Learning How to Run 1

This is not exactly part 3 of my losing weight because the main goal of this exercise regime was not to lose weight but to increase fitness stamina although obviously it would probably happen.

But since I've mentioned it, so far I've maintained my weight at 55+/-kg with my fortnightly 6km walks, avoiding fast food overload and try to maintain a regular pooping schedule. You can read about the details and journey losing 10kg here and here. Since with this relaxed regime, I am rather stagnant with this weight and I am rather happy with it although I still have fats on my tummy and thighs.

I am ready to up my exercise routine because I want to be more fit. Here's a fun fact, despite my energy, I can't not run. My stamina for running burns out very quickly and mind you, I am fairly healthy with no asthma or anything. This has been a problem since teenage years where NAPFA test 2.4km was barely a pass.

It all started when the exercise app (runkeeper.com) I use on my handphone to track my walks updated itself with training plans. It comes with 4 categories (they are pretty much similar with running for 5K, 10k, 13.1km half marathon and 26.2km full marathon)

Obviously, I picked "Learn to run" which is basically training to run for 5km. There's a schedule to follow. You can follow a fixed schedule or go for the quick start and catch up at your own pace; which I did.

Instructions are clearly stated and you basically need to follow as close as possible. The 5K training has 28 workouts in 55 days although number of days varies depending on how strict you are in following. So far, we had to skip a few days here and there due to bad weather, other commitments or sick days. Here's a tip, if your body aches from running, take an extra rest day. Don't force yourself.

Calendar dates are off because I used quick start which means I start late into the schedule but back tracking the workouts.

We started on 1st April and I will journal this to record progress and see if I can eventually learn to run. I am motivated with a hint of pessimistic because to able to run continuously for 5km for someone like me in just 28 workouts seems unbelievable but she shall see ya?
Our usual start time is between  7.30pm to 8pm at a running track a few blocks behind Jhon's block This track has elevations which made increased the strenuous level by a little.

Training Day 1: 2.4km run/walk
"We are starting off with just 2.4 km run or walk to see how you feel. This should not be an all out run yet."

I wanted to see how far I could run and started full of gusto but it wasn't that long. All I could remember from this run was the constant struggle of air. My heart and lungs were working so hard that my ribs hurt. I hate the slopes and I ended the run with heat on my soles with shin splints.

Training Day 2: 8x 1min steady
"This is an interval workout. You will run at a faster pace for 60 seconds followed by a recovery walk of 90 seconds. Repeat this for 20 minutes."

This time, I ran with a little research in proper running form and breathing patterns. I struggled with proper breathing patterns because after a while, I over think it. The intervals pushed me not to succumb so easily to tiredness but after 4 rounds, 1 min of running seems harder every cycle. My fastest steady run was 06.16min/km and slowest walk was 13.30min/km. That was very slow since my average walking pace is about 11min/km. Everything was slow. =(

Training Day 3: 2.4km run/walk
"Go on a 2.4 km moderate run or brisk walk. This should not be as hard as possible yet."

There was no improvement in numbers but there was improvement in how I felt. I didn't feel terrible while running and breathing patterns are somewhat consistent. The first week of training was to let your body get familiar with running and at day 3, it is; not drastically but I was definitely not struggling like the first day.

Training Day 4: 45min walk/jog
"Take 45 minute brisk walk or light jog. Keep the intensity fairly low on this day. The main goal here is to just be active and get used to moving for a longer period of time."

This is the longest distance so far since we had to train for 45mins. I was actually proud I survived 5km although it was a walk/jog. It was slow but  definitely an achievement for a non-runner like me. I was out a breath by the end of the training but I felt good inside.

At this point, I am more motivated.


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