I’m just going to put it out there – going to the gym bores me. It is the worst. I don’t mind the exercise part but watching the same space whilst being on one of the machines really bores me. And to top it off, I am absolutely useless at running. All I want to do is to be able to run. I have never been able to do it. It absolutely kills my legs.
I am in extreme need of a lifestyle change. I have always struggled with my weight but now more than ever, I just want to feel happy in my body. I don’t even want to be a size 8 or anything (not that there is anything wrong with think people!) but I just want to feel a bit happier in my curves and lose my god awful belly! I mean, I’m not getting any younger and if I don’t start to improve my fitness now, will I ever get round to doing it?
Ok, so since I’m so awful at sticking to things and seeing them through, I’m giving myself an incentive for when I reach the end of the program and will be able to run 5K. There’s a pair of Kurt Geiger boots that I reallllllllly want, so in 9 weeks time, they will be mine and I won’t feel bad about spending the money! (That’s me just committed myself right there!)
What is Couch to 5K?
Couch to 5K is a running plan developed to help absolute beginners get into running. The beginners’ running plan was developed by a novice runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his fifty-something mum get off the couch and start running too. Couch to 5K involves three runs each week, with a day of rest between runs, with a different schedule for each of the nine weeks.
I am now one third of my way through the Couch to 5K programme and I’m definitely beginning to see a difference. I can now run for much longer than I could before. I schedule my runs for the evening, when I finish work. By the end of the day I really can’t be bothered going out but I push myself and it’s so worth it once I’ve finished.
I’m so lucky to live in such a beautiful place. Running in the outdoors is honestly doing me the world of good. There are so many routes near where I live which makes it even easier to pull out my trainers and go for a run.
Start off with a brisk 5 minute warm up walk. then alternate between 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of running for 20 minutes. So, in total you run for 8 minutes.
I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous starting my first day of the program because I know just how unfit I am and I thought that if I struggled, I would give up after the first run. That’s always been my mindset. I get disappointed when I can’t achieve something and immediately give up. It is the completely wrong attitude to have and I know that fine and well, but I’ve just always been like that.
I’m trying to change parts of my life that make me unhappy so I know that I need to change my mindset and attitude towards things, especially when I’m struggling. Giving up isn’t going to get me anywhere!
So, I was pleasantly surprised with myself on my first run, actually managing to complete the podcast without cheating! This made me feel good and actually want to go out and keep going with the program. After my first run, my legs were agony, and it didn’t help that I never took a rest day between my first and second run. When I went to work the day after my second run, I could barely bend down. My legs were AGONY. It definitely taught me the importance of rest days! Day three wasn’t as bad and I was so chuffed with myself that I had actually completed Week One of the program!
Again, you start with a 5 minute brisk warm up walk. Then you alternate between 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking, for 20 minutes.
When I began Week Two on the Monday, my legs didn’t feel as bad as I had been well rested by not running at the weekend. 90 seconds of running does not sound much at all, I now actually feel pathetic that I struggled with running that long at the time. But, everyone has to start somewhere! As the week went on and I did my second and third runs, I began to notice that it was becoming easier to run for longer. Although, my legs absolutely ached before and after!
A 5 minute brisk warm up walk gets you started. This week is a bit different and you do 2 repetitions of the following: 90 seconds of running; 90 seconds of walking; 3 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking. 9 minutes altogether of running.
I was extremely nervous moving on to Week Three. Me, running for 3 minutes, absolutely no chance! But nope, I managed it! I pushed myself through my aching calves and completed all three runs! I’m actually starting to get the hang of it! I’m beginning to actually enjoy running and it’s becoming an important part of my routine, just as important to me as gong to work and eating dinner is!
Many of you may think that everybody should be able to run for 3 minutes, and yes I agree, it’s shocking that only 3 weeks ago, I probably couldn’t. But I am trying, and I’m putting my all into this program because I really do want to change my lifestyle!
Is it working?
I feel like I have made quite a bit of progress in the 3 weeks I have been following the program. When I finish my runs, I have so much more energy. Usually, I would go home from work, have dinner and collapse in front of the television for the majority of the night. Since I’ve started running, I have become way more productive in the evenings. I actually don’t mind doing some housework when I get in. Then when I sit down to watch television, I feel like I’ve actually earned it!
I have also noticed an improvement in my sleep hygiene. Before, I had tried everything to fall asleep, reading, avoiding my phone for an hour before bed etc, but I always ended up laying awake for hours with daily worries going through my head. Since I’ve started running, as soon as my head hits the pillow, I’m out for the count! It’s absolutely amazing.
My weight hasn’t changed yet, but I know that takes time! My legs, on the other hand, are changing shape and I am really happy with them!
Starting Couch to 5K is probably one of the best things I have done for myself, I just wish I had started it sooner!
I am going to update my progress at the end of Week 6 and the end of Week 9, when I will be able to run 5k! This makes me so excited but absolutely terrified as that’s only 5 weeks away!
Does anybody have any running tips for me?