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!