NHS Couch to 5K: Journal

I need to change something. My diet just isn’t shifting the weight and I’m struggling to keep motivated to diet properly. I’ve started swimming, but only once a week at the most. I need to get my body doing something different – change my behaviour in order to change the results. I can cycle 100 miles comfortably. I can swim a mile… but when it comes to running I’m a couch potato. I couldn’t run for the bus.

The NHS ‘Couch to 5K’ training programme offers a nine week schedule to get me running… I thought I would keep a journal of the experience.

Week One:

Walk briskly for 5 minutes
Run for 60 seconds
Walk briskly for 90 seconds
Repeat eight times total
Walk briskly for 5 minutes
30 minute total exercise.

Day One (05/Mar/18)

I downloaded the podcast, put on some running shoes and set off. The podcast music is surprisingly encouraging, but the verbal coaching is excellent. I guess this is interval training: made easy. I really enjoyed the 30 minute session, I didn’t know what to expect and I ended up running in circle around where I live. I was surprised how far I covered walking/running.

32:00 / 4.50km

The following day I can hardly walk – my achilles feels so tight and tender I don’t want to bend my foot. A friend teaches me some stretching exercises which help.

Day Two (07/Mar/18)

During my rest day I did a 40km cycle, and felt like I had no energy in my legs. Then I ate a decent pasta meal, so I felt ready for day 2. I know what’s coming – the podcast is once again very helpful and encouraging, but today I know what’s in store for me. I think I run slightly less hard, I’m trying to land on the midfoot, not the toe or heel. I choose a route which takes me further away from home.

31:23 / 4.40km

I ran slightly less distance in the same time. I used my friend’s stretching advice and found no ill effects on my achilles the following day.

Day Three (09/Mar/18)

It is a beautiful sunny day, and after a rather intense morning I had a lunchtime bike ride. That might not have been the best preparation for a C25K session. I ran too fast, I know I did because both my achilles are aching, also for some bizarre reason my right elbow hurts. I don’t understand why. (If I have a shower now, does that count as a triathlon event?)

32:13 / 4.65km

Pace and distance

Week Two:

Walk briskly for 5 minutes
Run for 90 seconds
Walk briskly for 120 seconds
Repeat six times total
Walk briskly for 5 minutes
30 minute total exercise.

Day One (12/Mar/18)

It was windy and raining as I set out, but I knew that I’d heat up while running, so I was looking forward to running in the rain. I didn’t know how it would feel to run for 90 seconds. I was anxious because my back had been aching the previous day (my rest day) and I wondered if I was hurting myself. I knew I would run less vigorously, but looking at the data I seem to have run more erratically. I tried collecting heart rate data, but my cycle computer spent most of the run telling me I was “activity paused”… to fix this I’ll have remember to switch between auto-pause and always on. I did it though – I ran for 9 minutes in total… a minute longer than the week before, but I covered the same distance. I had expected running for longer to cover more distance in total.

31:11 / 4.59km

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