Couch to 5k
About 20weeks into my training, I have finally completed my 9week podcast (I have taken a few weeks off due to sickness, my own and my daughters). Let me tell you, I never thought I would get here. I have slowly, slowly, only twice a week (recommended 3times) built up my stamina, my strength and my desire to become a runner.
For those who don’t know, Couch to 5k is a free podcast, designed for people who have never run. It aims to slowly build you up and give you the confidence to run 5k. The most important aim of this podcast is getting you off that sofa.
So many of us are complaisant in our stationary lives. I imagine almost everyone is aware of the benefits you can gain by exercising; healthy bodies, healthy minds. Yet we stop ourselves from actually being active. We are either too busy or too tired or whatever excuse we can think of at the time. My personal favourite is ‘I don’t like exercise’. Which is obviously ludicrous! You can do fun exercise, like trampolining dancing, Zumba (big favourite for people), or anything else you can think of that will keep you active. Team sports are great for those who prefer to be with others.
Sign up to your local gym, or there are running clubs, walking groups, some are even free. GO ACTIVE Is a fantastic site that helps you find activities in your area. This one is specifically for Oxfordshire, but there are go active sites for all over the country.
After I had my daughter, I used to have all these same excuses. I was starting to feel unhappy with myself and one day I thought, enough was enough. I have joined the gym (who provide a crèche – which really is handy) and started going. I go about 4 times a week, I run, I swim and I even took up trampolining.
My couch to 5k journey was surprisingly easier than I expected. The first few weeks I only had to run 1-3minutes at a time. That was ok. Then I remember when my podcast told me to run 5-8minutes straight, I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it. But I completed it day by day, with some intervals when my daughter or I were ill. However many breaks I took I came back to my podcast week and I continued. I felt so proud of myself everytime I completed a day/week. I kept wondering how I am going to make the next one. But I did it! I pushed myself more and more. Increasing my speed or the incline, now both. I can now proudly say that I am a runner. I’m not sure I’d want to run a marathon, but I would defiantly continue running.
During the weeks I have also felt a difference in my fitness, I could run longer and feel less tired. I could swim longer and be much less out of breath. I definatly had loads more energy. Another big change I felt was within me, it was more psychological I think. I actually wanted to keep active, I wanted to do things (not necessarily exercise, just activities- my daughter loved that change), and I felt happier, happier in myself. I could even go as far as say I just felt happier, in all aspects of life.
This podcast has not only made me love running, it made me love exercise, it made me love to see how far I can push myself and most importantly it has made me love myself. I believe in myself and the importance of taking some personal time just for me. My daughter loves the crèche, or an hour with dad. She is not missing anything and yet I’m gaining everything.
I wanted to share this story because I’m living proof that exercise is good for your mental health as well as your physical health. I have been through the ups and downs and can honestly tell you that you will not regret getting active! You just need to find something you love. You will be healthier and happier, your kids will be happier because you are happier and that will probably make you even happier 😆. So lets put our excuses aside and think of ourselves, our health and our future.
P.s you are welcome to join me for a run 😊