I've been using this program on and off practically since I first discovered it.
Initially I would write down the intervals for the week, then set timers in my phone and run the intervals. But before long I went freestyle as timing the intervals was a colossal pain in my ass, and sort of also I found the progressive length of the intervals daunting. Back then the intervals were two and three minutes!
In hindsight, while it introduced me to the concept of interval training, I'm glad I went my own way while I was still a beginner and ran for fun. Going it alone enabled me to build strength slowly without the constant pressure of an increase in time or speed, and I think if I had been running those longer times when I was not yet ready I may have lost a lot of time to injury.
When I got my iPhone I purchased the Couch to 5k app, because I felt I was physically and mentally ready to tackle the longer intervals, and I wanted to add more structure to my training schedule. I'm currently up to week 5, and have been running five minute intervals. Week five gets a bit hairy in that you're happily running your little five minute intervals and feeling all groovy, then suddenly it jumps to eight, and you're like, ok....i got this.....then it jumps to a TWENTY minute interval!!
I am a little distressed by the idea of running that long, but it's a step that I'm ready to take. My initial goal is just to make the 20, even if I am just barely shuffling along by the end. I figure if it's too much I'll repeat it. Sometimes with a new interval I just barely make it the first time.....but by the third or fourth time I am SMASHING that interval, and that's what I want, not just to make it but to frickin' kill it. Wish me luck.
TO BE CONTINUED...............