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Is Couch-To-5K right for me?

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Old 05-09-2005, 11:40 PM   #1
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Question Is Couch-To-5K right for me?

I've only just learned about the Couch-to-5k program and am thinking of starting it. The only problem is that my knees and back aren't in the best of shape. (My doctor has ordered X-rays and a bone density scan, but he seems to think it is arthritis.) I already walk for exercise, but I would like to make my bones stronger. Would running be better in that reguard, or should I stick to walking?

Is anyone else doing Couch-to-5k? Any insights?
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:09 AM   #2
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Hi Betani !! ... Welcome !!

Several have done that program, but not me, I'm sure they will come along and give you some personal insight....If you start the Couch to 5k and your knees are too sore, just taper it down to suit your needs and eventually you will be able to do it... What's the rush to do it exactly as stated in the training program?... Also, at first if you can't run it all just walk/run, 1:1 one minute each...

As for walking or running for making bones stronger I really don't know which is better ... But one thing I do know for sure is that weight training is your best friend when it comes to bone density and making bones stronger. I see that you are only 29, I was talking to a lady in the gym yesterday, she is at least between 50 and 60 I didn't ask, she was saying how much easier her yard work is now since doing some weight training and going to the gym. Shes has osteoarthritis and MS !!

You should definitely keep walking but try the run/walking routine it'll be a great change, and if you possibly can I highly recommend seeing a qualified personal trainer at a gym and getting the basics of weight training to help your bones. Even if you don't have arthritis it will help prevent it or keep it at bay when you are menopausal...

I hope this helps...
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:32 AM   #3
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Running can actually hurt you if not done properly. And if you jump out of a sedentary life right into running, you might do some damage. I don't know what the couch to 5K is. But if they start you off with walking and some "light" short-distance running, it's likely to be safe.

I started out walking and worked my way up to running. My knees aren't great either, and were much worse with all the added weight. So I always wear some knee support to help protect them. My backaches also got better once I started exercising. I started off with a 1 mile walk, then moved to a walk/run. As I was able to run more of that mile non-stop, I increased to 1 1/2 miles walk/run, 2 miles, etc. until I was running a full 3 miles consistently.
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:37 AM   #4
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You can use the Couch-to-5K program for walking instead of running. The only thing I'd be wary of is that it IS a pretty rigorous program in that it is designed to get you ready in the shortest amount of time possible, and can require a lot of hours per week if you are walking instead of running. So, you might look at the program to understand the logic of how it's built, and then scale it down a little if it seems tough given your condition.
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Old 05-10-2005, 01:16 PM   #5
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I looked at the couch to 5k program, but didn't try it. It looked a little too intense to me, starting from being totally out of shape. I think the program assumes that you have been in shape in the past, and that you are not too overweight (the weight can really drag you down and put extra force on your knees). I've worked up from being completely out of shape to being able to run over 3 miles, but it took me about four and a half months, much longer than the two the program has. OTOH, I didn't work out every day (3x/week), so maybe it would work better if you do -- and you say you already walk, so it should be easier.

I'd say try it, and if it's too intense or your knees hurt, ease off. There's no rush! Also, if you have access to a track (rather than just concrete), the sponginess of the track material will reduce the impact on your knees.

Also, don't forget that to keep your bones healthy and strong you need to get all your calcium!
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Old 05-13-2005, 08:36 PM   #6
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Well, I started the program this week. I'm a bit sore and achy, but I'm not sure if something's wrong, or if it's the soreness that automatically comes with starting a new exercise routine.

I think I will probably do each week twice before I progress to the next. I think that sounds reasonable...
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Old 05-13-2005, 08:54 PM   #7
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Sore and achy is pretty normal Betany... Doing each week twice sounds like a good plan, even a third time if you feel it's right, is a good idea...
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Old 05-15-2005, 09:48 PM   #8
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Well, I finished week 1 for the first time. The difference in the way I did is that after I finished the 20 minute session, I would continue walking (appx 4mph) to fill out a full hour of exercise. My husband tells me I am overdoing it, but I've been power walking for over an hour at a time for some time now, and I don't think that I am. Could he be right, though?
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Old 05-16-2005, 08:06 AM   #9
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Betani -- Your body will tell you when you are overtraining. If you start having stress fractures and such, hold back, if not well, you go girl...
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