Mar 23, 2013

My First 5K - Week 3

Last Week's Progress
Sometimes training is a grind.  It was week 2 for Liz.  

A sore left knee.
Young kids that require full and constant attention made it difficult to head outside for a run.
The treadmill can be a bore. 

Yet she stuck with it, logging 12 miles for the week and working hard enough to raise her heart rate a good beat.

We emailed a few times to ensure she's experiencing knee soreness and not injury.  Soreness is usually okay to train through, as the body is balking at the fuss of moving more.  Injury means something is damaged and we need to stop jogging or scale way back to let the body heal.  Since the pain mostly goes away a few minutes into the workout, we'll chalk it as soreness but watch it closely to ensure it doesn't worsen into injury.

A new pair of shoes, dose of ibuprofen, walking more than jogging and stretching afterwards will hopefully help make this next week feel better. 

Next Week
Liz has a couple walking partners lined up, her mother is visiting for a few months and can help watch the kids, we got this.  Here's the plan for week 3:
  • Saturday - 3 mile fast walk with hills.  On a treadmill, set the speed to 4 mph, incline to 1%, every 2 minutes increase the incline by 1%.  Max at 10% grade, then start over at 1%, adding on every 2 minutes.
  • Sunday - 2.5 miles, alternate 1 minute walking, 1 minute jogging.
  • Monday - Rest, take the day off if sore or casual walk 2 miles if the legs feel good.
  • Tuesday - 3 miles, alternating walking and jogging every other block.
  • Wednesday - 3 mile hill workout, same as Saturday.  Try to finish one minute faster than you did on Saturday.
  • Thursday - Rest, classes.
  • Friday - Sweaty smorgasbord, pick an activity of your choosing that gets your heart pumping for 30 minutes.  Run, bike, elliptical, unicycle or group fitness class.  Key here is you need to work hard.  If using a machine like an elliptical, set the level high enough that your heart and breathing are thumping and it's difficult to hold a conversation.

Liz is looking for a 5K in May to sign up for, she'll do great!



  1. Nice work- keep it up Liz! I need my own motivator and maybe I'll be able to do a 5k myself.

    1. See if you can find a friend to train with and run a 5K together. Built in motivation, and the workouts are easier with someone there to sweat with.

  2. Anonymous3/24/2013

    Rock on woman! It's so hard with the kiddos! So happy to hear Grammy is on the way and you will be able to give yourself some attention.

    B, just reading about heal first contact running. Those barefooters warn about it in regards to greater impact and long term injury. what's going on down there? Is it heal to toe? Toe to heal? Something in between? Care to give your thoughts on proper foot placement and the barefoot debate?

    1. I'm not a fan of the barefoot craze, it's a fad that will soon pass.

      I don't know of any modern fast runners that do the barefoot thing. Heck, even the best runners in the world that train in remote, poor areas of Kenya wear modern tech shoes. While going barefoot or wearing a minimal shoe like a Vibram 5 is usefull for encouraging the body to run on the front of the foot vs. heel strike, I'd rather not want to worry about stepping on glass, dog poop and hard bare concrete with little foot protection.

      I wear a compromise, the Saucony Kinvara is a neutral ride that encourages front-foot landing to help thwart foot injury such as plantar faciitis. It's a light and fast shoe, not the right fit for everyone, though.

  3. Anonymous3/24/2013

    Agreed. Thanks for putting in your two cents!

    1. Xero shoes look sweet, I'm going to order a pair for lounging and running on golf course grass.

  4. Not sure if you've touched on this in any of the previous running posts, but any thoughts on using a heart rate monitor? I know plenty of people that use them, but I also know plenty that don't. I could possibly see where it could be beneficial, but am also not too sure if it's worth the money?

    I have just started running myself, and will be running my first 5k in just about 6 weeks, trying to decide if I should make the investment or not and figured I'd get your thoughts. (or curls, or any of the other readers?)

    1. Hey, way to go on signing up for your fist 5k!

      I don't train with a heart rate monitor, but many runners do to help keep tabs on effort and ensure they are working in the right zone. You probably don't need one if training for your first race, I'd focus for now on consistent training and ensuring you are hitting goal mileage each week.

      Once you get a couple races under your belt and want to improve your times and become more competitive, a monitor may be useful when doing repeats or high effort threshold runs. If you do decide to look at monitors, perhaps you can find a friend that owns one and borrow it for a couple workouts to see if you like it. The chest strap is uncomfortable for some, others don't mind it and like the instant read on how hard the heart is working. Make sure to get one with a replaceable battery on the watch and chest strap.

      Good luck with your 5k, please come back and share how it goes.

    2. Good idea on asking a friend to borrow one. (Somehow I hadn't thought of that as an option!) I'm totally a numbers kinda gal, so I think that eventually a heart rate monitor is something I'd get a lot of use out of. But you are probably right, I'll wait until I've got a few smaller runs under my belt.

      Will definitely let you know how that first 5k goes!


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