today i started my c25k-style walking program. c25k stands for "couch to 5k" and is a 9 week (minimum) plan for beginning runners, taking them from couch potatoes to being able to participate in a 5k run. it does so by using progressively longer intervals of jogs alternating with recovery walks to gradually develop your stamina. you can easily customize it to your capabilities by repeating each week until you can comfortably handle the respective intervals.
me, i don't run (too much impact), but i am looking for a reasonable way to increase my cardio without killing myself, or alternately not getting my heartrate elevated enough. c25k is really popular, and so there are a lot of podcasts, which take the fiddly bits out of interval training by having somebody tell you when to start each interval (or providing musical cues).
normally i walk a 2.5 km loop starting from the shack, which conveniently goes by the mailbox -- that's why we call it the "mailbox walk", bursting with originality, yeah. it takes me about 40 min, which comes to a speed of 4km/h. week 1 of the c25k program consists of 5 min warm-up, then 20 min of alternating 60 sec jogs and 90 sec walks, finishing with 5 min cool-down. i replaced the jogging with speeded-up walking, and the podcast i used had well-matched bpm (beats per minute) for my cadence.
i finished the loop (had to extend it to 3.2 km) in 30 min. that's 6.3 km/h, a ~50% increase in speed. i was sweating and breathing hard, but i wasn't exhausted, which means i did pick a good speed for my fast walk intervals. no endorphin high, *snicker* (i've never in my life had one), but a high of accomplishment. it seems i was right that i can really up my cardio quite a bit without straining myself too much.
i plan to do these interval walks on days when i am not training with gloria (mo, we, fr). on saturdays i'll do exercises i learned from gloria at home, and on sundays i either rest or just do some random outdoorsy thing like kayak. it's kinda ambitious, so here's hoping i can keep this up -- i don't think it's too ambitious, and gloria sent email today asking how i was feeling, which is pretty awesome. if she keeps up this level of motivation, i might be able to keep up this level of commitment. the weather has been cooling off the last few days too, and we're basically through the summer heat now (yay!). if it rains too hard, i can do the same routine on the exercycle.