I don’t talk about exercise a whole lot… not sure why. It’s not that I don’t get exercise, but I know I don’t get as much as I… could…? And yea, that would probably also mean I don’t get as much as I should. I could make all sorts of excuses about the weather, my schedule, and this and that… but the fact is it just hasn’t been a priority for me. It know it’s in part to blame for why I’m up around 215 now instead of the 205 I was at pretty much all of last year. I know what I need to do to get rid of the weight… the gastric bypass part still works fine, but exercise is part of it. I know that. I just… haven’t been.
I typically get to the gym at least once a week, usually on a Monday or Tuesday. I do some weights (upper body typically), but the majority of what I do is work the track, a mix of fast walking and jogging. I’ve been in a bit of a rut as far as that goes, typically doing three laps walking, three jogging, rinse, repeat, doing that for anywhere from 2.5 to 4 miles (3 miles is typical though). But with my Dash From Obesity (you knew I had to tie that in here somewhere, no?) coming up in less than six weeks, I really want to step up my game. I want to build up my running endurance.
I have no plans to become a “runner”. It’s not that I don’t think I could, I just have no real desire to do so. But I figure it will be a good way to build up my overall endurance, so I’m trying to increase those number of jogging laps I do between the walking laps. I did get up to a 3-6 mix a couple times by really slowing down my jogging, but then I missed the gym for almost two weeks and it’s like I was starting over again. So… since I can’t afford a personal trainer, I’m turning to the next best thing – the internet.
I’ve looked at the Couch To 5-K (C25K) program before, and over the weekend I went back to look in to it again, even downloading some podcasts to use in helping with the pace setting and timing. I found the link to Robert Ullrey’s podcasts on the C25K.com site. Thing is, they come in a format (m4a) that doesn’t play well with my mp3 player… but after downloading them I was able to get a free linux program to covert them to mp3. I loaded them up, and did the first week while at the gym after work on Monday.
Now the first week is pretty basic, five minutes of brisk walking to warm up followed by nine sets of 60 seconds running and 90 seconds walking with the final walk being five minutes again to cool down. I’m used to doing about 2.5 minutes running and 3-4 minutes walking in cycles, so this went pretty easy for me. Not to say I didn’t get a workout – I was sweating, but I don’t think I need to stick with this one for the whole week (3 sessions) the program calls for. I have support group on after work tonight, but I’ll have time to hit the gym and I’ll be moving right to Week 2. And honestly, I’m not sure I’ll stick with that one more than the one session either. I’ll be checking in later this week to let you know for sure.
Anyways, if this is something you want to learn more about, the Cool Running site has the program itself, by the guys that created it. The C25K.com site links there, but also to a bunch of other sites with various stuff to do with the program, including Rob Ullery’s podcasts. I think the podcasts are going to really help, besides some nice music to help you keep pace to, he has voice over reminder to let you know when to start each run and walk phases so you don’t have to do anything but listen. BTW, you can also get those podcasts via iTunes – but I have the mp3 versions in a zip file you can download, and if you want info on the music he uses check out his site. Just a warning tho, it’s a big file… 363Mb.