Couch to 5K

By | September 22, 2016

I completed couch to 5k before I started blogging, but I wanted to share with you what I got from it, and some thoughts I had during the program.

Firstly, I cannot recommend this set of podcasts highly enough. I’ve never been a good runner, and four months after giving birth I couldn’t have run to the kitchen, I’d gained nearly four stone and wasn’t very happy with myself. I’ve struggled with eating disorders in the past, and even though I’d say now that it’s well behind me, I don’t like gaining weight and am very conscious of old habits creeping back in. But as a new mother it wasn’t just about losing weight or gaining fitness, it was something for me. Three times a week I’d leave my daughter with her dad, put my trainers on and go for a run around our local park, I hated it to start with, but I needed it, and in time I began to love it, even missed it on my rest days. It’s been great for my mind as well as my body.

There are many apps available for it, some which let you listen to your own music. I used the NHS podcasts, they’re voiced by a lady called Laura. I went through stages of loving Laura, hating her, and thinking she was an absolute crazy person. The program works following walk/run/walk intervals, with the runs slowly getting longer, until you can run for 30minutes. Now I should say, 30 minutes of running at this stage probably won’t be 5km. I think the theory is if you can run for 30minutes you will be able to carry on for 5km if you’d want to. My best to date is 5km in 34 minutes though, I am a very slow runner.

Week one run one very nearly killed me. It’s walking for 2 minutes running for 1 minute, 8 times, and my legs have never known a pain like it, the day after my whole body hurt, my arms absolutely killed. None of the runs that followed hurt half as much as that one. The four weeks that follow gradually increase your running times and decrease the walking times, to the point that you start running more than you walk. Then out of nowhere, after only having run for 5minute intervals in week four, in week five, that crazy cow wants you to run for 20minutes. Continuously. In a row. Without dying. I was unbelievably worried about this run, there was no way I was going to be able to do it, my legs just wouldn’t cope. During the run I kept expecting it to get hard, having Laura’s encouragement was incredible, and I did it. It wasn’t even that bad, I was so proud of myself, you’d think I’d won all of the Olympics.14310680_1151487094912191_4859310502452396032_n

From there you have what seems to be an easy week running two 10 minute intervals, before climbing from 20, to 25, 28 and then 30, and I never looked back.

I now consider myself a runner, I love it. I wouldn’t have believed that 6 months ago.


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  • Ah well done you! I wish I could still run…after knee surgery never been the same. I bet you feel brill for it and such an achievement xx #coolmumclub

    • emma

      I feel for you! I’m really struggling since being back at work, I only do 16 hours, but it’s all on my feet and I’ve got quite bad varicose veins, so my legs feel so heavy when I try to run. I’m hoping I get used to it. X

  • Well done. I have just started training again. I did 10k last year and next year I am doing the moonwalk so I need to get training pronto #coolmumclub

    • emma

      Amazing! I managed 10k for the first time about a month ago, once I’d got to 9 and knew I was going to make it, it was the best feeling

  • shinnersandthebrood

    Good on ya! I have been starting and stopping C25K for about 12 months. I’m gonna do it before Christmas. I have to. I can do it. Can’t I? So flipping hard though…

    • emma

      You absolutely can!! If I can, anyone can. Honestly that first run I never believed I’d do it. Just keep telling yourself before every run, it’s only 30mins of your life! And you’ll feel wonderful for a lot longer than 30mins after you finish.

      • shinnersandthebrood

        I wish I was one of those people who love running!

        • emma

          I’m not a natural. And I can get really bored, I’ve found podcasts or audiobooks really helpful, if I get really into a book I almost forget I’m running.

  • This is simply AMAZEBALLS! I buggered my knee and now can not run…I miss it so much! I’ll have to live vicariously through you instead. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

    • emma

      Thank you x

  • Well done! It sounds like you’ve done so well. Also 34 minutes for 5k is not that slow. Give it a few weeks and you’ll be under 30 mins 🙂 I’ve never been a big fan of running but now I am a mummy I keep trying it now and again because it gets me out the house. I might look into the app you used. Thanks for sharing your story. #CoolMumClub

    • emma

      Thank you, you should definitely check it out. Now I’ve ‘graduated’ I used the Nike run club app, which I also really like.