Unbelievably it’s been one year since I crawled off my sofa leaving behind a very nice plate of biscuits and ventured outside into the brightness to attempt the Couch To 5K programme.
Couch To 5K is a programme sponsored in the UK by NHS England and the BBC that helps you using structured lessons, 3 times a week to get you running for 30 minutes after just 9 weeks.
In April 2018 when I started Couch To 5K I could barely make it a hundred yards without wheezing uncontrollably and collapsing into a dazed huddle on the floor sobbing for those biscuits (and the sofa).
I’d tried running a few times prior to that, trying to make it to a new lamppost on each run, but didn’t really make it past a couple of them before I gave it up as a bad job and went back to the TV remote.
Couch To 5K gave me the structure I needed to finally make some real progress. After 9 weeks I actually was running for 30 minutes. 29 and a half more than I ever thought I’d make.
Unfortunately after that things went slightly pear shaped.
I went on holiday not long after finishing the programme and after returning I never quite made it back to 30 minutes. The best I managed over the next few months was about 20 and more often 10 or 15.
By the time the first anniversary of starting C25K was approaching I realised that I needed to do something about this sorry state of affairs before I threw the towel in altogether.
So over the first anniversary of me taking the C25K programme, I’m going to finally try to make it to the magic 5K distance, something that has alluded me up until now.
At my starting point, I’m on 22 minutes. I want to make about 35 minutes if I’m to get to 5K at my standard split time of around 7 minutes per kilometre, but likely a few more minutes as I’m sure to slow down!!
So my challenge this time is to hit the 5K before I get to the first anniversary of finishing C25K and to achieve that I’m adding 1 minute per run over the next 9 weeks with 2 runs per week. So from my starting point of 22 minutes, that should take me to around 40. However, my main objective is to get to 5K, even if I don’t quite make 40 minutes.
You can see the first video in this new series above as I finally attempt to vlog my way to 5K! Come along for the ride(run) and see how I get on! You’d be most welcome.
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.
Something I’ve wanted to do for a while is to VLOG as well as BLOG and this is my first attempt at the former.
I originally wanted to start my VLOG some time ago, however my iPhone 5s had a fault that meant that audio wouldn’t record when using the front facing “FaceTime” camera – the ideal one for VLOGing purposes.
My new iPhone 6s Plus, however, is fully working (I should hope so, I’ve only owned it for 3 weeks!) so I can now give VLOGing a go!
The above video was recorded during the first couple of weeks that I had my new iPhone and covers various subjects – a new bluetooth remote camera activation tool, a selfie stick, backing up my NAS to an external USB 3 hard drive and, most important of all these days, a look inside my fridge! You know it makes sense.
I hope you enjoy the video. Please give it a thumbs up on “the YouTubes” and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to see more content like it. Although goodness knows why you’d want to.