Week 1 of C25K

When we originally brought Vibram FiveFingers into the shop, our thought was that - with their low profile and siping - they'd make great shoes for our local watersports: whitewater kayaking, windsurfing, kiting, etc. But it didn't take long to discover that the VFF's have their most devoted following in the running world. Since we tend to like our exercise to have a healthy dose of adrenaline however - something my personal running speed does not accomplish - we observed this growing segment from the sidelines. Until now! After reading countless blogs proclaiming Vibram FiveFingers to be to running what peanut butter is to jelly, I finally decided I'd dry out my Classics and put them to a non-watersport use.

I do some walking in my VFF's, but I'll admit it's mostly to go sit in my boat, and there were enough comments in the blogs about sore this-and-thats (and I really don't like being sore unless there's a whopper of a story to go with it) that I put my research hat on. It didn’t take long to come across a program called C25k - or "Couch to 5k". In addition to having a great name, the website states that the program is "designed to get just about anyone from the couch to running 5 kilometers or 30 minutes in just 9 weeks" and there are a bunch of VFF converts out there that are using the program - which is based on walk/run intervals - to get up to speed in their FiveFingers.

When I mentioned my idea to the shop's GPB – who gets a lot of great feedback and comments from VFF customers – he thought C25K sounded like a good way to start, but threw out the additional suggestion of starting on a soft running surface. That sounded reasonable and even smart. I live a couple of blocks away from the local middle school's cinder track, so yesterday morning I downloaded a Week 1 podcast from the C25K site and headed out the door.

Initial thoughts: I felt like I forgot something at home. Like my shoes. For the most part, walking on pavement in VFF's feels like you're going barefoot... and it feels a little wierd. "Mommy, that lady doesn't have any shoes on!"

Next thoughts: Interval training is definitely the way to go for me! While I don't run much, I do bike a few times a week, so the cardio in the first week schedule isn't challenging, but the tendons in my feet and lower legs were ready for a break every time the podcast told me to "walk".

The aftermath: My lower legs and feet were a little tight this morning, but definitely weren't sore. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's work out and am heading out of the house in just a moment for an easy (FiveFinger) walk just to stretch everything out.

I won’t be boring you with a full run down of every workout, but I’ll be sure to let you know how it’s progressing over the next nine weeks. Two things on my horizon: 1) I downloaded a C25K app for my iPhone (there are a couple available) so I can listen to my own music while doing the intervals and 2) a pair of KSO’s to replace my Classics if I keep jogging on cinder tracks!

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