couch to 10k – ok, go!

so. my first entry.

i’m starting this blog with the high hope that it will motivate me to keep on the couch to 10k program (details below) i started 2 weeks ago. fingers and blistered toes crossed!
i bought a house in a neighborhood only a few miles, but lots more traffic away from the gym where i have my membership and it seems an impossibility to get there these days. also, i don’t do new year’s resolutions, but when i was in l.a. over new year, i thought that if i were to make a resolution, it would be to run a 10k this year.
a few years ago, i tried to run with patty, one of my best friends in the world. she’s run the l.a. marathon numerous times, as well as quite a few others and she has the medals to show for it. i joined her  in the santa monica mountains and she took me through a running/walking program till i managed to run the entire 3mile loop in those topanga hills. however, one day when i got back from a run,  i nearly collapsed when i tried to put my weight on my foot as i got out of the car after driving the 15 minutes home. i may have fractured a metatarsal – not sure, but i spent 6 weeks in a boot and that was the end of my running. 
i’ve tried the occasional run on the treadmill since then, but i’ve never been consistent about it. till now.  
week 1 
was not bad. i was on a 10- day break from work and started running the same day i started a 3 day detox. day 1  and 2 were ok. by day 3 i had a migraine from hell as a result of the detox and after 24 hrs i finally caved and took some migraine pills. i had to skip day 3 as i couldn’t possibly run with the pounding in my head. ran again friday and then saturday when i nearly had my car stolen in the half hour i was at the track. 
i parked in a cul de sac and when we came out of the stadium i had alarm bells go off in my head as i saw a red car slowly backing up from behind mine. i glanced over at my car, but everything seemed fine. no broken windows, but somehow i still felt that something was out of place. the red car was still backing up really slowly as if checking whether i was the owner of the car. i walked over to the car and as i glanced through the window,  i realized that the dash was lying on the seat and the ignition was hanging smashed on the floor. i looked up with my heart racing, but the red car was gone.
i was incredibly lucky. the guys had obviously been disturbed by some people who had come out into the road and then by us getting back to the car. unbelievable as it may seem, they had been so intent on trying to steal the car that they missed my wallet in the glove compartment! 
so here i am, another crime statistic. it’s going to cost more than R30 000 (about $4000) to fix the damage. but it hasn’t stopped me from my running program! it’s an annoying and expensive inconvenience, but i’m trying to see it as just another obstacle to overcome, in the same vein as sore muscles and shin splints. not quite, but you know what i mean.
week 2
my work schedule required that i take monday off and the first time i had to run the consecutive 2 laps, i wasn’t quite sure whether i was going to make it! wednesday was ok. had to be at work really early, so we went running in the evenings around 5. the weather was cool – no sun. thursday was an exercise in mind over matter.  was amazed at the guy who just kept going round and round the track like an energizer bunny, fantastic form. like the winged god mercury he kept flying round the track, occasionally switching direction while we panted and wheezed our way around the track. got back too late from work on friday.
saturday felt like i was starting from scratch. lasz had been complaining about his hips being sore for a few days now and i had to keep encouraging him to keep him going. by the last 2 laps he bowed out while i pushed through, inspired by the a woman with abs like buns rising in a pan who was powering around the track  – i think i heard her say something about olympic trials. there was a team practicing for “master’s” athletics – anyone over 38 can join. i think i’ll stick to my 10k plan for now.
week 3 starts tomorrow and i’m scared! day 3 takes a leap from 3 consecutive laps to 8 and i’m not sure i have it in me yet. 
so there you have it. now that i’ve stated my intention for all to see, hopefully it’ll keep me honest and finding the time to get to the track in between a very busy work schedule. in fact, i’ve stolen some time from learning words in order to start this blog. i’ve also decided to cut alcohol out of my diet for the time being (2 weeks today) so hopefully that will help too. 
when my friend joan and i trained the entire summer of 2003 to rollerblade the long beach marathon, we not so jokingly said that we were athletes in training. 
watch this space! i’m an athlete in training… 


Danny Haralson’s
Couch to 10K in 10 weeks (5K in 7) 
This is a simple formula for a beginning (or re-starting) runner to go from no exercise to completing a 5K (and a little beyond).

You must follow the instructions exactly! The reason for this is two-fold: most people decide they are going to run and go out and ‘knock out’ 4 or 5 miles and the next day they feel terrible and it’s easy to not go back-or they stick it out, do too much too soon and injure themselves. So, in this program run no MORE and no LESS than it calls for, then after about 10 weeks you will be kicked out of the nest. Try to pick out an upcoming race and use it as a ‘goal day’ or target race, this will help keep you focused. Again, follow the program EXACTLY and have fun because you are on the right path to a lifetime of fitness.

Week 1:
Go to a local track (Samford, Vestavia High, Mt. Brook High) because the distances are exact. Once on the track walk 1/2 lap, then jog 1/2 lap, walk a half, jog a half for 1 mile. You will alternate jogging & running 8 times (4 each) and complete 4 full laps, that’s exactly 1 mile. Now no matter how good you feel, go home. Do this 4 to 6 days a week; never less than 4 days or more than 6 days weekly.

When you complete 4 full laps, that’s exactly 1 mile, now no matter how good you feel, go home. Do this 4 to 6 days a week.

Never less than 4 days or more than 6 days weekly.

Week 2:
(4 to 6 days per week) Start with a 5 minute warm up walk, then alternate walking & jogging and walk only half the distance of each jog, as follows:
Jog 1/4 mile (one lap) then
Walk 1/8 mile (1/2 half lap)
Jog 1/2 mile (2 laps)
Walk 1/4 mile (1 lap)
Jog 1/4 mile (1 lap)
Walk 1/8 mile (half-lap)
Jog 1/2 mile…go home

Week 3:
5 Days this week:
Day 1: Brisk 5 minute warm up walk, then:
1/2 mile jog, 1/4 mile walk, 1/2 mile jog, 1/4 mile walk, 1/2 mile jog; total 2 miles. Go home
Day 2: 5 minute warm up, then: 3/4 mile jog (3 laps) 1/2 mile walk (2 laps) 3/4 mile jog; total 2 miles. Go home.
Day 3: 5 minute warm up then: 2 mile jog (8 laps) NO WALKING!!! Catch your breath and go home. Good job.
Day 4: Repeat day 3
Day 5: Repeat Day 2.

Week 4:
5 workouts this week.
Day 1: warm up, then: 1/2 mile jog, 1/4 mile walk, 3/4 mile jog, 1/4 mile walk, 1/2 mile jog: total 2 1/4 miles. Go home.
Day 2: warm up, then: 1 mile jog (4 laps) 1/4 mile walk, 1 mile jog; total 2 1/4 miles. Go home.
Day 3: warm up, then: 2 1/4 mile jog (9 laps) NO WALKING! Day 4: Repeat Day 2
Day 5: Repeat Day3

**** Here we go! All running from now on! ***** You can go off the track and on the road for some runs if you wish. There are some recommended & measured paths at the end of this, please stay on the schedule and go no further than the schedule suggests!

Week 5:
Warm Up! Then jog 2.5* miles 4 to 6 days. * Looking back, see how easy weeks 1 & 2 were?*

Week 6:
Warm Up! Then jog 2* miles 4 to 6 days. (*Yes, cut back, let your body consolidate it’s gains).

Week 7:
Warm up! Then a 3 mile jog. You are ready for a 5K for fun. Not one this weekend? Here’s your weekly ‘Stay in Shape’ schedule.
Day 1: 3 miles
Day 2: 2.5 miles
Day 3: 3 miles
Day 4: 2.75 miles
Day 5: 3 miles

Week 8:
Day 1: 3 miles
Day 2: 3 miles
Day 3: 4 miles
Day 4: 3 miles
Day 5: 4 miles

Week 9:
Day 1: 4 miles
Day 2: 3 miles
Day 3: 5 miles
Day 4: 4 miles
Day 5: 5 miles

Week 10:
Day 1: 5 miles
Day 2: 4 miles
Day 3: 5 miles
Day 4: 6 miles
Day 5: 5 mile


Caveats, suggestions, ideas, & trails: Don’t run in your old aerobic/tennis shoes. Go get some new running shoes, and buy the ones that are the MOST COMFORTABLE!!! Comfort is NUMBER ONE!!! Looks, style, name-brand, stability, cushion, motion control all are secondary to comfort. If you’re tired skip a day, don’t try to make it up, just keep going, there are enough built in rest days. DO NOT DO MORE THAN THE SCHEDULE CALLS FOR IN THE FIRST 6 WEEKS NO MATTER WHAT!!!!! And try really hard not to do less; you want to succeed don’t you?

Give it 6 weeks before you even consider quitting, you’ll love the results.

Want to lose weight while doing this? WATCH YOUR DIET (less meat & fried foods, more fruits & veggies) & don’t expect overnight results, but by 6 weeks…oh yeah!



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