Race for Life Pretty Muddy

What. A. LAUGH! Pretty Muddy, Race for Life for Cancer Research. Phew! Earlier this year my best friend pushed me to enter this. 5k race with muddy obstacles, sounds right up my street! (Well, except for running 5k!). Unfortunately I … Continue reading

Week 9! NHS Couch 2 5K! Finish Line!

Finished!

9 weeks of NHS training program and I am a runner!

This week is just as expected, 3 runs of 30 minutes.

I did the first run with the podcast, another with my own music using my watch and the final listening to the podcast again.

I haven’t found it easy. I’m not a super sexy, easy runner. But I did run for 30 minutes without stopping. Plus I always feel good when I finish. I struggle a little through the runs, sometimes I feel close to the edge of my ability .But I can always keep going and I can always finish!

It’s absolutely awesome! In 21 years of being fairly fit and active I have never been able to run for much more than a few minutes and now I am running 2 and a half, nearly 3 miles.

My pace is average, quite slow but good.

I’m going to make sure I go for a run at least once a week so I don’t lose fitness, but as long as I have time I will be running for 3 days a week and work to increase how far I go in 30 minutes.

For anyone considering doing this then I would say YES YES YES! Honestly I thought I’d never be a runner and even though I do lots of walking, climbing & play sports I have never ever been able to jog and this has got me jogging easily! For 30 whole minutes! When I started the podcasts 5 minutes of jogging seemed like a marathon but in a few weeks 5 minutes is nothing.

Everyone can be a runner with a little help from the NHS. Thank you so much!

Week 6! NHS Couch to 5K

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Finished! My pace has slowed so bad after 2 weeks off, but that doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I kept going and I completed them.

Split into 3 runs. Each run starts and finishes with 5 minute walks.

Run 1 – 5 minute run. 3 minute walk. 8 minute run. 3 minute walk. 5 minute run.

Run 2 – 10 minutes run. 3 minute walk. 10 minute run.

Run 3 – 25 minute run.

This makes more sense now. Last week we increased through the week to a long run, then it has been important to go back to easier shorter runs and progress to a long run again. Next week we move on to longer runs every time.

Boy do I hurt now! I’ve really struggled with my stamina and breathing after my very pathetic cold & break. But I’ve managed fine and felt better each time. The 25 run was tough. I started off very well, then developed a horrible stitch that came and went. For the last 5 minutes it felt like a knife in my hip! But then I finished! Walked it off & feel a little sore, but good.

Now I can’t wait for next time and to keep improving! Brilliant program.

Week 3! NHS Couch to 5K

Well this week was interesting.

Usual 5 minute warm up walk while Laura explains this weeks program.

90 seconds jogging. 90 second walk. 3 minutes jogging! 3 minutes walk.
90 sec jog. 90 sec walk. 3 min jog. 3 min walk cool-down.

Ouch! 3 minutes jogging?! Bit of a step up. But it’s not bad at all! Not easy, but not bad. It’s really important to keep a nice pace. If you find your pace then you can keep running without getting tired. The 3 minute walk feels quite long so you are more than recovered.

My legs were certainly feeling it at the end. In a nice way. I benefit a lot from taking a bottle of water with me and my running bottle with a handle is lovely.

My second run of the week didn’t really go to plan; turned down a public footpath thinking it was a nice shortcut to the tracks but no.. Up and down hills, through long grass and cow pat! Not the best training route.

I am feeling a bit fitter so far. Let’s see what Week 4 is going to bring!

[FYI: It is not me in the photograph, unfortunately, I cannot stride that long. That is my boyfriend & my dog.]

Week 2! NHS Couch to 5K

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Now finished Week 2!

90 seconds running and 2 minutes walking. Repeat for 20 minutes.

2 minutes sounds like a long time walking, however it’s enough rest time after 90 seconds running which feels long enough. 90 seconds is a good time of running, it’s doo-able, but you feel it.
Remember this is designed for people who can’t run very well.

After my first 90 seconds I had a stitch, but I walked it off after 2 minutes and it didn’t come back again.

As long as you keep a steady pace it is quite enjoyable. My muscles felt it afterwards in a good ache way. After last week I wasn’t sure I’d be able to step it up but I really surprised myself.

I feel great! Bring on Week 3.

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/get-running-with-couch-to-5k.aspx

NHS Couch to 5K! [Week 1]

I have always been a terrible runner! Always. I’m quite fit. I’m quite active and healthy. But I cannot run more than a few hundred metres without stopping, hand clutching a killer stitch, gasping for air.
I’ve tried to motivate myself, to go out and push myself on a run. I’ve managed to commit to a weekly run of 1 mile which I can do in about 11 minutes with a couple of walking breaks.

Recently I grabbed myself some books about running from my library and in one of them it mentions the NHS website for advice to start running.
Here is where I discovered Couch to 5K!

Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K is a program created by the NHS that aims to get any beginner to be able to run 5K in 9 weeks.

It consists of free podcasts which you download to your iPod or other MP3 device. There is one podcast for each week of training. You have to complete three runs for each week with at least one day break in between.

The podcasts are about 30 minutes long and you have Laura, a lovely lady, talking to you, explaining what you are going to do and giving you instructions of when to run and when to stop and walk, accompanied by some background music.

I found Laura’s voice so friendly and encouraging without being judgemental. (Yes I got all of that from a voice). Which is extremely important. I find it difficult to work with a person such as a coach or even a friend because I feel embarrassed and defeated. However Laura’s voice is brilliant, she makes you feel good about yourself and she’s not actually there to see you struggle.

However you must not cheat as it’s easy to stop running before the time as no one will ever know.

Week 1
So far I have completed 2/3 runs of Week 1. Week 1 consists of a 5 minutes brisk walk warm up. 60 seconds jogging and 90 seconds brisk walking, repeated for 20 minutes. 5 minutes brisk walk cool down.

My first time I found it tough but do-able. When I got to my 4th lot of 60 seconds running I was feeling pretty tired and sweaty but I kept pushing. The second to last run is probably the hardest point but knowing you’ve only got two more left is very motivational and it’s very easy to finish.
I run in the evening about an hour after my tea. On my second run I went out before my tea and found myself much weaker.

I didn’t ache or hurt for my rest day and don’t notice any difference so far which is expected as this is a slow period. I’m not looking forward to my first run of Week 2 as I feel like I’m not ready for the increase but I’m sure I’ll push hard and hopefully surprise myself. Looking forward to the progress.

The music of the podcasts is ok but it’s not as good as having my own choice. However it is motivational music with a tempo that I found myself matching to my stride. Ideally I’d have one earphone for my podcast and one earphone for my music!

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/get-running-with-couch-to-5k.aspx