Yesterday, I completed my first week of C25K. The first week is nice and gentle: walk briskly for five minutes, then alternate jogging for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds for 20 minutes, cool down with another five minute walk. This was totally doable, even for someone like me who hates running.
The first two days of the program (note, I ran three days in one week which is the expectation; this is not a seven-day-a-week runathon) went by pretty quickly. I did have shin splints after the first two sessions as well as some glute pain. To be frank, my ass hurt! I also noticed some pain in my right shoulder as I ran so I tried to be conscious of letting my shoulder muscles relax. Compared to most new workout routines I would say my soreness was quite mild, which helped motivate me. I was definitely red-faced after both sessions but felt comfortable during them.
I should note that, being a gadget nut, I did buy myself a nice little iPhone app to help me on my journey. After spending the first session staring at the stopwatch on my iPhone, I decided it was worth the $2-3 to get an app that would watch the clock for me. I went with Get Running, mostly because it’s one of the highest rated C25K apps, but also because they were the first to respond to my Twitter request for C25K recommendations. I like that it’s easy to use, works well with my music playing in the background and there’s a nice British woman who tells me when to switch up the routine and lets me know I’m doing a good job. It would be nice if it included GPS or Nike+ support, but for what it is it’s a great app.
Yesterday was my third session as well as the first session that I used my new Vibram Fivefinger KSO’s. It was a chilly day in Waitsfield, with a mix of overcast and drizzle as I ran along the Mad River. The first thing I noticed was the feeling of wet cold mud under my feet. Now, I understand that reading “wet cold mud” must sound terribly unpleasant. However, I have to say that there was something inherently satisfying in that feeling. I felt childlike in my exploration of the mud and how differently it slipped around each part of my feet and in between my toes as I briskly walked along the path.
I was initially concerned that the weather might be too cold for my endeavor; as I was not interested in getting pneumonia from wet feet. Luckily, the pace of the workout quickly warmed me up. I felt as though I was able to go faster without trying. I easily jaunted over rocks and sticks, dodging fallen tree limbs. I have to say I really had a lot of fun. This was also the first time that I felt I actually ran instead of just jogged, but I did not feel as though I was pushing myself.
I generally favor the balls of my feet, so getting used to landing on the balls of my feet while running was easy for me. I was warned by other runners that learning to run with the Vibram’s could be a challenge. Luckily, I’m so new to running and I’m in such a light period of training that I feel learning to run “barefoot” is just as challenging as learning to run in my New Balances.
After the session I was surprised to find that I did not get the post-workout-red-face that I had the other two times. Being fairly logical, I don’t want to outright say that’s thanks to the Vibram’s, since it could also be that I just built up my endurance in the previous two runs, but I’m open to the possibility that the Vibram’s made things easier. After all, we were given toes and several plantar articulating surfaces for a reason, why don’t we use them more?
Now that it’s “the day after”, I’m checking in with my body. No shin splints (hooray!). I have one blister on the superior inner arch of my left foot, but that’s the only one so far. I had some minor arch aches last night but have none today. No other aches to complain about besides some continued glute pain which feels like good work-out aches.
I should mention that I’m being a good-girl and stretching before and after the runs. Since I added in the Vibram’s I also added in stretching my feet before and after the run. As a Muscular Therapist, I have directly seen the negative results of half-assed stretching routines, or skipping stretching altogether. While I appreciate that it keeps me in business, I do not recommend it. Stretching makes all the difference!
Tomorrow I start week 2 of C25K!!