Well, if I must say so myself, this 54 year old body did pretty good for the prep week of training.
If you recall, last week I read a blog post written by "The Unprepared Father" titled Training for a 5k- Preparation Stage (click on the link to read it) and decided that I wanted to give it a try. I used to run when I was a teen and enjoyed it and had dreamed of possibly doing it again. After reading the article I thought that now was the time.
So I began with the prep stage. The first week, all he suggested was walking for 20 minutes a day. That seemed simple enough. I had been walking all last summer and autumn around the low income housing area where we minister but hadn't been able to walk in about three or four months so I thought that walking would be a good way to start training. I was worried that I might get a little out of breath and tired, but I was pleasantly surprised. It almost seemed like I had never stopped walking and was just picking up where I left off. The only side effect was being a little sore.
So, the next day I went out and did it again. This time I was able to go a little further in the 20 minutes. I actually felt pretty good. It was easy to keep track of how fast and how far I was going using a free app on my phone called "Map My Walk". The fact that we were visiting my mother-in-law and she lives on a loop that is almost exactly 1/5 of a mile helped a lot as well.
Then, on the third day it happened. After the first lap, I felt like running. "But that's not in the plan!" I thought. I resisted it for a lap but couldn't resist on the third lap so I began to jog. I would jog one lap then walk one lap. I did that for the next three days and it was great. Did I get a little winded? Sure, but each day I got a little better.
We took a day trip to The Great Smokey Mountain National Park (see "Cades Cove and Pigeon Forge With Three Unique and Crazy Boys") so I took a day off from my run/walk schedule. Then on Sunday I was only able to do about a 30 minute walk so today I got back on schedule.
It is tough being back home. The loop where mom lives is pretty level. Around here, however, there are a lot of hills. Especially on the route that I took. Plus, I didn't have the convenience of a measured lap to run one round and walk the next. "The Unprepared Father's" plan for the first real week was to run for three minutes and then walk for two minutes and do that three times. The fourth time you can just walk the rest of the way to complete your 20 minutes. Let me tell you, by the end of the 20 minutes I was tired.
It's going to be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. I may have to consider another route that is more level. I am going to keep on going though. I have been looking for a 5k to enter in about eight or nine weeks. Any suggestions? I'll let you know what happens in the second week of my training next Monday. Until then - Happy Running!