Category Archives: Fitness

Couch To 5: Week 9: The End of the Beginning

This is my final vlog of the Couch To 5K programme when an unfortunate technical problem in the last 5 minutes almost scuppers my final run! In this video I reflect on the programme and start a somewhat unsuccessful Mexican wave.

This process has been something of a revelation to me. 9 weeks ago, I didn’t think for a moment that I could run for 30 seconds, let alone 30 minutes and yet, somehow, miraculously it’s happened.

The NHS/BBC Get Inspired Couch To 5K app is, simply, a great way to get moving and even if you pick a different programme to achieve the same goal (there are plenty out there) how you get there isn’t really the point – just getting off your sofa and out and about (quickly, preferably) is the main thing.

At the start of this I was happy with my general fitness, my walking every day with my dogs and standing rather than sitting at my computer, however I knew that I could do better. Above all, I needed to do some kind of exercise that would raise my heart rate a bit. And running is the prefect way to achieve it. I’m not one for “going to the gym”, it’s just too much hassle frankly, but running is easy to do – just put on some suitable clothing and leave the house. “Simples!”

I hope you’ve enjoyed my vlogs. I plan to do a follow up at some point in the future but have no idea when that will be. In the meantime, I plan to work my way up to 5K (I don’t quite get to 5K in 30 minutes – in the video, you’ll see how close I get) and then after that I may look at “Bridge to 10K” which isn’t a programme as such but from what I understand is a series of challenges and tips to get you running for up to an hour.

An hour? Do what?!

Anyway. That’s for another day…!

Couch to 5K: Week 8: Penultimate Ponderings

It’s getting near the end now, and so this week I discuss how I made it this far and what’s still to come in the final week.

There are no terrible jokes in this video. It must be the hard work in making it to the seemingly dizzying heights of 28 whole minutes. However, despite the lack of poor comedy I do hope you enjoy my latest vlog about this engrossing challenge.

Thanks for watching! Don’t forget to subscribe on the YouTubes and to click that like button.

Couch to 5K: Week 7: The Toxic Twelve and a Half

I’m working my way through the NHS/BBC sponsored “Couch to 5K” challenge taking me from no running to 30 minutes of running 3 times a week in just 9 weeks.

This is week 7 where I tackle regular 25 minute runs. In this vlog I discuss how far a marathon is in metres, whether high heels are any good for running up hills and manage to get lost in the woods.

Will I manage to do a 5K run in just 9 weeks? Stick with me to find out!

Couch to 5K: Week 6: Pushing boundaries

It’s week 6 of the Couch to 5K programme where I attempt to go from only ever running to the toilet after a particularly hot curry to something equating to actually bonafide exercise in the form of real-proper-moving-generally-quickly running.

It’s turning into quite a journey!

In the accompanying video to this post, I try to run on some sand, wear an embarrassing T-shirt, try to run while listening to a BBC Radio 4 podcast and keep the world updated with my progress with this engrossing challenge.

This week the final run is a whopping 25 minutes! Will I make it? Watch the video to find out, and don’t forget to like, subscribe and, if you’re so inclined, get off your couch and have a go yourself.

Thanks for watching!

Couch to 5K: Week 5: Breaking records

Here’s another weekly video following my progress on the Couch To 5K programme.

This is week 5 where I contemplate whether I can actually run for 20 whole minutes and wonder if I’ve been using my washing machine correctly.

The prospect of that very long 20 minute run has been looming large on the horizon ever since I accidentally looked ahead to see what runs were coming up. I’ve been dreading it ever since. However, I’ve slowly realised over the weeks that having the correct mindset is crucial to achieving the goals being set in Couch To 5K. If you don’t believe you can do it, then quite simply you won’t!

I’m staying confident, putting my trust in the programme (which after all, is tried and tested) and continuing to vlog my way to 5K. Thanks for joining me for another week!

I hope you enjoy the video. Please like and subscribe on YouTube to follow me right through to week 9 (hopefully)!

Couch to 5K: Week 4: Hot and cold

Another week has shot by, and I’ve now completed the fourth set of runs as I attempt to get from my couch to running 5K in just 9 weeks.

I’m using the NHS and BBC sponsored app “Couch To 5K” available for iOS and Android devices, and also as a Podcast. You can download it for free and work your way through the programme. It takes you from “baby steps” in week 1 to a full on 30 minute run in week 9.

Week 4 is a pivotal point in the proceedings as the time running now exceeds the time walking. In this video, I also manage to correct the mistake I made last week!

I hope you enjoy the video and it encourages you to get off your sofa and do something active (walking is great if you can’t run). Getting out and active is wonderful for your mental as well as your physical health.

See you next week for the dreaded and much feared “Week 5”!

From Couch to 5K: Week 3: Seconds become minutes

Things are starting to hot up now and I don’t just mean the weather!

Couch to 5K is a programme to get you from your couch to running somewhere in the region of 5,000 metres in just 9 weeks, so inevitably at some point the length of time you need to run in one go is going to get longer.

And Week 3 is the start of that process.

In the first 2 weeks, you do a good deal of walking. And warming up. But in Week 3 you start to get a feeling of how things are going to be for the remaining runs. And I have to tell you, it’s a shock. Not, as you might expect, a shock that you have to do so much more running, but a shock that despite this fact, it’s really all rather enjoyable.

And that, my friends, is a big surprise to me.

I’m loving this running lark, and despite the fact that during Week 3 I make a schoolboy error in my timings (watch the video to find out what I did) this hasn’t dented my confidence. Much.

I hope you enjoy the video and join me as I vlog my way to 5K!

See you next week!

From Couch To 5K: Week2: Staying Alive

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.

You can read all about my first week here.

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…

From Couch to 5K: Week 1: Learning to run

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.