Couch to 5k – My First Week of Running

Well, I started using the Couch to 5k app last Monday. The app helps you build up from running for 1 minute at a time to running 5k over the course of 8 weeks. It had been recommended to me by a few people so I thought it would help me start to run and hopefully continue to run by easing me into it.

Last Monday I ran for the first time. I left my house and followed the instructions on the app – I walked for 5 mins, ran for a minute, walked for 90 seconds, ran for a minute and so on until 25 minutes were up and I walked for the last 5 minutes. The fact that each session is only half an hour means that it fits perfectly into my life – Everyone can find 30 minutes in their day if they have enough motivation. My first run I literally just ran from my home down the main road towards greener spaces but I was told by work colleagues that running on the road is harder on your body and so I decided to seek out some green space to run on grass rather than the pavement.

I ran again on Wednesday and this time I walked just the five minutes from our house to a local recreation ground and ran around the edge. There were quite a few other people running too and I didn’t feel self concious or nervous at all – One thing that had stopped me running previously was I thought that people would laugh at me, that I’d look stupid. I’ve always been self concious and never really been comfortable with how I look and running just magnifies that – or so I thought. But, when I put my running trousers and top on I actually felt really good – I’m not as big as I thought I was and I don’t look as bad in lycra as I thought I would! In reality, I look just like every other person out for a run.

My final running session of the night was this evening at 6:30. We had family over for a barbeque and as soon as they left I got changed and went out, squeezing a run in before the children’s bath whilst Dave watched TV with them both. I made some changes for this run that made it the most enjoyable to date – I bought some decent running headphones – Sony ones, £50 down to £12.50 in Tesco! – and put some music on my phone as up until now I’d been listening to the radio. I also put my phone in the zip pocket on the back of my running trousers. This all meant that I was enjoying listening to the music, I wasn’t looking at my phone constantly to check up on how long I had left and I was just focusing on the running. This was the first time it hadn’t felt like a chore and I was motivated to keep going.

A week ago I wouldn’t have even considered exercise and now I hardly recognise myself – I know friends of mine will read this and laugh – Donna? Running? No way! But the couch sitting, internet surfing, cake eating redhead is still here, I just want to add some level of fitness to my life and I hope over the course of Couch to 5k I’ll feel healthier and won’t want to just sit and eat cake any more and that exercise will be a regular feature in my life.

Are you doing Couch to 5k or have you done it already? Do you have any tips? I’d love to know your favourite running tracks too, for now I have rekindled my love affair with the Foo Fighters!

Couch To 5k

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  • Hey Donna, I have recently starting running too!!

    I have about 3 stone to loose and cant afford to go to weekly classes so decided to give running a go. And I cannot believe that I am about to say this but I am loving it!!! I did consider using the couch to 5k app but decided to just run around my local heath and park areas.

    One thing that I have found running easier is to listen to fast beat music, I use the app runtastic and have downloaded their running album…..its great!! You dont have to have the runtastic app as its available on play store. Each song is around 130 beats per minute so it makes you run faster without even noticing…..bonus!! xxx

    • Great tip Jeni, thanks so much! I’ll download it 🙂 Fast music – Check! I am also on a weight loss mission as well as the running. I have stalled with dieting – I got to my weight watchers goal weight and then just got comfortable but really I need to lose about another stone too! x

  • I’m very impressed! I downloaded the app once . . . that was as far as I got!!
    I keep considering having a go at running but then never quite managing it!

    • Seriously, the only thing that stopped me running sooner was looking stupid! How pathetic is that?! I now where pink and black lycra and I have never felt better! I love that I only have to go for half an hour too! x

  • Well done Donna! Good on you. I’m so unfit and need to lose weight but my knees are awful and running makes them worse. Cycling is the way forward instead for me! Good luck with the rest of you 5k quest x

  • Yay, go you! I did try running before I got pregnant but I’m rubbish at it and really don’t enjoy it. Maybe I’ll give it another try one of these days!

  • I started running back in June but kind of got off track with the nice summer days here. I’m back at it because of your IG post! I did my first run this morning and it felt fantastic! I definitely look forward to following your progress to keep myself motivated. Thank you!

  • I was doing the couch to 5k when it fell pregnant and on a healthy lifestyle kick! It was going great then in stopped running as I was pregnant. I really noticed how my fitness improved over the weeks and couldn’t believe I was jogging (albeit slowly!) for half an hour in the final weeks. It’s a free, easy way to live a healthier lifestyle. I really need to start it again! X

  • Good for you lovely! I can’t wait to start running again once i’ve had the baby 😉 I used an app and training programme to get me up to 10k for a race at Marwell – that worked a treat xxx

  • I love running! I started using something similar to the C25K plan back in 2011 for a sponsored 5k for Bliss (after L was born prematurely in Nov10) and pretty much fell in love with it. I’ve had to take quite a few months out from injury and ill health which is total pants but I’m hoping to be back out and running again by the end of the month, fingers crossed!

    Glad you’re getting on well with the C25K, I found looking at the time and distance ticking by on my phone was a downfall of mine too. The instant I stopped I found I enjoyed it much more and went much further 🙂

    Not sure on what music you like but my favourite tracks for running to at the moment are I Can Climb Mountains by Hell is for Heroes, Paint Your Target by Fightstar and Walk by Pantera. I found setting up a playlist just for running worked the best, then I could add any songs that I found really great to run to for the next time 🙂 xx

  • Well done Donna!! I bought a running top last week which was my first step, i need to but some running trousers now so that will probably take another few weeks and then I’m good to go. Will definitely look up the app as it sounds great x

  • Sounds like you are doing so well Donna, you must be so proud of yourself for getting out there and giving it a go. I have never been a runner, I am always tempted but I really am terrible at it, I manage a fast walk much better! xx