Couch to 5K – My Thoughts (Part One)

As someone who would never describe herself as “sporty” (or particularly interested in team sports or hitting the gym for that matter) the idea that I could take up running was a bit out there.

Could I run to catch a bus? Sure. Though I’d likely be out of breath for minutes afterward.

The only time running made any kind of sense to me was in some of my dreams (which I have touched upon in this post).

In my dreams I could run like a gazelle, effortless and graceful. The pavement and my surroundings a blur as I raced up hills and down long, deserted country roads.

At some point I came across the Couch to 5K (C25K) program and thought it looked doable for me. Or at least it was worth trying out.

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The one I decided on is offered at NHS Choices where you can download the weekly programs and get a description of how each week is set up.

It’s a nine week program that’s specifically geared towards beginner runners and while it is made for those of us who aren’t already hitting the pavement it’s always advisable to check with your doctor before starting.

With Couch to 5K the goal is to run three times a week, gradually building up your endurance so that eventually you’ll be able to run for 30 minutes without stopping, or run a 5K.

And, having completed the program, can I run for 30 minutes without stopping? Yes I can and more.

Can I run a 5K? Yup, though it takes me a bit longer than 30 minutes to do so.

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Is it easy? God no. At least it wasn’t for me. There were times I was huffing and puffing and wondering if my legs would just give out. (They did not). But I think the most difficult bit is more mental than physical. So often we tell ourselves we “can’t” before we’ve even tried. Luckily I have my husband to be my cheerleader when I doubt myself and slowly I got over thinking I couldn’t and started to think “but what if I can?“.

Day One of Week One for me was on August 10th of 2016.

Since then I’ve had over 75 runs with a short break over Christmas and into New Years and it has gotten easier to an extent. I no longer doubt I can finish a run before I’ve even started and I run for longer and at a faster pace. I’ve varied the routes I take depending on how long I want to run for, the weather and how I’m feeling that particular day.

Now I even enjoy running in the rain. Which is just…. bizarre…..

So yeah, the program did work though I did go off piste a bit near the end. More on that in Part Two coming up soon.

Please drop me a comment if you’re doing C25K now or have graduated, would love to hear how it was for you and where you are now in your running journey.

A Few Thoughts on Running

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This is my running jar. Every time I lace up and get outside and run I add another stone. As you can see it’s time for another jar.

Back in august of 2016 I laced up some runners, went outside and started on the C25K journey. The first day was the worst. Mostly before actually starting it and because my brain kept coming up with new and exciting ways I would fail.

But I didn’t fail. (Take that, brain.)

The newest stone in the jar is a bit special because it commemorates my 75th run. I’ve breezed through warm days with the sun on my face. I’ve plodded along on rainy days with almost frozen drops pelting me. I’ve schlepped over snow covered paths convinced any second I’d wind up slipping on a hidden bit of ice.

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These are the running pants I wear most days. They started off with crisp reflective stripes down one leg and now they’re looking a bit worse for wear. I pretend that what I always liked to think of as my racing stripes have worn off from the high velocity breezes that they’re subjected to when I run.

The going has at times been hard (and still is to be honest) but at the end of each run, as sweat is pouring down my face, I can’t help but smile.

A more in depth review of my C25K experience is in the works and any time anyone wants join in with their own experiences I would love that!

Couch to 5k – Week 5, Day 3

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My around the lake running track.

This was the day I had been dreading for a while now. The first non-stop 20 minute run of the program. And how did it go, you may ask?

Nailed it! 😀

I surprised myself with this one. When I started this in August I was unsure if I would ever get to running for 5 minutes at a time, let alone twenty. I may be able to finish this thing after all.

Anybody else doing Couch to 5k? Would love to hear how you’re getting on wherever in the program you are.

 

 

Couch to 5k – Week 2, Day 1

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So as you can likely tell from the title, today was the first day of week two of the Couch to 5k program for me. This week ramps up the running/jogging interval to 90 seconds followed by two minutes of walking. Real runners will giggle at having to run for only a minute and a half at a time but for someone who’s never run before I feel pretty damn pleased with myself that I got through it. And got through it without lumbering along at a snail’s pace and taking extra breaks. Go me.

If you’re doing Couch to 5k I’d love to hear how you’ve been getting along.