Monday 10 August 2020

Couch to... who? I've gone awol

Eight weeks ago I set out on my first couch to 5k run, not really knowing what to expect from it. Running has never been something I’ve ever done for fun, not did I ever think that was ever going to change. I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever been particularly good at any kind of distance running either. Cross country in high school was my worst nightmare, and I’d come up with all kinds of excused as to why I couldn’t do it. My strengths have always been with short sharp sprinting, and with sports like American Football, that’s always been fine. Ideal in fact given my position.


I started to couch to 5k with the view to increase my overall fitness levels, build stamina and of course drop a little weight. It was important to me that I started off at a safe, manageable level and built up at a sensible pace as I started to improve. This was even more important given that I had a few things to contend with; my asthma, my previously fractured shin as well as the metalwork in my ankle from an old but rather significant injury.


Now that eight weeks have passed I would just about stretch to say (and it is just) that I have started to enjoy running. Granted, I spend most of it feeling like I’m dying, desperately puffing at my asthma inhaler, but I’m seeing progress and the exercise makes me feel pretty good too. So why have I taken a break from couch to 5k with so little of it left?


Well, as much as the first five or six weeks really set a great groundwork for me, the elevation after that is quite intense. Last week the app wanted me to run for 28 minutes straight. No stopping and no slowing. It was then congratulating me at the end with “well done! You just ran for 28 minutes straight!” when I knew full well that I hadn’t, even though the app didn’t know that.


So for the next few weeks I’ve decided to ditch the app and just run. I’ll run for as far and long as I can, and just accept that I can’t run for half an hour without slowing to a walk every now and then – which let’s face it, is a pretty long time to run non-stop!


Now that I’ve covered a couple of runs, things seem to be going well. So far this week I managed a 4 and a half mile run, which is the furthest I’ve run ever. The day after I didn’t do so well, managing only 2 miles although I had forgotten my asthma inhaler and it was a lot warmer outside. I’m slowly getting a little quicker with each run I do, which shows that I must be running for more of it than I have in the past.


I’ll probably keep up this awol running for a couple of weeks to let me fitness build up a little more, and then I’ll come back to couch to 5k, when running for 28 minutes (and longer) starts to become a little more realistic for me. I’m not too bothered about it, given that in my first week or so a mile and a half to two miles felt like a long run. Now I’m able to do more than double that reasonably comfortably.


As far as I’m concerned, progress is progress. As long as I stick to my running and keep getting better week on week, I’m happy.  



  1. That's a very lovely photograph. I hope you have a good week ahead x

    1. Thank you very much! I hope you have a wonderful week!

      Em x


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