No warning siren; no bells or whistles. It’s not like this one sneaked up on me as I knew from previous days sessions that from now on it’s all about running and no more split runs with walks in between.
The usual 5 mins brisk walk as a warmup – this is the case before every session without fail. Then a 22 mins run, with the aim being to cover 2.25 miles so a tiny bit under a 10 mins/mile pace. Frankly I’m not checking distance as I’m just going for increasing the times so I’ve no idea how far I managed.
The 22 mins run, however – no problem at all. I have noticed as the running progresses though that I am spending more time analysing it as I run, which I think is probably an effort to distract myself from what I’m actually doing.
The music’s working well, but I’m noticing the rhythm of my running and doing my best to mix up my breathing a bit, otherwise I was finding that I was striking harder on my dominant foot (almost noticeably stamping down as opposed to my left) as I brought my breathing into time with my running stride pattern.
My dominant foot is my right, and I’m left-handed. Not sure if this means anything, but I’m sure it’s rarer to be left for both. Far more common to be right-footed anyway, as shown I guess by the struggle for England for years to find a decent left-sided midfielder 😉
I’ve also managed to get rid of my heel-striking pattern of running, which obviously I was never aware I was doing until I started this program. This was evidenced by the aftermath of Week 2 Day 1 when I thought that both of my legs were actually going to fall off due to the pain in my knees. Almost crippled by the pain and virtually unable to walk 24 hours later, I’d made a point (as advised) of watching a few videos and then deliberately observing my own running pattern and style, and then making a conscious effort to change it, which has been totally successful. Now I don’t get any knee pain when running, just a burn in my calves which is fine. Thanks to my friend Gary for his invaluable advice here!
Recovery times are shorter as well, as I’m feeling great just a few minutes after the running is done and stretching out for my cooldown has completed. I’m now being very deliberate about stretching out as I’ve seen this is key to recovery and also a cold bath when I get back home to cool down the legs works wonders for me.
Also I’m being very strict with my days off. Moderate exercise, walking and anything aerobic is OK, just NO RUNNING. I’ve added a short 5 mins workout to my non-running day, consisting of sets of 30 secs of Mountain Climbs, Planks and Elbow to Knee crunches… just to hopefully trim down the gut. Anything is better than nothing, and the 5 mins builds up a sweat, gives me no issues whatsoever with my legs or knees and I feel later like I’ve done the exercise in my abdominals and obliques. I then know I’m not risking anything with the running, so it’s an additional welcome bit of exercise. Also still doing the weekly 20 mins abs “shred” workout minus any strenuous leg exercises which cuts it to about 16 or 17 mins. Again no risk to the running.
Now, on to C25K week 7. Bring it!