Couch 2 5K - Part 1 of 3

Published July 2, 2010

I’m not sporty. Not even slightly.

Growing up, I kind of liked netball. Until the other girls started throwing balls at my head. Then I was sort of good at badminton. But the badminton club clashed with the chess club and I preferred the sitting down sort of extra activity.

I do like to swim, and was in a swimming club when I was younger, but these days things are different. I have already documented my requirements for that.

Since then, I’ve tried all kinds of things. I joined a gym but I left because the guilt factor was starting to weigh me down. I tried workout DVDs, I tried going for walks, all the things you do when you don’t really have a plan.

Well, guess what? Now I have a plan!

C25K app

Browsing around the iTunes store, I discovered the C25K app. Couch 2 5K is a plan that was devised over on, but many people have taken it up and tweaked it, podcasted it, made it accessible for newbies like me. The app is brilliant.

The basic premise of C25K is that you start with little bite size chunks of running and walking, for half hour sessions, three times a week. For example, the first week is 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking, repeated. Then you’ll move up in increments, increasing the jogging, decreasing the walking, until you are a fully fledged 5k runner.

That’s the idea, anyways.

The app has audio alerts, with a voice saying: “walk” and “run” and “cool down” etc. You can select songs from your playlist to play in the background, and at the end of the session, you can make some notes about how the run went.

It’s a nine week plan, and I’ve just finished week three. Somehow I have got out of sync with the actual weeks, but I don’t suppose that matters. To celebrate my progress, I thought I would share my journal entries so far. They say that sharing your exercise plans with someone is helpful. I’m not so sure about that, but I do like to digitally scrapbook everything, so here goes!

Week 1

Day 1

Now I remember why I said I don’t run. This is ridiculous. And yet also kinda cool.

Day 2

Wow. That’s weird. I was really eager to do the first day, and it was awful. I didn’t want to go out today - it looked like it was going to rain, I was tired, busy. But I went, and it was easy. Before I knew what was happening it was time to head back.

Day 3

This was a bit harder as I found myself going over some stupid terrain. I also had to navigate some dogs. Even so, it was okay and I didn’t have to pause at all. I can’t wait to see what the next week has to offer. … … what is wrong with me?

Week 2

Day 1

Was I really looking forward to this? It was tough. I wonder if each transition to the next week is going to be tricky. The previous three runs were all the same. Hmm. Still, it got better and I was with it towards the end, even if I did get slobbered on by a Dalmatian. That never helps.

Day 2

Much better run, although I wasn’t feeling that well towards the end. I wonder if that was more to do with the copious amounts of beer consumed the night before.

Day 3

As expected, it was much better. I was able to complete all with decent breathing. Did feel a bit achy towards the end though. Perhaps it’s time to invest in decent shoes.

Week 3

Day 1

This time round, I was really jonesing for a run. Unheard of. Three minutes of running at a time sounds pitiful, but it was tough. I am so rubbish. Still, I put my mind to it and got through. I have new jogging trousers but no new shoes yet.

Day 2

Not a bad run as it goes. I had put it off and put it off because of the hot weather, but eventually I gave in and went out. I did have to pause the walking to navigate some slow moving people, but I think that’s okay. I really MUST get new shoes. My shins feel like they’re going to fall off.

Day 3

My new trainers are so bouncy! This workout was bizarre. The first 90 second and three minute runs were dire. I thought I was going to die and that my new trainers were wasted. The second lot were so much better though, I almost felt I could do the whole thing over again. Weird. Shins are much better, feet ache a bit but presumably from actually having supportive shoes. I suspect they’ll get used to it.

That’s it so far. Feel free to judge me for how horribly unfit I am. I judge myself. After the first run I said “Quite clearly I am more couch than they expect.”

But at the same time, I am secretly impressed that I’ve stuck at this for three weeks and am even keen to continue. This almost never happens.

I’m trying not to look too far ahead but it’s impossible to ignore that in just six runs time, I’m supposed to go for twenty minutes without stopping. That’s crazy talk.

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