My Couch to 5 km Running

This is continued here in part II.

June 30: Three months celebration today! I have now been running for three months and know I can do 4 km of jogging at a slow pace. It is wonderful considering how I felt when I started on March 30! At that time I ran 1 min walked 2 min and then did that for 20 minutes. I had problems maintaining this and by the end of the first attempt I walked 4-5 minutes after running one minute.

Now I can run for 30 minutes without stopping and generally I could likely push myself more but at a gentle pace of around 7’45″/km I get around my jogging track in the woods. The terrain is hilly and there are a lot of up and downhills. Feels good.

I cut my feet last sunday when I was at the beach swimming. Some idiot had smashed a bottle or something where I went into the water so I got  several rather painful and deep cut on my left foot and one even deeper (and more painful) cut on my right foot. So today I was taking it easy.

I set out on my normal routine but decided to quit after my first lap on the 2 km track since I discovered I was not running normally, instead because of the extra pain I was not letting my feet work in the proper position so I realized I was probably doing myself damage if I’d continue that.

But I did 2 km in 16 minutes, that’s a slightly lower tempo than usual but I am happy of getting out at all tonight. I will have to see how it feels on thursday, my feet are okay now, don’t think the feet were damaged further by the running tonight but I think it was wise to get home instead of doing the second lap and downhill finale. It was more painful downhill than anything else.

June 29: No running today, my feet hurts too much from the cuts I received yesterday so I will postpone it until tomorrow and see what happens then.

June 28: We went to the beach today and was sat on a small half-island out in the water. As I was getting in I took the route over some rocks in to the water and managed to cut both my feet soles on some glass that was thrown away by some idiot. I hope it heals up before my next run tomorrow…

At least I got the sports tape to cover the wounds to prevent dirt to get into them. After one nights sleep they look a little better but feels more sore :) but after taping the feet they are okay so I better get to work now.

I have now mentally started to prepare myself for a 5 km run by the end of the week and found the route to run. It finishes on asphalt however but I think it will be okay since the major part is on gravel and wooden paths anyhow and my shoes are supposed to be really good on asphalt.

I have also found that I run more easily on asphalt – and faster too :) although the impact for the legs is probably a little harder. But I have no problems at all currently with my knees or hips or anything.

June 26: Another good run of about 4 km, actually a bit more than 4 km, more like 4,3 km and that in 33’46” which is not that bad really.

See dashboard here.

Distance: 4,37 km
Speed: 7,77 km/h
Tempo: 07:44 min/km
Max pulse: 193 slag/min
Avg pulse: 165 slag/min
Calories: 445 kcal

I am getting closer and closer to the 5 km now. I can feel the goal within my grasp and we will see what we can do about that in another weeks time.

I was pretty tired after this run but in a good way and most of the run was pretty nice, some uphills was really hard but I never had to stop, I could just lower my tempo to catch my breath and then keep at it picking up the pace again downhill and then keeping a pretty good pace on the flat ground (which is all about 50 meters on this path through the woods!)

I met nobody in the woods today, or rather tonight and it was nice to get out now when it was not too hot to go running.

June 24: Wow, total trance run. Great run, low tempo but the full 4 km in 30 minutes! The 5 km is not that far away any more now!

June 22: Another great run today although very late actually, got out around 21:30. I have however started to feel something in my hips, I hope it is something that will pass but after today’s run I feel something in both left and right hip and after the last run last week I felt something in my right hip. It’s not really a pain and it goes away after a short walk but there is a certain stiffness that is a bit disconcerting. We’ll see what happens, right now no big need for concern. Soon there is my 12 week celebration actually and although I am right now sort of stuck in a plateau in the programme I am doing progress speed wise. Today I did 3.55 km in 26 minutes which is pretty good. I also noted a personal best at 2 km on 12 minutes, I usually am somewhere around 14 minutes on the first lap.

Perhaps time to push the 25 min continuous run by the end of the week then?

June 20: We are going to Yasuragi to have a nice weekend over midsummer :-)

June 19: Had a good start actually but then the sky opened it’s flood gates and drowned me. Everything was off from that point my speed and everything, I had to cut my running a bit short today. So it was 2.2 km in 16 minutes instead, tempo 7:16. But it felt pretty good.

June 18: Yesterday I had one of my best runs ever. It was really great. I ran the full 2 km in 14 minutes first and then the second lap in 15 minutes with short walks in some of the more uphill parts. Great, today my legs feels really worked out but great!

I also discovered the Cardio Trainer application for my HTC Magic mobile. Lovely little application that plots your run on a Google Map and then gives you all the stats while you are running – in your ear phones! It speaks to you and tells you which tempo you are running, how far you have gone, how long you have been doing it regularly. I had some MP3 music going and it just faded out slightly and then told me these things regularly. Tempo was given every minute and distance/time every km. You can of course set how often you want these announces to happen in the preferences.

I did a good run I think, pulse was artound 165 for average and peaked on 195 just perfect I think. The tempo was just above 7 min/km and the whole run was 29 minutes for 4 km.

June 16: I have now had one week of resting. My legs needed this desperately. I also got a wonderful massage from my great friend Veronica running the Achelois massage practice. Book her, she is wonderful!

Yesterday I was out running again and it was a little tougher condition wise after a week of resting and then running again it was a bit to catch up with I think. But the legs felt good and strong and I did a 10 minutes run and then another 8 minutes run. This time what stopped me was a stomach ache really. Not sure where that came from but it was a painful experience. My gut’s not used to the running yet.

And I got a rather painful blister on my left foot. Gotta check that shoe a bit, the right foot is always okay but the left one gets a beating most of the time.

One thing that was different on this run compared to the last weeks was the pulse. I had a higher average pulse and I am not sure if that is because I actually just worked harder this run or if it is because of something else. We will see.

Another run tomorrow evening and then one on friday which is midsummer eve here in Sweden, a holiday just as big as christmas. Actually we are then going away for midsummer celebration to the Yasuragi spa in Hasseludden close to Stockholm. A piece of the far east

June 7: Third time this week and today I used the bike instead, 9,8 km in 28 minutes on hilly gravel roads and with uncooperative legs. Don’t know exactly what is wrong with them, they just don’t want to work properly. Stiff and hard and in the first uphill the energy just drains away and then the rest of the track becomes just a pain. But it was a little bit better than yesterady although not really good but I hope things will improve next week.

Perhaps time for some more stretch exercises and some yoga? Imagine that? :)

June 6: Sweden’s national day today. I did my round today – barely. Today was an awful crap jogg. My legs felt so stiff and hard that it was really difficult to get any pace into the jogg at all. Really crappy day exercise wise. Did first 12 min running then 9 min running but my legs felt really tired and as if they were made of wood.

Tempo: 8:46 min/km Length: 4 km

June 3: Today was a little better than last time. Still doing slow around my 4 km path but I am not too worried about that. I have actually gained some weight again which is more worrying really but I am still working out.

They have started work on my track where I run, lots of new loose gravel and stuff like that made the path tricky and slow to run. Today I ran it backwards actually to see if that would feel different and I believe that the track is a little easier to run this way actually it does not seem to be ending uphill as it does in the other direction.

May 31: Today was relly hard. Spent most of the day in the old public records building photographing, walking up and down the stairs and otherwise moving about, hard on the legs in some ways of course but I got some good photos, more to come. Home and had dinner and then went out to run. A bit too early on the food really and I really did not feel well at all. But I managed to do my two 10 min runs although it felt terrble. I finished my two laps in 29 minutes though so it was not really that bad actually compared to before.

I need to try this again in a couple of days though, not happy at all with how things felt condition wise. I did however not have any real problems with the legs or anything. And it was a bit too hot to be comfortable.

May 29: Two months of running! Who would have thought that for 8 weeks ago when I started this journey that I would be able to actually run continuously for 20 minutes? Today we are celebrating that a bit and eating out in the evening. Since I did not want to sacrifice my run today and I realized we might have a bit of wine with the dinner tonight my brain cracked the eminently insane solution to go running before work instead. So at 4.28 this morning I went out of bed, got my brekkie down and then slipped in to my trainers and off I went.

Intervals again, today I made 5-8-6-3 min intervals with walks between but at a slightly higher pace or at least I tried to push it. In total over 4 km I had a tempo of 7:30 min/km which is not that bad for me and then I was back home again at 6 am.

Now it is time to get to work and although it was a bit tough getting out this morning I think I enjoyed running at this hour. Hardly anybody out, fresh air, not so hot yet (this seems to become a rather nice summer actually).

Heart rate (avg/max): 156/171 bpm

May 27: Two days of rest for my tired legs and a new week. Low intensity walks morning and evening to and from work and the train station (about 30 minutes) last monday the legs felt stiff and tired, yesterday they felt much better and today I went running again. My good friend Jenny talked me into attempting a slow jog for 20 minutes rather than 2 intervals of 8 minutes each. I did not think that I could do that but bloody hell, it was possible!

I did it! And then I threw in another interval of 5 minutes for good measure – but 20 minutes of slow jogging is the most jogging I have ever done continuously since the military service!

And on top of it all, this is the first I did a full lap on the 2 km track without stopping! In total I went 4 km today in 30 minutes roughly, not a record breaking speed but I feel quite proud! This is my eight week in the c25k programme and I have completed level 5 workout 3!

Heart rate (avg/max): 160/181 bpm (really perfect actually)

May 24: Last run of the week! Legs felt really stiff and uncooperative in the beginning, the first few minutes are always terrible but after that and with a slightly lower pace than usual the running went alright and I got around to make two laps on the short track (around 2 km) with eight minutes of running on each and then some walking in between.

So now I have managed to integrate the 5-3-5-3 runs into two 8 minutes runs. I will be doing this for another couple of passes and then attempt to increase it to 12 minutes!

May 22: Today I decided to go biking in the slight drizzle for some reason. My idea was to do a longer low-tempo recovery pass but it ended up becoming much more than that, it was too fun to stop so I ended up biking close to 27 km spending 1:43 on the bike today. It was a very good tour and the legs felt great until the last 1/3 of the trip or so when I was really tired. Lowered the tempo a lot especially in the uphills, generally it was a good exercise, I tried to stay between 120-140 in pulse all the time but it was easy to go up in pulse uphills.

Today's biking trip
Today's biking trip - click for a larger picture.

May 21: Good run today, managed to do two laps of the shorter part of my normal routine. Attempted an 8 min jogging interval and succeeded. Followed up with 6:30 and then a couple of shorter high tempo bursts to complete the second round.

Total time was 29:49 for 4,6 km which is not half bad really considering…

Distance: 4.56 km Max pulse: 179 bpm
Speed: 9.18 km/h Avg. pulse: 159 bpm
Tempo: 06:32 min/km Calories used: 381 kcal

May 19: Wonderful runs again today. Two of them actually. I set out together with my fiancee, she was doing a shorter track walking and I was going to run my 3 km track with all those bloody hills. I completed it one minute faster than last time but there was nothing to be seen of my better half.

Even though the last part of both our paths should be the same I did not see her and so I was worried she’d made a wrong turn somewhere so after waiting another ten minutes (and starting to get a little cold) I decided to follow her track around (2,3 km) to see where she was and my legs just kept running, jogging, walking more or less by themselves.

I completed that part also in a pretty good tempo (for being me) and when I got back from the second run she was waiting for me. She did make a wrong turn and took a different path back to the starting point.

Today's runs!
Today's runs!

But I got a really good workout today! The green track is the first run up and down those terrible slopes (equidistance is 5 meters here) so you can see the worst uphill is about 50 meters in 500 meters slope. The second run is the red path and both show speeds above 7 km/h (jogging/running) in lighter colour. I just looove my GPS…

May 16: I did a new round today, increasing the actual running part with about 500 meters and replacing the devils hill with the slope from hell itself.  A 500 meter long uphill monster that I have decided I must defeat running before I can go on. I have rested my legs a bit extra this week but the 5 min intervals does not feel that bad any more, as long as there is not too much uphill running in the interval I can do them pretty well.

I ran today in intervals of 3-5-3-5 with walking in between the length of walking decided by the pulse watch and it was a good trip. Earlier today I also walked the full track I am running to check it out properly before I did my evening run. Maximum pulse was 206 again and average 160. Working out harder now, longer runs, higher average pulse. I think the slope from hell forced my heart beats up to that ridiculous beat but I did feel great all the way.

May 13: Bike ride today, 23 km at a medium pace of about 18 km/h. The last 3 km was terribly tough but I managed to keep good pace to the end. Exercise time was 1:14 and it was a really good workout. The road is a bit hilly and the worst part was going home which is upwards most of the time both long easy inclines and steeper more pulse demanding slopes. But it did feel very good and it is a welcome rest for my knees who’s been a bit angry after the last running session I did so this is good cardio exercise but light on the knees while the legs still get to work out properly.

I find that there is a difference between biking and running exercise wise. I never get the pulse up on the bike the same way I do with running but on the other hand I am able to keep at it for much longer, and therefore I burn quite a lot more calories on the bike than on the jogging track, something I am sure will change as my jogs gets longer and more continuous.

The average heart rate is not too different between the both activities really but the maximum tops out at 10-15 bpm higher when running. I used the pulse watch not to stay in zone three, as soon as I slacked off the watch beeped and I could increase the speed a bit, as soon as I was over excerting myself it was also sounding so I could cut back on the pace a bit. Worked really well actually.

May 12: Yesterday my knees felt tired and a little bit angry again after the last jogging so tomorrow I have scheduled a bike ride instead in order to shift the load a bit. I am still hoping to get another 2 runs into this week following the same intervals as from May 10, but I will listen to my body and avoid over-excerting it.  So today is another resting day.

May 10: It was hard getting out today, got out late, a bit too late as the energy was not there, legs felt tired and stiff and I could not get much energy into it. But I didi the intervals according to my programme and therefore I did:

  • 90 s
  • 3 min
  • 5 min
  • 3 min
  • 5 min

The last two minutes on the last 5 min pass was on my normal cooldown walk as the track is becoming a little to shoort for all these intervals with intermediary resting-walking. Instead of useing time I used my pulse watch to decide when it was time for another interval, that worked very well and I could keep the walking intermediates lower than the time said in all cases. It was definitely a good workout! Heart rate maximum / avg: 193 / 152 bpm

May 8: Today I decided to run using my pulse watch rather than the programme and its set intervals. To see if I could push myself a bit more without getting into problems. I did a bit of warmup jogging and walking and then I did a 2 min interval, then walked 90s, then a 4 min interval including the ”devil’s hill” and after that I managed a full 5 min jogg.

It is a first for me to actually be able to run for a continuous 5 minutes and feel good about it. How is that compared to for 5 weeks ago when I barely managed to run 1 minute before falling over half dead? I am thinking that perhaps I will be ready for level 4 some time next week! Heart rate (max/avg):  186 / 152 bpm

May 5: Wonderful jogging trip today. Just after the rain, nice air and humidity and the legs felt fine. Did one extra 3 min interval today! Yay! Also managed to run up ”the devil’s hill” and keep going another 30 seconds, a personal record. Gonna do 2 more runs like this one and then I think I might be ready for level 4! Heart rate (max/avg): 185/153 bpm

May 3: Woke up around 10 this morning and went running around noon. Then I realized I had not had breakfast, I just was not hungry today. But I could definitely feel that in the running since the energy was really low.

I managed to get around although I did cut one of the 3m intervals short with about 20s. Not too bad considering everything I believe. Not going to make that mistake of running without having some fuel in the body again I think, it was really tough to get going. My intervals today:

  • Warmup walk
  • 1 x 90s
  • 3 x 3m
  • Slowdown walk

Tempo 9:01 min/km. Heart rate max/avg: 191/147 bpm

May 1: A little more than one month has passed since I started with this project and today the running was better than ever. It has become a little harder to get out again for some reason. But I usually manage to get around to doing it in the evening, my best time is around 8 pm to go running. I love the woods at this time and most other people are staying in and at home this time. Today I did a 90s warmup jogg then a 90s walk, then I did three passes with a full 3m run in each of them and that took me around the track.

The walking zone between each pass was 2-3 minutes but I think that soon I won’t need more than half that time between the intervals. My tempo has become a full minute better per km since I started. That’s because I can run further distances now of course, not that I exactly run faster but I am walking less and running more and that shows. When I started I had a tempo on 10 min / km and now I am down just below 8:30 min/km.

The legs feel fine and I am already waiting for the next round! Heart rate maximum/average: 193/151 bpm

April 28: This morning I almost missed my train to work. And since I had an important meeting in Kista I ran all the way to the train station with my backpack and all. The walk to the train is usually around 7 minutes in the morning (walking slowly, enjoying the morning, listening to the radio) but I did it in a bit less than 3 minuters this morning and caught the train. Would not have been able to do that without dying five weeks ago.

Tonight I felt like having no energy and I had to force myself to get off the couch and onto the track running. But once there everything went really well. My legs felt a little more tired than usual and the small muscles giving the knee joints stability are a little angry with me right now. But the running went really well and I had a wonderful time actually.

Instead of intervals of jog/walk of 90s/90s I now did 120s/90s and that worked well. I could runt for the full two minutes without too much problems (except for upwards the devil’s hill which is always a tough cookie) and my last interval lasted 3m05s instead which was tough but not deadly tough! I am getting better at this. I hope my knees are feeling okay tomorrow or I will have to take the bike on thursday instead of running but that is of course an option as well. I should really put in some bike rides in the middle of the week even if the knees are okay to keep working out and increasing my oxygenation capabilities. Oh, and today I again had my mean before running. That was yet the best thing to do. Eat and drink well, rest 30 minutes and then run. Love the energy that puts into the legs. Personal best time again! 32:51 for the whole 3,63 km!

Heart rate max/avg: 190/152 bpm

It is time to get to the next level! The next exercises will be an interval of first 90/90 then 180/90 then another 90/90 and finishing with another 180/90.

April 26: This week has been a pretty good week although I have been eating far too many calories so the next step, starting tomorrow is to limit the calories intake to something that matches my life style and exercise a bit better.

My aim is to eat around 2 500 kcal a day and keep it that way for the coming months and see what that will do to my weight and hope that improves the running. I will also try to get more bike rounds into the exercise schedule now that the running is coming together more and more. My legs feels stronger and more used to the running now but I will keep to the level I am on for another week to make sure they are ready before moving on to level three in the C25k programme.

My run last night was rather good as well, it was a little bit more difficult to get started but after a few intervals I had the steam going pretty well. Uphill still gets the best of me very quickly but on level ground or slight downhill I can now run far more than the 90s intervals I have set out to do this week as well. In fact the last interval I did close to three minutes continuous running and although I would not call it effortless it was still not that bad! :)

My average pulse seems to go keep going down, my maximum pulse is steady around 188 bpm so I think that is a sign of my VO2 improving and my condition improving quite a bit compared to the first runs. It is now very difficult to get my heard rate up to over 190 bpm but that was not so the first week. With the toughest parts of my lap I generally max out on 185-188 and then the breathing is the problem – so there is still a lot to improve.

Once I get my weight down I am sure many things will improve automatically. To boost that I am aiming at getting a couple of bike exercises into the week as well increasing that metabolism and being much more careful with what I eat.

April 22: Today I was thinking going biking rather than running to rest my knees and legs but the legs where really fine so I decided on running instead. I did my normal interval of 90s jogging and 90s powerwalking and did the round on 33m58s which is a personal best. This time it wasn’t the power in the legs that gave up but my condition so it seems this are going in steps, first you improve condition and then the legs need to keep up, then the legs seems to be able to go on but I cant oxygenate enough to keep going. Good stuff.

I did another thing different today as well – I had my meal before running something I normally do afterwards because I was under the impression that if you eat within an hour before strainous exercise you might get all sorts of problems. Not true, I had no problems at all, I had my meal then three large glasses of water slowly and after half an hour I was ready to go running. Which went beautiful Psychologically this was my best run so far. I had no music or anything, just listened to the woods wispering around me as my regular breathing and my pulse monitor told me when it was time to slow down and walk for a minute and half. I feel great.

April 20: Felt pretty good. All day today I worried about my knees but after a long day at work they still seemed fine so I went ahead and ran my usual path around the old Slammertorp cottage. This time I also brought the GPS as a comparison to my first run. My condition has improved from the last run even though I have been resting my legs quite a bit  — but I held back to see how my legs will feel tomorrow. So far tonight it feels really good, time for some stretchning and a shower and something to eat! Heart rate avg./max.: 149 / 188 bpm.

Blue areas are walking or running slow and white are running above 7 km/h
Blue areas are walking or running slow and white are running above 7 km/h. The runs are now longer than when I started if you scroll down to compare with the first log from the first run.

Week 3 summary: Not enough exercise this week due to knee problems. Trouble with the knees are much better now and I managed to do some walking and a rather straneous bike ride after sorting out several bike problems with stole another couple of days from me this week. The bike ride was close to 9 km through the hilly route around Översjön and I found out that even with strained knees biking works really well as a complement. I will try to work in a bike ride between runs now and then in the future or replacing runs with biking when necessary for the legs to recover from the extra strain of running.

Next week it is time to run seriously again – the knees are actually fine now although I have an exercise pain from hell in my right calf from the bike ride – but I will remain on level/week 2 of the programme, I don’t feel ready yet for level three so I am doing this one more week and re-evaluating things by the end of next week to feel how things are. This means three times of running (if the body allows it) and the alternation between running and walking should be 90s/120s but I will go for 90s/90-120s depending on what feels best. This is back on my old round again, the 2,5 km track not far from where I live. With the bit connecting my home to the track it is 3,2 km in total.

This is my normal run logged the first time I actually ran in the Couch-to-5km programme! The white areas are the running passes (>8 km/h) and the blue are walking passes. There is a broken pass on the right hand side of the curve where I fell on a very slippery piece of ice on my first run here. Must have looked hilarious!

April 17: Finally! Bike in good working condition. New bike pump purchased and used, tires fine and up and away for the first ride. I had forgotten how painful a bike saddle can be when you are not used to it. I did a round around the Översjön lake close to where I live, a 25 minute round usually but today it was 30 minutes. It was really hard as well going uphills and I realized once again that when you ride a bike you use completely different muscles from when you are running!

But the positive thing is that the knees did really well and I got a really really good workout on the 30 minutes I spent biking. And it was of course fun all the way even if I was dying going up the steepest of the hills. I expect that the key here as with the running is to just keep doing it. So I can really keep doing this to improve my overall condition and strengthen the legs until the knees can heal up properly for taking up the running again! Heart rate avg/max: 156/173 bpm

The trip around Översjön. Start and finish is at the blue area leftmost in the picture. The various colours represent different speeds in intervals of 5 km/h where blue is the slowest and white means over 30 km/h.

April 15: I have now rested my legs for two days and things are definitely improving. Yesterday was the hardest day having to walk to work with several small aches everywhere but today after a good night rest everything seems well again. I can still feel two small muscles on the inside of the legs just below the knee joint that are sore.

Therefore I won’t be running just yet, instead I will go for a bike ride tonight, that’s the goal anyway if I can find the bike pump. I visited the bike yesterday and found that the tires were pretty flat. I enjoy biking, especially this time of year when things are not so hot yet and the weather is still really nice. By the end of the week I will see if it is time to repeat the week 2 of the programme but I think that from now I will need more than one day recovery between runs, better make it two days even if that means that I can’t keep to the programme completely.

Therefore I will revise my schedule and work in two days of recovery after each run and if necessary alternate a run for a bike ride instead. I have some lovely gravel roads that are closed for motorists around where I live where it is fun and good exercise to ride bikes. To discover that you are over training when you are enthusiastic about something is not really easy but I am happy I did discover it before I actually got injured in a way that I would not be able to recover from so easily.

April 12: This time I felt that the legs was not yet ready for another lap, going to fast forward will only lead to injury so I will have to take a break from the running for a few days and instead I plan to do some cyckling which should be nicer on the knees and other parts that get most of the workout during running. So my plan is that next week I will do three bike exercise passes instead of running to allow my legs to adjust and hopefully after that I can take up the programme again. But I will not move forward to week three in the programme, instead I will stay on week 2.

Today on the track I felt that my condition had improved but my muscles were sore and was lacking the energy necessary to do a good workout. I therefore resorted to walking the last 1/4 of the track to avoid pushing too far and receiving an injury as a result. I could definitely feel the knees again, they feel tired and a little tender so better they get to rest a bit next week instead. I will instead focus more on cardio and are planning three bike trips that are a little longer than the running that I do, perhaps around an hour rather than 30 minutes. Since I am not sure how fast I can keep cycling that will also be an experiment but I will report here of course after each pass how well I am doing.

April 10: At the parents in law this week over easter. Luckily they have a runners track almost across their front lawn which means that I have great access to a good path to run on. Went for a 3 km run today with the same tempo as last time 90 seconds running 90 seconds walking and alternating. 500 m brisk walk for warmup and about 250 m slow walk after and some stretching. I am starting to feel things in my legs. Not pains or anything serious but I feel that things are going on in my knees and calves primarily but also the front side of my thighs. I hope it means I am building more and stronger muscles, cartilage and tendons and not that I am breaking down. It would be a shame if my knees would give in at this point when I am almost done with my second week and I am growing to like running more and more.

Today’s pass was definitely tough. It was a new track and although not so hilly it was winding back and forth quite a bit and for some reason I felt it was tougher than my usual track. Maybe because I ran a larger part of the track this time since the walking start and winding down was shorter. Anyway, things are progressing in a timely fashion. But perhaps I have to stay on this level for one more week to not push things too far too fast. I’ll see how it feels after the third run the day after tomorrow.

Heart rate avg/max: 157 / 187 bpm

April 7: Week II of the programme. I am supposed to do 90 seconds running then 120 seconds of walking and alternate between them for 20 minutes. I could not really be bothered to get the stopwatch set for two different times so instead I did 90/90 of slow jogging and brisk walking. It went pretty well, but I feel the intensity has gone up.

A little bit like the first jog last week, I feel things are stepping up. At this point I feel really good about it, I just hope I won’t injure myself in some way, knees or something but the legs actually feels fine and the condition is improving every day.

Next run on thursday will have to happen in Linköping since we are going there over easter, suddently there are loads of things to get done before the summer… :)

Heart rate avg/max: 152 / 182 bpm.

April 6: Maybe not such a good idea after all to go running last night. My pulse stayed high even when I was sleeping around 100-120 bpm line and I have a bit of a headache today. Feel tired and not well rested at all. It is actually as if I was out dancing the whole night, exactly the same fieeling and a bit of a hangover lingering though I have not touched a drop since last Saturday.

April 5: Last run of the first week! I hardly thought that I would get through the first week when I started this madness. Today’s run was pretty simple, I did not look at the watch too much, I just ran until I needed to slow down, then walked for 1-2 minutes then ran again. Something is happening because even with bronchitis I managed to get around my 3 km lap with 3 minutes less compared to last time and I was hardly in top shape today.

Today I also measured the total incline/decline that I run using a barometric altimeter. In total from my home door and back again to the same starting point the inclination is 47 meters and the same for declination of course which is 1.56% of the track length.

Perhaps I am ready for week 2 of the Couch-to-5k programme after all — I always find it scary to take things to the next level, what if I won’t make it? Heart rate avg/max: 156 / 188 bpm

April 4: Unfortunately I have gotten bronchitis from my recent cold and thus not been able to run for the last couple of days. I am hoping that things are looking better tomorrow so that I can go for another run then and complete the three runs I had on my schedule for the Week 1 in the Couch to five km programme.

April 1: No april joke this time. Woke up this morning with a sore throat. My first thought was ”oh no” but then I decided that even if I would just walk around the track at slow pace I would go out and do it anyway. Got home from work today and did a few chores for an hour or so and made sure I drank a couple of glasses of water this time. Got the shoes on and went off into the 3 km track. Walked 500 meters and started jogging. Something has happened it was still hard but not suicidally so any more.

I still did the running 1 min walking 2 mins – repeat but after a while I increased the running a little bit since it was just feeling good to do so. I still held back a little because I had the cold, did not want to excert myself completely with a cold inside. Beautiful day, sunshine, around 8 degrees in the air, lovely smells, patches of snow here and there and it was actually a great run!

This time I did not feel like dying after 1 km, instead it was pretty nice. Afterwords I feel the exercise in my legs and actually in my arms as well. Never thought about how much you used your arms when running!

Heart rate avg/max: 159/188 bpm

March 30: Right, my first pass today. It was terrible. I got my new nice shoes and something to run in and I set off on a 3 km route. First it was okay but then it got harder, a really tough headache and difficult to maintain speed. Just like the programme I tried running 1 min then walking 2 min but it was difficult to maintain the scheme the full time. In the end I walked three or even four minutes then ran one minute. But I made it around and that’s not too bad I think!

Heart rate avg/max: 157/206 bpm

March 24: So I have decided to get started with some jogging. I got tipped off to this really great programme called ”Couch to 5 km” by my good friend Jenny who’s done that programme herself with good results. My first task is to get a good pair of running shoes and some training clothes.

As I got some extra money coming my way this month I will go shopping and get an expert to pick out the proper shoes for me and then it is off on the 5 km round. I have will modify the programme a little when I run from home because I have found this beautiful track close where I live and I think that after doing each workout pass I can walk the rest of the 5 km winding down until I am ready to run the full monty. So here is my plan to 5 km of running. My training days will be Saturday or Sunday depending on which one fits best, Tuesday and Thirsday. [TABLE=3] I am starting this tuesday next week if all goes well :)