Wednesday, January 21, 2015

couch to 5k - week 1 in review

(Run 2 vs Run 3!)

One of my new year resolutions was to take up running. I had a friend at uni who was really into running, and I always sort of envied her. I love walking and being outside, and I really just wanted to be able to go for a run somedays, if I felt like it. I've lost six stone, and improved my fitness in the gym, so I wanted to try my hand outdoors...

I wasn't expecting it to be as hard as it was - it seems to use completely different muscles to running inside, and it's harder to breathe, and I feel like I'm 6 stone heavier again..! I'm documenting this here, because hopefully one day I'll be able to run 5k, and I'll have this as a record. Some other people may be on the fence about starting running, like I was, or overweight and wondering if they can do it.. well maybe this will give you some inspiration!

RUN 1: 11/5/2015, 1pm on a Sunday afternoon, windy and overcast. 
I think I only ran for about 4.5 minutes in total, and I found that pretty tough. Slightly hungover today. Fast-paced walked where I couldn't run. That afternoon my shoulders ached and the back of my thighs/bum. Next day, my thighs still ache and my hips and knees a bit.
RUN 2: 16/01/2015, 12.30pm on Friday lunchtime, cool, but bright and sunny.
I managed better this time around, running for 6.5 minutes in total, out of 8. I fast-paced walked where I couldn't walk, but with the sun I felt warmer so I don't know if I was as fast as on Sunday (when it was freezing and trying to keep warm!). I'd been to the gym early in the morning and my legs were a bit achey, made sure to do lots of stretches when I got back because  after the last run I seized up! Aiming to do my next run on Sunday or Monday, weather depending. Later that day, I am much less stiff.
RUN 3: 18/01/2015, 10am on Sunday, cold, drizzle, windy, miserable.
I bought myself some new gear this weekend, and it makes me feel so fly. Running tights and a jacket, it seemed to help as I was faffing less with my clothes. A lot of dogs out, some not being controlled by the owner, which pissed me off so I managed a good 7 minutes of running on that anger (maybe a bit longer, I tried a new app and couldn't hear it very well, I only walked 1 interval, though). I looked up lots of hamstring stretches and did those post-run and I feel much better, only my left hamstring is tight now, but I have some muscular pain in my hip. 
Thoughts at the end of the week:
I think I'm going to repeat maybe another couple of Week 1 runs, to make sure I can run the 8 minutes, before moving on to the Week 2, as I don't want to, excuse the pun, run before I can walk! My homework for the week is to look up some more stretches and try and improve my flexibility. Going to look at investing in some better shoes as I had soaked feet by the time I got home on Sunday.
Weight loss?
Just under 2lbs! 
I'm not sure how long I'll keep up the couch to 5k plan, I'll be honest, but I am going to give it my best shot! I feel like my body wasn't meant to run, but maybe that will improve. It was one of my goals for this year, to at least give it a go, and I've started! I reckon I won't be able to do all the runs in one week, so I'm a bit iffy about that, but I'm gonna try and stick to it as closely as possible.

If anyone else is trying this plan, please let me know, I'd love someone to talk about this crap with - particularly if you're a complete beginner like me! I also want to post a picture every time I run on Instagram, so follow me there, too!


  1. Good on you for keeping it up so far! Especially when this weather has been so pants!
    I'm going to stick to zumba where it's warm methinks. At least till it warms up a bit!

  2. I think I would struggle with running for more than a couple of minutes! I have heard a lot about the couch to 5k exercise and I would really like to give it a go, might try it when I move in a couple of weeks.
    Well done on completing the first week!

  3. well done for getting through the first week! I did couch to 5k last year and, like you, the first week was tough! I did it in the end though! You'll get there!!

    Chrissy x

  4. The first week has been really tough, think I'm going to repeat this run again, maybe once or twice before starting on week two next week, I want to make sure I can do this week well, with no pain before moving on! Thank-you for the encouragement! (: x

  5. It is really hard, but I've noticed my fitness improving already, it's completely different to running indoors too, like, all different muscles and stuff, and it seems to be better for my lungs and stuff. It's still tough, but it feels like it's doing good things, I just need to keep on at it! haha xx

  6. Thank-you! Yeah I'm trying to only do it on days when the weather is not awful, haha, but the other day I couldn't avoid the rain, so just sucked it up and did it. I used to look at those people running in the rain like 'WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT TO YOURSELF ITS WET GO INSIDE!' but like, I shower as soon as I get in, and you get warm doing it so it's really not that bad! x

  7. Loved reading this Clare! Actually kinda cool to see your progress by day - and a notable one at that! I desperately need to get back into running, I find it really cathartic and find that it helps me to either start the day in good stead with all that adrenaline, or to wind down from tiredness. I managed my first 5k last year using the Nike Running app and was just so, so proud of myself. Shall be trying Couch to 5k to get me back into it (:

  8. Keep going!! I did the Couch to 10k a few years ago and at the start I thought how the hell am I going to be able to run for more than 3 minutes in a row. It gets easier, I promise. And you'll soon be able to just keep going and going xx

  9. Don't worry about repeating unless you really couldn't do week 1. The hurt will go away in time :)

  10. Couch to 5 k is the best! When I first started using it, I honestly couldn't run down the block, but after sticking with it I ended up being able to run for 30mins and I seriously thought I'd NEVER be able to do that.

  11. I first joined the gym when I was about 2 stone into my weight loss, it terrified me and I never dared to run on the treadmill, I was convinced people would laugh at me! So every session for about a year I walked fast up an incline. Then one day, I decided to try out a run and I ran and ran and ran - all those walking sessions had made me far fitter than I realised.

    Despite being at the gym regularly and running every week it's only now, 2 years later I'm finally able to run 5k. I was determined to give it a proper go after Christmas and was so so pleased when I actually did it! I did my 7th 5k on Wednesday (and hopefully my 8th tonight). For me it was definitely lack of confidence holding me back, I never believed I could do it and would quit before I needed to cos I convinced myself I was too tired to carry on.

    My next mission is definitely to try running outside, like you I love the idea of running outdoors and am jealous of others running out in the sun. As soon as the weather improves I'm going to attempt the Local Park Run? Have you thought about giving that a go?

    Looking forward to reading about your progress - stick with it and it'll get much easier :)

    Chloe x


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