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Thread: Opinions Wanted on Couch Potato to 5K Type of Training

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  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Opinions Wanted on Couch Potato to 5K Type of Training

    So. I have been lifting weight for quite some time. I feel I am strong and I do lift heavy (I guess - DL 135 lbs, squat 80 lbs, 90 lb rows, 80 lb lat pulldowns).

    But I still need to lose about 20/30 lbs of fat, so I want to incorporate some high-intensity interval work once or twice a week into my fitness program.

    However, I freely admit I am not in the greatest cardiovascular shape. I can walk for miles, and now that the weather is getting nicer in PA, I have been...but I can't jog at a very slow pace for more than 1/8 mile, and I can only do an all-out sprint at max effort for about 25-30 seconds before feeling like I need to stop or I will puke.

    Due to this underdeveloped CV fitness, I am wondering if I will see good results just by following a simple CP25K program, at least for a while. Do you think that doing an easy jog/walk rotation three times a week will help me build up to feeling more comfortable doing hard sprints?

    Thanks for your opinions.

  2. #2
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    I've done the couch to 5k a couple of times now and both times it got me back to being able to do sprints and run for a few miles without stopping. I ultimately can't keep a running schedule for very long periods of time because of my curvier girly figure and the aches and pains running causes in my hips and knees, but the couch to 5k is an excellent way to get started.
    I have some music playlists that tell you when to run and walk. PM me with a good email address and I can send them over to you to get you started.

  3. #3
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    I definitely think the couch to 5K program could be helpful to you. Sometimes people on here think no chronic cardio = no running ever! No chronic cardio means don't run/bike/elliptical for hours a day. I run 2-3 miles at about a 10 minute mile pace (so not fast) several times a week, and I don't think it's doing me any harm. 20 minutes of jogging a day isn't going to be a problem. It once you are better able to run at a slower pace, you will be in a better position to increase the intensity aka sprint.
    No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.
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  4. #4
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    I'm not sure of your size or age, but you could defiintely build those lifts to heavier weights if you started following a program. I'm a 5'3", 170lb female and I deadlift 180, squat 175, bench 125 and press 90.

    When doing sprints, you should only do all out sprints for 8-10 seconds at most. Check out the discussion in PBF for how to set up a good sprinting program.

    If you really want, you could do C25K, but there are other options as well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by teach2183 View Post
    I'm not sure of your size or age, but you could defiintely build those lifts to heavier weights if you started following a program. I'm a 5'3", 170lb female and I deadlift 180, squat 175, bench 125 and press 90.

    When doing sprints, you should only do all out sprints for 8-10 seconds at most. Check out the discussion in PBF for how to set up a good sprinting program.

    If you really want, you could do C25K, but there are other options as well.

    I agree. If you want to be better at sprinting, do sprinting. Your best option is tabata sprints.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2012
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    Thanks all.

    Teach, I started NROLFW in January and (due to chronic winter illness between me and my daughter, and my husband's work travel schedule) I just finished Stage 1 two weeks ago. I start Stage 2 tomorrow. I have seen great strength increases just since January, so I do plan to continue with the program. Prior to that, I was doing more isolated stuff (curls, kickbacks, etc) and I didn't see nearly as much improvement, especially in such a short period of time. I'm 35, 5'5", 184, and have always been muscular. I know I will never be tiny or willowy, but I would like to get back to a size 10 (the size I was when I got married 10 years ago) or even - pipe dream - get to a size 8, which is smaller than I was even in high school.

  7. #7
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    I've never looked at the couch to 5K program before. It seems like it gives you 6 weeks to get to the point where you are able to successfully run the distance without stopping to walk, and then in 3 weeks you get your speed up to 10 minute miles. Am I missing something? I can't imagine getting up to running 10 minute miles in that brief a period of training.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eKatherine View Post
    I've never looked at the couch to 5K program before. It seems like it gives you 6 weeks to get to the point where you are able to successfully run the distance without stopping to walk, and then in 3 weeks you get your speed up to 10 minute miles. Am I missing something? I can't imagine getting up to running 10 minute miles in that brief a period of training.
    I think that a reasonable strong/fit individual, even completely untrained in CV, can become conditioned in just 2 months. As Mark Rippetoe will say, strength takes years to accumulate but the human body is extremely adaptable to conditioning.

    I'm a strength trainee, but when I realized I was getting way out of CV shape from Starting Strength I did the C25k program. The android app is amazing, although it is much better if you can use it outside because it tracks interval speed. I would RUN during the run portion, striving for personal records.

    To the question asker, I say go for it but don't give up on your strength training. What I would do is run my C25k program around a nearby lake, and then stop at the playground (I ran at night so it was empty) for a bodyweight circuit of pushups, dips, pullups, and bodyweight squats/lunges. I didn't lose any strength without barbells (I may have gained a bit), and I gained quite a bit of flexibility.

  9. #9
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    Couch to 5k is more about distance than time, its a pretty good program... if you're knees will take it

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    C25K can be done either by time or by distance. I did it at the age of 52 in 2007 and have been running ever since. I did the program by time because I didn't have anything to gauge distance at that time.

    I've only done two 5Ks, but I was able to do them under my goal time of 40 minutes (after which I puked my guts out). I don't ever recall the program requiring that you run a 10 minute mile. I generally can't sustain higher than a 13.45 minute mile although, I can run a 11 or 12 minute pace for awhile.

    I never had any real issues with my knees and you probably won't if you run in proper form. I've always run with a fore/mid-foot strike rather than a heel strike - keeping my knees slightly bent.

    I think it's a great program for beginning runners.

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