Routine Stuff

One of the hardest things about getting back into training over the last few months has been my inability to get into a good routine. Lack of running aside, my life was fairly unstructured over the summer and, even though I had plenty of time to get out and run, I just never got around to it.

Ironically, now that I am working full time again, I seem more able to get it done. For some reason, it’s much easier for me to tag a quick run on to the end of a day at work than it is to have the whole day to think about it. But then again, maybe that’s been the problem. Me thinking about doing anything usually ends in procrastination.

So, this evening, when I got home from work, I quickly checked my emails, got changed and headed out for Week 2 Day 1 of Couch to 5K without giving it a second thought. Even when I opened the front door to a sudden downpour of ice cold rain, I didn’t hesitate. I just stepped out, switched on the Garmin and headed to Hove Rec for six reps of 90 seconds of running and two minutes of walking.

The rain only lasted for a few minutes, but it didn’t really bother me. I was wearing my waterproof running jacket and a baseball cap (keeps the rain off my glasses) so it would be bearable, and besides, I was only going to be out for about half an hour anyway.

The run itself went pretty well. I kept the pace fairly slow on the running sections and didn’t really notice the extra 30 seconds. So much so that I even managed an extra little run at the end so that I would finish back at my starting point.

As for the stats, 2.85 kilometres in 21:39 with an average pace of 7:36 per kilometre – pretty slow, I know, but the running sections were still under 6:00 per kilometre, which puts me on track for a sub-30 5K… if I don’t slow down too much as the weeks progress, that is.

How’s your training going? How do you fit your running into your general routine? Do you find it harder or easier to get a run in when your time is less structured? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Week One Done

Ok, so I’m a day late in completing Week 1 of Couch to 5K, but it’s only a day, right?

Frustrating as it is to be back running stupidly short intervals, it is nice to be running again, so I decided that I would use one of my Week 1 Couch to 5K runs for this month’s 2K Bonus Race for Virtual Running UK. I haven’t logged any results on there for a while so I needed the points and besides, the medal is pretty cool!

2K Virtual Race Medal

2K Virtual Race Medal

It was a bit grimy outside this evening, with the rain drizzling on and off all day, so I decided to avoid the seafront and head for Hove Rec instead. The paths around the rugby pitch were predictably quiet, with just a couple of dog walkers and people cutting through on their way home from work, so I didn’t have to dodge anyone.

I was, however, slowed down a bit by the leaves that have just started to fall on the path. Soggy leaves on wet tarmac aren’t great for running on, but luckily I survived unscathed and managed to complete 2.7 kilometres in about 21 minutes.

After looking at my stats, it was pretty clear that this run wasn’t as good as the last one, so I’ll use Saturday’s for my virtual race. 15:19 for the first 2K as opposed to today’s 15:41.

I plan to try to get up to 3K with this week’s sessions as there’s a 3K Virtual Race this month too and the medal for that one a massive 7cm in diameter, so it would be rude not to have one.

3K Virtual Race Medal

3K Virtual Race Medal

How’s your training going? How do you keep yourself motivated when the training is slow? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Take No Chances

Circle HopIt’s Saturday, which means it’s Virtual Running UK Blog Hop Day, and for once I managed to get a run in!

Today was Week 1 Day 2 of Couch to 5K. To be fair, I should have done this one earlier in the week, but after Monday’s session my leg wasn’t feeling great, so I decided to listen to my body, not take any chances, and waited until the discomfort subsided before running again.

This morning, the leg felt a lot better. It’s still not 100%, but I’m starting to think that it might never be and, if I want to keep running, I’m just going to have to learn to live with it. As long as I don’t push it too hard, it should be ok.

So, today I decided to keep the running sections a bit slower than on Monday, and it seemed to work. I felt pretty good and the leg doesn’t feel any worse, so that’s a good sign.

I’m hoping to finish off Week 1 tomorrow morning, but I’ll see how it goes. There’s no point in rushing it as chances are it will only set me back again, but I’m in no hurry. It’s just nice to be able to get back out there again, even if it is only for a couple of Ks.

How’s your running going? How do you deal with old injuries and niggles? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


C25K W1 D1 (again)

Today was the first day of my return to training with Couch to 5K. I had planned to do Week 1 Day 1 when I got home from work and, while I was a bit concerned about how I would be able to handle any kind of running after my ‘on and off’ periods over the last few months, I was really looking forward to getting started again.

Of course, old habits die hard, so when it came to actually getting myself out the front door, I was confronted by the all too familiar voice in my head telling me You’re feeling kind of tired, maybe you should wait until tomorrow… one more day won’t make a difference.

Thankfully, there was also another familiar voice there to remind me to ignore the first one and don’t think about it; just do it. So that’s what I did.

I switched off my brain, got myself changed and before I knew it I was heading to the seafront for a nice easy run/walk along the promenade – 8 reps of 60 seconds running and 90 seconds walking. That should be do-able, right? Even with my current fitness level, I should be able to manage 60 seconds. Shouldn’t I?

Despite my concerns, the run went pretty well. I started off fairly slowly for the first running segment and, even though I was a bit more out of breath than I should have been, it felt good. For the second running segment, I tried picking up the pace a bit more. Again, it felt ok, so I decided to continue trying to pick things up a notch for the third, fourth, fifth and so on, until the final run when my legs finally started to feel tired and I had to ease off again.

In the end, I covered just over 2.5K in 18:30 (I didn’t bother timing the final walk segment) and was surprised to see that I kept most of the runs under a pace of 6 minutes per kilometre, with the penultimate run under 5 minutes per kilometre – not a pace that I could sustain for more than one minute at a time right now, but a very pleasing start nonetheless.

Session 2 will be tomorrow. I can’t wait!

How’s your training going? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

A Month Off

Circle HopWith September almost at an end, I was a bit shocked to realise that it I haven’t run at all this month. It wasn’t something that I had planned for. In fact, my plan was to finish up my adapted C25K program be running 5K again by mid-October. But it didn’t happen, and I’m fine with that.

When it comes to training, I’m usually pretty focussed, and even obsessive about making sure I stay on track. Even when I miss a few sessions or don’t quite hit my targets, I still manage to put a positive spin on it, reassess what needs to be done, and get moving again. But this month I just wasn’t  feeling it.

To be honest, I haven’t really been feeling it since April. There was the longer than expected post-marathon recovery, the niggles that just wouldn’t seem to settle and the fact that my employment situation has been (and still is) in a state of transition since May probably didn’t help.

In saying that, having a month off hasn’t been a bad thing. It has given me the chance to relax, recover and reassess a few things. And it has made me realise just how much I want to run again.

So, with the final quarter of the year approaching, October is going to be a new beginning for me. I’m going to re-launch myself into Couch to 5K and this time I’m going to do it properly. No adapting the ratios, no short cuts with the walk breaks and, most importantly, no pressure to get to 5K before I’m ready.

After all, this running lark is supposed to be about having fun, so that’s what I’m going to do.

How’s your training going? Have you taken an extended break from running? How to you get yourself back on track again? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

This post is part of the Virtual Running UK Blog hop. Click here to find out more and join the fun!


Sunday Morning Shuffle

Circle Hop

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I didn’t quite manage to stick to the schedule this week, so I’m a little bit behind with my adapted C25K plan. Instead of doing the End of Week Five 20 minute run today, I ended up doing the midweek run instead.

According to C25K, this should have been two 8 minute runs with a 5 minute walk break in the middle. For me though, 5 minutes seemed a bit too long to walk, so I decided to cut it down to three minutes instead.

As usual, I chose the seafront for this morning’s run but, as the wind from the east was coming in pretty strong, I decided to adapt my usual route, going west for the first running section, east into the wind for the walk break, and then west again to finish. This would mean a slightly longer walk home, but I figured a bit of extra walking wouldn’t do any harm.

The run itself was surprisingly easy. I had been a bit worried about adding 3 minutes to my continuous run, but it wasn’t a problem, and I even managed to add another 44 seconds to the final running section, finishing on a nice even 3K in 19:44.

Pace wise, things are looking pretty good too. Because the running sections were longer than usual, I didn’t have any walk breaks in the first and third kilometres, which meant that I could get a more accurate indication of my running pace than I’ve had for a while.

The first kilometre was fairly slow at around 6:30, but by the third I had managed to pick it up to around 6:00. Ideally, I’d like to finish the program with a sub-30 5K, so it’s all looking good so far.

Unfortunately though, my Garmin doesn’t seem to be getting along very well with my laptop at the moment so I’ll have to sort that out to be sure, but all being well I’m hoping that my next run (20 minutes non-stop) will get me past the 3K mark. Watch this space…

How’s your training going? Did you get a run in this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

The Training Plan Shuffle

Despite having signed up for a race to keep myself motivated with the old training plan, I seem to fallen behind again. Yesterday should have been Week 5 Day 1 of my modified C25K plan, but it all went to pot when I got distracted after work and didn’t leave myself enough time to get a run in.

With a 20 minute session on the exercise bike planned for this evening, that meant I would have to make a choice: do the exercise bike session and put myself one run behind; or do the run and skip the bike altogether. It was a tough decision, not helped by the fact that it was raining when I got home.

Deep down though, I knew that there really was only one option. The whole point of the exercise bike is to compliment the running, not the other way round, so I pushed myself out the door and into the drizzle for a 25 minute session using a 5:2 run/walk ratio. And I was glad that I did.

I found the ratio fairly challenging, particularly for the first two segments, but once I got into the second half of the session I started to really enjoy it and remembered how much I love to run in the rain! Seriously, give me cool damp drizzle over blue skies and sunshine any day of the week – well, any training day of the week at least.

In terms of the rest of this week, I am supposed to be running tomorrow and Saturday. However, I could probably get away with adapting things so that I do the exercise bike tomorrow and then run on Friday and Sunday instead. That would mean that I have to skip park run again this week, but that might not be a bad thing.

My weekend run will be my first non-stop 20 minutes in I don’t know how long, so pacing will be crucial and, let’s face it, I usually get carried away with myself at parkrun and end up going too fast. Not great when you’re trying to run slowly!

I guess I’ll see how it goes, but it could turn out that missing yesterday’s session and re-shuffling the schedule might not be such a bad thing. These things happen for a reason, so maybe that’s it. We shall see…

How’s your training going? Are you getting your sessions in this week? Please share your thoughts in the comments


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