sections, which should take only a bit longer than 10 minutes at this pace.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
I got out for my lunchtime run as planned!  Another nice sunny (cold) day.  I managed to forget the stretchy tube I use to keep my hair out of my eyes but luckily it was not too windy today so I got away with it.

I made one change which is to start my tracking program about 10 seconds before the end of the warm up walk, and to stop it as soon as I can dig my phone out after the start of the cool down walk.  This gives me an instant boost to my pace. Yay.

More importantly, it means it'll be easier for me to transition to post-c25k running plans where I'll basically walk long enough to get a good GPS signal and feel ready to run, and I'll stop to cool down at the end of my street.  I know from experience this suits me more in the long run (heh!) than the strict 5 minutes at each end of my c25k app workouts.   I'd rather get the pace bump out the way now, so I can compare data between runs more usefully for the rest of the c25k programme.

Today I "only" ran for 19 minutes, alternating 90s running and 2min walking, and I continued to enjoy it.  Next run: Saturday (and no letting walking errands disrupt it this time).
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Today I tried running at 8 kph, and that definitely is too fast to be sustainable for me still, it wasn't just a case of don't wanna. So I did alternating kilometres, 1K at pace and 1K at 7 kph. That felt about the right amount to push myself for now, and gave me a total time of just under 40 minutes. I think next time I will try to do 10 minute intervals, which at this pace is quite a bit more than kilometres, but it's a reasonable increment to aim for, I think.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Thursday I tried to run my treadmill 5K at 7.7 kph (a tiny increment over the 7.5 kph I'd previously managed, cos one advantage of treadmills is that they let you do that). I gave up halfway, though, not because I was really struggling but because I just psychologically couldn't face another 20 minutes of running. I wasn't feeling entirely well, though, which is some excuse. So today I tried again, and made it through at 7.7 kph. I definitely feel like I'm pushing myself, but also that if I am determined I can do it. That gave me a total time of just over 39 minutes for my 5K, which is the fastest I've managed so far.
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28
My son's enthusiasm did not last, or at least, every time since then I've offered to take him running, he's refused.

I've admitted to myself that any pretence of a regular running habit has pretty much disappeared from my life recently, and realised this is partly because I'm nervous about overextending myself and triggering a migraine.  This is particularly unhelpful because regular running is good for managing my other major trigger (stress) as well as general fitness.  Rebuilding the habit is one of the most helpful things I can do for myself right now, and I need to get past being scared.

I know I can do c25k week 1 workouts without overextending, and that when I did this the first time, I found the progression between weeks worked just fine.  So I'm just going for a straight go at c25k, repeating weeks if necessary, but fundamentally getting back in the habit of running 3 times a week - two work lunchtimes and once at the weekend.

Today's run was as straightforward as I'd hoped, and I tested out whether I could use Get Running alongside Zombies Run, and they seemed to play nicely together.   Next run: Monday.

(I'm going to try, as much as possible, to stick to the same days each week while rebuilding this habit: Monday + Thursday lunchtime, Saturday late-morning when my spouse is up and able to watch the children.)

liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Didn't manage to run at the weekend; life happened in a fairly dramatic way. Now the clocks have gone back I'm unlikely to be able to run during daylight in the week, which is a bit of a sad thought, but anyway. Today I was good and went to the gym and set the treadmill to my goal pace of 7.5 kph and just kept going. I can tell that I'm pushing closer to the limit of what I can do, but I'm not at the limit.

I did my notional 5 km in 40 minutes, and my legs were starting to feel a bit jelly-ish by the end but my breathing and heart were fine. I think it's time to start C25K again with faster intervals so that I can pick up speed.

Oh, and the Zombies Run episode Canada is completely hilarious. I was not expecting that celebrity cameo at all!
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
So, Monday I followed [personal profile] angrboda's example and tried a new route. A colleague (who is a serious runner who regularly runs marathons) said that he often goes for training runs down a certain minor road, 20 minutes out and 20 minutes back. I hadn't registered the road as an option because from the end it just looks like a residential cul-de-sac, I didn't realize it went on for miles. It's about a mile of almost exactly perfect running road, tarmac'ed actual road but with almost no traffic once you get past the first handful of houses, since it just goes to a farmhouse. And it's along the brow of the hill so although not perfectly flat, it's not nearly as much downhill (forcing me to run uphill on the return leg) as my usual route. However, after a mile it turns into this kind of farm track thing, which is a public footpath (yay), but is muddy and uneven and uphill (boo). I'm guessing my amateur runner pal must do a fairly big cross-country section to take it to 20 minutes.

I think the best plan is going to be to run to the end of the road part and back, and finish the last mile or so by running along the first, relatively flat, section of my previous route (which starts from only 100 metres up the road from the end of this new road). This does mean a slightly awkward stretch running through a the busy village centre and across a multi-road junction, but that section is short, and the combined route would also allow me a full 5K without having to run along the side of a busy road or more than a few metres uphill.

I basically wasn't running at all in the middle section along the farm track, just kind of scrambling through the mud. It wasn't impassable, just you have to figure out where you can safely put your feet, which is obviously really slow. And even the nice flat bit along the ridge I didn't take very fast, partly because it's a new route, and partly because it was on the edge of too cold for my lungs and I wasn't doing brilliantly with breathing. So I only made 3.3 km overall in half an hour, but at least I've discovered a new and possibly better route for future runs.

Whereas today it was definitely too cold and I didn't get away from work before it was starting to get dark, so I dragged myself to the gym and put in 5K at 7.2 kph on the treadmill. Fairly easy, again the main impediment was boredom, in spite of the Zombies, Run! podcast. This time the background music in the gym was less loud, which did help, but I think also my real problem is not so much that I can't hear the dialogue as that I can't hear the specific voice actor who plays Archie, and she was a central character in the previous episode. I couldn't hear her in this episode either but I could hear everybody else, so was much better able to follow the plot.

That gave me a time of 41'46'', and reasonable confidence that I'll be able to manage 7.5 kph on the treadmill soon, even if it takes me a few tries.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Last week I only had one day when time available to run coincided with reasonable weather (and even then my lungs were struggling because it was too cold). Admittedly that was an exceptionally intense week involving dashing off to Sweden, but it's definitely time to admit that I need to be running indoors for most of the rest of the year.

So today I joined the gym on campus, which was relatively painless; in lieu of complicated induction procedures they just ask you to sign a waiver indicating that you're aware that exercise carries risks and promising to be sensible. The gym is reasonably pleasant; it has a somewhat random selection of exercise equipment but I don't have strong views about exactly how my treadmill is set up. And it's 5 minutes walk from my front door, which helps a lot. At least on this occasion I didn't meet any of the students I actually teach; I'm sure I will but the fact that there's a separate changing room for staff makes me feel a lot less self-conscious about this.

And I made myself run 5K on the treadmill, even though I didn't want to. I set it for an easy-ish speed of 7kph and honestly the main obstacle to completing was psychological. I made myself keep going for the full 42½ minutes, though.

I also paid for the rest of Season 2 of Zombies, run! which had deleted itself when the app upgraded. I decided paying £5 for content I'd already bought once was less hassle than trying to argue to get a refund. I found it really difficult to hear the story, though. I think maybe I need to invest in better headphones. It seems that the recent version of Zombies doesn't have the option to set hour-long instead of 30 minute workouts, or at least I couldn't find that setting.
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
[personal profile] liv
Tuesday I ran after I'd been on my feet teaching most of the day, which was possibly a mistake. Also it started raining when I was exactly at the furthest point from home. So I didn't have anything to gain by cutting short the run, but I also didn't feel at all motivated to push myself. 3.1 km in 30 minutes, which is basically walking pace.

Today I had another go with Zombies, run! because I'm fairly familiar with my route now, and I thought maybe having the distraction / motivation of the story and music would help me to go a bit faster. I did enjoy the final part of the first season 2 side mission, but I didn't go any faster: 3.6 km in about 34½ minutes, still 9'45'' /km. (Long partly because the randomizer chose the two longest songs in my playlist back to back.) I felt weirdly crampy during some of the run too, not in the usual "stitch" location but all along my left side.

I am a bit pissed off with Zombies, run! because the app asked my permission to update, and when I said yes, updated to version 3, which was not what I was expecting. But worse than that, it's turned all the S2 core missions I'd already bought into paid only content and is demanding that I buy an S2 season pass to be able to progress. I was actually planning to give Sixtostart more money anyway, perhaps by actually purchasing ZR3, or perhaps by buying the rest of the supplementary content for S2. But "upgrading" by taking away episodes I'd already paid for is really underhanded and really puts me off.

I'm thinking I should maybe switch to using podcasts instead. Even if they're not specifically designed for running, and I don't get the base-building game, maybe having interesting words and music is good enough. I did find the experience less miserable with interesting story episodes instead of Runkeeper's timechecks. And it's probably good for me to run based on paying attention to my own body and not using external pace cues.

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