It’s official. I’ve finally done it. I’ve graduated from the C25K program!
It has taken me 15 weeks and 1 day, but I can now run 5K without stopping, and it feels amazing!
Like many others, when I first started the program, I could barely manage to run for sixty seconds. I was puffing and panting and wheezing all the way, but once I got that first run under my belt, there was no stopping me. It felt great to be out there on the street, along the seafront or in the park, knowing that as long as I was doing what the program told me to do, my body would be adapting and strengthening itself to be able to cope with the next step up.
Of course, along the way, there was injury, illness, exhaustion, missed weeks and even repeats, but the one thing that kept me going was that I knew that no run I ever attempted would even come close to being as hard as that first one. And today was no exception.
My final run of C25K should have happened yesterday, in fact, it should have happened months ago, but life gets in the way sometimes, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
I had planned to do my first 5K Park Run yesterday, but after a very busy summer at work we decided to hit the pub at 5:30 on Friday. With good company and half-price cocktails, I didn’t get home until 1:00 am, so there was no way I was in any condition to run at 9:00 am. So I went out this morning instead.
Even though I’d missed Saturday’s Park Run, I still wanted to run the route. I’m used to running on the flat so the hills of Hove Park were going to be a challenge. And they were. But it was nothing I couldn’t handle. The C25K program had prepared me well and I completed the run in 33 minutes and 8 seconds. That’s an average pace of 6:37 per km (10:39 per mile), and my best yet!
My next goal is to run 5K in under 30 minutes but I’m not sure how to go about achieving that. If you have any tips, advice or know of any good follow up programs that focus on improving pace, please share in the comments.
And, if you’re doing C25K, keep up the great work. The training doesn’t always go as planned, but you can do it and it will be worth it in the end.
Have a great weekend!