This time last year I was taking part in my first 10 mile run; the Great South Run That was one of the best challenges ever and I will never forget how I felt at completing that run. I couldn’t take part in this year’s race due to my foot injury but I would love to do it again.
I first started running 5 year’s ago using the NHS Couch to 5k podcast. This is a 9 week programme that gradually builds you up to run 30 minutes. Since I had my foot pain in May, I have found it difficult to get back into a good running pattern. I made the decision to try the couch to 5k again. This time though I was going to have a running partner; Chris.
I am a bit of a plodder when I run and because of this I do find running on my own is an advantage. Whilst Chris hadn’t run for a while, he was going to make me run and not plod! Can I cope?
As someone who never believed they would never ever run, I am a big fan of the couch to 5k. I am now coming to the end of my third week and I am fully committed to my running plan.
All runs start with a 5 minute walk and one of the other recommendations is to have at least one day’s rest in between each run. I have always stuck to this. Your narrator is a lovely encouraging Laura, who will tell you when to start, give you encouraging tips along the way and really is too nice to shout at when she tells you that you are half way through and don’t give up.
This is the first 3 runs:
Week 1 – run for 60 seconds and walk for 90 seconds for a total of 20 minutes. As this is my second time round, I found it so much easier. This was not the case the first time round. Running the first 60 seconds was so hard and then when I realised I had to do this 8 times, I was devastated. Normally maths is my strong point but first time I really could not make that add up to 20 minutes; more like 50 minutes.
The one thing I recommend when you finish running is stretching. I missed this out on my very first run and my legs did ache. I use a stretching plan from Rosemary Conley 28 day inch loss book and I rarely ache now.
Week 2 – run for 90 seconds and walk for 2 minutes for a total of 20 minutes. This time you run 6 times.
Week 3 – start with a 90 second run followed by a 90 second run. This is followed by a 3 minute run with a 3 minute walk. This is repeated again which makes your 20 minutes of exercise.
I certainly would have whinged a bit about running 3 minutes the first time round but as Laura says, the feeling you get when you finish the session certainly outweighs the pain you feel. Honestly it does!
So I will start week 4 next week. It is certainly helping me gently return to running. I am a morning runner but as I have been doing this programme with Chris, we have been running early evening. Normally I shy away from change but I haven’t noticed the change at all.
So if you have always thought you could never run but are up for a challenge, give this a go. You won’t regret it and honestly it feels good to run for a bus!