It’s week 2 of the Couch To 5K programme where I attempt to go from sitting on a sofa and not moving very much to running somewhere in the region of 5,000m. In just 9 weeks.
Truth be told, I’m not a sloth by nature. I enjoy walking and venture out of the house every day for an hour or so to walk my dogs. I work for myself so am usually able to schedule my day to fit in that activity. And I love it.
The problem is that although walking is very good for you, and most definitely better than nothing (especially when you get a bit older) it doesn’t get your heart rate up. At my age I should really be fitter. That’s why I started on the NHS/BBC sponsored Couch To 5K programme.
Week 2 increases the running time from 60 second to 90 second bursts interspersed with 90 second (up from 60) brisk walks. The total time is around half an hour again with a similar total amount of running time.
Find out how I got on in the video that accompanies this blog post.
Next week I’m on to week 3 where the running time stops being measured in seconds and that’s going to be quite a physiological barrier to overcome. But that’s next week’s problem…
I’m unfit. I’m very unfit. I may be rake-like in my stature but that doesn’t mean that I have the ability to escape from my wife brandishing a frying pan when I don’t notice her new hair do.
Fitness is often judged by what people look like. If you’re carrying a few extra pounds (and let’s face it, the statistics tell us that many people are) then you’re probably unfit as well. Not necessarily. But probably. If you’re not “fat” then you look fit. But that’s nonsense, as I can testify to when I attempt to run more than a few metres.
I’ve wanted to improve my fitness for years, but never quite had the motivation to do it. I tried running a few years ago, but without any kind of plan or structure to what I was doing I simply gave up as quickly as I’d begun.
All that changed in March 2018. Browsing the BBC web site, I found an article from “BBC Get Inspired” about an app by Public Health England called “From Couch to 5K”. It’s available for iOS and Android. The idea is quite simple really. The app takes you gently at first and then gradually ramps things up so that with 3 runs a week, in week 9 you’ll be achieving 5,000 metres.
To me an astonishing and seemingly impossible goal!
I downloaded the app and went on my first run on 28 March. The first run consists of a 5 minute warm up walk then 8 runs of 60 seconds interspersed with 90 seconds of brisk walking. You finish with another 5 minute walk. This totals 28 and a half minutes. (Each run programme is roughly half an hour.)
In week one, you do this same run 3 times, with at least one clear rest day between each outing. The video accompanying this blog post will take you through the app and my first week of running. See how I got on by watching the video.
I intend to vlog my future progress using “Couch to 5K” to see if I can achieve what, to me, is a ridiculously long distance of 5K in week 9. I hope you’ll join me, if not literally by running then at least by keeping track of my progress as I try to get fitter.