Couch to 5K

It’s Day 3 of the Blogging from A-Z Challenge, and the letter of the day is ‘C’. As a runner who started with the Couch to 5K programme, that seems like as good a topic as any for today.

If you’re reading this and you’re not a runner, you’re probably wondering what on earth Couch to 5K is.

Well, it’s not about making money while sitting on the couch; it’s a programme that enables just about anyone to transform themselves from a couch potato to a 5K runner in only nine weeks…

OK, in reality it takes a bit more than 9 weeks for most, but it is amazing how quickly and easily your body adapts once you get going.

5 Reasons to Start Running with Couch to 5K:

1. It’s free
Seriously. You don’t have to pay a penny. All you need is a pair of trainers, some light comfortable clothing to exercise in, and somewhere to run. There’s even an app that talks you through every workout, and that’s free too!

2. Each session only lasts 30 minutes
I know, I couldn’t run for 30 seconds never mind 30 minutes when I started, but that’s ok because you don’t actually run for a full 30 minutes until the end of the program. To start with you only run for short intervals at a time, with walk breaks in between to recover.

3. You get to rest for 4 days out of 7
Rest and recovery is really important when doing any exercise, so you don’t need to worry about over-doing it. Plus, if 3 days a week is too much for you or you can’t fit it in, you can always run 2 days and it won’t do any harm. As long as you train consistently and do all of the sessions, you will be fine.

4. It’s ok to repeat a session
If you are struggling or have to take a break for any reason, it’s fine to repeat a session or even a a whole week until you feel ready to move on to the next one. This is about your programme so you can adapt it to suit you and your lifestyle.

5. You will feel amazing
Maybe not at first (ok, the first few sessions will be tough if you’re not very active already), but after the first week you will start to notice a difference in your fitness and surprise yourself at how much longer you can run for in such a short space of time.

So, if you’re thinking of running or looking for a way to get fitter and more active. Check out Couch to 5K. You can click here for the NHS version, or just Google C25K and you’ll find similar programmes around the internet.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to say hi and leave a comment.

Bling

It’s the second day of the Blogging from A-Z Challenge and today’s post is all about Bling!

When it comes to running, surely everything is about bling, right? Well, at one time that might have been the case. As a new runner, I was a real magpie when it came to race medals, but these days I can take it or leave it… unless, of course, it’s a particularly special piece of bling or I’m taking part in a particularly challenging race.

In terms of the bling that I have earned over the years, these are some of my favourites.

My Top 5 Race Medals:

London to Brighton 100K (2014)

L2B Medal

 

South Coast Challenge 54K (2016)

 

Winter Is Coming 5K (2016)

 

Extra Mile (2016)

 

Brighton Marathon (2015)

Brighton Marathon 2015 Medal

Do you run for bling, fitness or fun? Please Share your thoughts in the comments.

Activity

I’ve decided to revamp my blog by taking part in this year’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge. Ok, so I’m a day late, but there’s no letter for Sunday, so I guess I can do yesterday’s post today instead. So here goes…

A is for Activity

Yes, I know, I haven’t been very active with the old blog for a while. My last challenge was a bit too… well, challenging I suppose. But that’s ok. Although I haven’t been doing much running lately, I have been using the exercise bike and doing some intervals on the old treadmill, so I have been active at least.

In saying that, I haven’t been quite as active as I could be. In fact, I’ve been pretty damn lazy. So, I’ve decided to set myself some goals to become a bit more active – not Lands End to John O’ Groats active, but more active than I am at the moment, so it’s all good.

5 Activity Goals:

  1. Run or run/walk for 30 minutes at least once a week
  2. Use the exercise bike for 30 minutes at least twice a week
  3. Get off the train a stop earlier at least once a week for a 25 minute walk home
  4. Take a 1 hour walk every Sunday
  5. Spend half an hour working in the garden at least twice a week

Well, it’s a start and hopefully a more achievable challenge to make sure I keep active.

How active are you? What small steps can you take each week to increase your activity levels? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Day 1: Lands End to Penzance

01-signpostYesterday was the first day of my 100 Day Virtual Challenge. My aim was to ‘virtually’ walk, jog and cycle 11 miles from Lands End  to Penzance to complete the first stage.

I started off with two 3.1 mile run/walks on the treadmill, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to ease myself in. This meant that I still had just under 5 miles to go to complete the first stage, but my legs were aching a bit by then, so I decided to use the exercise bike for the final part.

The results were as follows:

  • 3.1 mile run/walk – 34:19
  • 3.1 mile run/walk – 33:57
  • 4.8 mile bike – 30:00

I really liked using the exercise bike as it kept the pressure off the old achilles injury that has started niggling again, so I’m feeling pretty confident about completing this challenge… well, it is only Day 1 I suppose, so time will tell.

The other part of the challenge is to find out a little bit about some of the places on the route, so here goes…

Top 5 Facts About Lands End

  1. The Cornish name for Lands End is Pen an Wlas, which means End of the Earth
  2. The Lost City of Atlantis is thought by some to lie 100 miles off the coast of Lands End
  3. Lands End has been a popular tourist attraction for over 200 years
  4. The record for completing the route from Lands End to John O’Groats on foot is held by Andi Rivet, who completed it in 9 days and 2 hours
  5. The first female runner to complete the route unassisted was Marie-Claire Oziem who used a pram to carry her gear with her

Anyway, that was yesterday and today I’m in virtual Penzance, which I’ll tell you about tomorrow. As it is though, I have another 1100 miles to go and only 99 days left to do it in, so I’d better get on my bike… or treadmill. Next stop is Pengoon Farm.

day-1a

 

100 Day Virtual Challenge

big-mapAs I’ve been a bit rubbish with the whole blogging and running thing for a while now, I’ve decided to try something new… I’m going to attempt a 100 Day Virtual Challenge in which I will run/walk/cycle 1111 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Of course, as it’s a virtual challenge, I won’t actually be out there on the route, but instead will attempt to cover the mileage in my own neighbourhood and by using the exercise bike and treadmill

There is a website that you can do this though, but it costs a bit of money to join, so I decided to just find a route and log my runs on the map.

The route that I decided to use was from Mark Moxon’s website, which has plenty of maps and information about the route and talks about his own experiences of completing it, which will make interesting reading as I go along.

Unfortunately, because I have to go to work every day (not to mention the fact that I am also not very fit right now) I won’t be able to complete the route in the 70 days that he did. However, I will use his daily distances to mark out some milestones/ stage to help keep things on track. The first of which is a whole 11 miles to Penzance.

leg-1

I’ve made a start already today and am just over half way to Penzance, but I’ll do a proper update once I’ve completed the first stage, hopefully tomorrow. Until then, Happy Running!

 

Lucky Number Seven

So, it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2016. It wasn’t a great year, but wasn’t a bad one either. I survived it, learned some lessons along the way, and now it’s time to move on to the next one. 2017 sounds like a good number. It has a 7 in it, and I do like the number 7, so here are my 7 Resolutions for 2017.

  1. Enjoy running again
  2. Exercise for at least 30 minutes each day
  3. Eat better
  4. Cut down on caffeine
  5. Cut down on smoking
  6. Get my finances in order
  7. Develop my Virtual Running Business

The first one has already started. I managed to get off my backside and on to the treadmill for Week 1 Day 2 of C25K. Despite the fact that my fitness is a long way short of what it was, it wasn’t too bad and I did enjoy it. I guess that counts for Resolution No. 2 as well, so we’re off to a good start and it isn’t even midnight yet.

The rest we will deal with later as I’m about to have a massive dinner and bring in the New Year with a wee dram or three, but tomorrow is a new day and a new year so it’s all good.

How was your year of running? Do you have any resolutions, goals or plans for 2017? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Time To Hit The Restart Button

restart2016 has been an odd year for me in terms of running. I had big ambitions and had to push myself hard to achieve them, but it wasn’t much fun. I was tired, I was struggling and was barely able to achieve the minimum that I had set myself, so in the end I just stopped. I didn’t run, didn’t blog and barely logged on to see what everyone else was doing. I just couldn’t face it. I needed a break, so I took one.

But now that I’ve had some time off, enough time to miss what I really love about running, I figured that the time is right to hit the restart button and get back to Couch To 5K… and stick to it.

This time round though, things are going to be different. I’m not going to think about races, or parkrun, or PBs or anything like that. I’m just going to run to get back in shape. For the most part, this will probably be on the treadmill, as I found the cold air really played havoc with my breathing when I did the Poppy Run in November, but that’s ok. I’m not making any apologies for running indoors. Not this time.

My goal, my one and only goal is to be able to run 5K without walk breaks. That’s it. Nothing more.

Of course, that might change later on, but for now I’m going to try to be sensible, take it easy and stick to the program for the next nine weeks and see how it goes.

So, this afternoon, I completed W1D1 on the treadmill. 30 minutes of walking and running and walking. Not difficult, but got the old heart rate up again for the first time in over a month, so it’s a start.

How’s your training going? Have you set any running goals for 2017? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

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