I’ve recently started running, using the Couch to 5K app. I’m just working through week 4 and having had no experience running, not knowing where to start, putting it off many times and now really enjoying it – I thought I’d share my journey with you and some tips!
I can’t believe at the age of 41 I’m trying out something new, and it’s running. I guess it just proves that it really doesn’t matter what your age is, trying something new always feels scary but if you’re in the right mind set all will fall into place.
Having recently deciding to make a change and losing over a stone in weight (thanks Covid, the car accident and being somewhat of a lazy bum) – I set myself off on a detox for 9 weeks in a bid to get back to feeling more like myself, a healthier version of the person I was on March 1st 2021. I’m now stronger in my mind and body, I’ve reset the way I think towards exercise and food and I’m so glad I made the change.
Once I hit this milestone I knew I wanted to re-introduce exercise but since the car accident in November I’ve really struggled with my lower back – so I know my previous type of exercise wouldn’t work. I’ve always taken part in weight training classes, not only am I struggling with this, I’m not ready to return to a gym setting. Anyone else feel like that?
Anyway, I kept seeing friends and people on social media sharing their journey with Couch to 5 K so I finally downloaded the app, plucked up the courage, popped on my running shoes and started week 1! And it felt good. I surprised myself. Especially as the first time I downloaded the app, I deleted it before I even took those first steps.
Firstly, before I share my tips with you – I have to put it out there, I am not a runner. I’ve never been a runner – Mr H and George are the natural runners in our family. I’ve always enjoyed exercise, movement and working out. But never running. So, these tips are my personal experience and from some lovely followers over on Insta.
5 Tips for starting Couch to 5K
1. Don’t hesitate, just do it. The first week is a lot easier than you think – once you take the first step.
2. Set up a playlist or choose a podcast and go! Find joy in losing yourself to music or the sound of someone chatting but without having to put too much thought into it. I now look forward to just listening.
3. Even if you don’t feel like it, go on that run – push yourself to carry on. Don’t miss a run or week. Keep moving.
4. Run with a friend or in my case a furry friend or George my 9 year old. I generally run two out of three runs with company and then the last run on my own. I love both for different reasons.
5. And lastly, stick to the programme for the full 9 weeks. This was a piece of advice from a lovely follower on Insta, having worked through the last 4 weeks I definitely agree! Stay on track, don’t break.
Why choose Couch to 5K?
I’m a beginner to running and everything I had read and heard was that this is a great way to start. It’s broken down for you. It’s manageable. Mr H disagreed and was trying to encourage me to just get out there and run – but having never run I knew I would fail. I needed a little bit of guidance, motivation and encouragement. I guess we’re all different.
What I love about Couch to 5K is that it is broken down into weekly targets, small steps that feel achievable all spread over 9 weeks. The intensity and length of runs build weekly as your confidence does. It’s working for me. And, you can choose a coach, he/she guides you each week, I chose Jo Whiley. She’s great! The weekly targets are definitely working for me. I’m so glad I started, and carrying on. The process is built into our weekly schedule and so far it’s working. Only 5 weeks to go before I will be able to run 5k! Still hard to believe that will be where I am in another 5 weeks.
And that’s my 5 Tips for starting Couch to 5K.
If you are a runner or have completed this challenge I would love to know how you got on or if you have any top tips for me.