What Did I Do With My Head Torch?

Now that the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in, it’s becoming all too easy to come up with an excuse not to run. But not tonight.

I had planned to take my new favourite route around Hove Rec, but unfortunately the House Pixies seemed to have hidden my head torch. With unlit paths made even darker by the bushes and trees on either side, there was no way I was going to risk it, so I headed for the seafront instead for Week 4 Day 1 of Couch To 5K.

I did my usual seafront route, starting at Hove Lawns then down towards the Peace Statue, back up to the King Alfred Centre and then back to my starting point, plus a bit extra to let the time run down.

As I hadn’t run for over a week, I took it nice and slowly and was surprised by how easy it was – possibly because I was back on the flat again, but I’d like to think it’s because my fitness is improving too.

I covered 3K in 21:44, which is fine, but next time, I think I’ll push a bit harder and see if I can hit a 6 minute pace on the running sections.

How’s your training going? Do you avoid certain routes when running in the evening? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

I Should Probably Go For A Run

I hadn’t thought about running at all today, not until I was on my way home. I’d bumped into a colleague at the train station and she asked me (in the way that colleagues on the train often do) what I was doing this evening, and without evening thinking about it, the words were right there in front of me – I should probably go for a run.

And it was as simple as that. I had to run. If I didn’t, I would be a fake, a fraud, one of those people who talks about getting fit but never actually does anything about it. Someone who talks about doing and achieving great things but always finds an excuse not too see it through. And I didn’t want to be that person. Not today. So I did what had to be done.

As soon as I got home, I got changed and headed out. I didn’t even think about it. I couldn’t afford to. I had to get in and out as quickly as possible, move forward and get it done.

To be fair, it wasn’t a very long run. Week 3 Day 2 of Couch to 5K is two reps of 1:30 run, 1:30 walk, 3:00 run and 3:00 walk. As usual, I stopped the Garmin before the final walk break, making a very short session even shorter on paper. And it was slow too. But it was fine.

I can hold my head high at work tomorrow. The run got done.

How’s your training going? Does telling other people about your plans to go running help to motivate and keep you accountable? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Unscheduled Rest Week

Circle HopI didn’t manage to get a run in at last week. A couple of extra long working days at the beginning of the week combined with a sudden drop in temperature left me feeling pretty tired, so I decided to take it easy, skip the final run of Week 2 and launch into Week 3 this morning so that I would have something to contribute to this week’s Virtual Running UK Blog Hop.

Today’s session should have been fairly easy – 2 reps of 1:30 run, 1:30 walk, 3:00 run and 3:00 walk, but I have to admit that I did find the second 3:00 run more challenging than I had expected. I still managed it, but for a bit of a confidence boost at the end, I decided to split the final walk in half so that I could finish strongly on a 1:30 run.

My running pace definitely slowed down on this run and I didn’t manage to stay under 6:00 minutes per kilometre for the duration of each section, but I think it probably averaged out ok.


I’m planning on doing another Week 3 run tomorrow (all being well), so hopefully I’ll be able to improve the pacing a bit more on that one.

On the whole though, repeating Couch to 5K seems to be working. I haven’t quite nailed the routine yet this time around, but the program is working and I am definitely seeing and feeling the improvements each time, so it’s all good.

How’s your training going? How are you coping with running in the colder weather? Please share you thoughts in the comments.

Some Thoughts On Repeating C25K

Today was Week 2 Day 2 of Couch to 5K. Six reps of 1:30 running and 2:00 walking, and it all went pretty well. The running pace was quick and comfortable, the walk breaks were more than plenty and I feel that I am making progress, not just in terms of the C25K Program, but also in terms of my running as a whole.

Couch to 5K works, there has never been any doubt in my mind about that. However, I have noticed that the whole experience of repeating Couch to 5K is very different than it was the first time around, not just physically, but also mentally. So, here are a few of my thoughts on repeating the program:


Firstly, and probably most obviously, is that doing Couch to 5K the second time round (after successfully completing it before) is much easier. Even though I’ve had a few months of running on and off, and for the past 12 months have been using run/walk for my races (marathon included), I was still starting off at a much higher level of fitness than the first time around, so those early week sessions haven’t been anything like as hard as they were before.


Motivation has been a problem though. The first time I did Couch to 5K, I was so desperate to run that I could barely wait to get out and do the next session; however, this time around, I’m much more laid back about the whole thing. Yes, I want to get back to running 5K, and yes I have a specific goal in mind, but that sense of urgency has gone, which means I need to draw on all of my old motivational tricks to make sure I get myself out the door and stay on track.


One of the best things about repeating the program is pacing. Not only do I know how to judge my pace for each session, but I can also run much faster than before without tiring. Ok, so the running sections are still very short at the moment, but even with that in mind, I know that in running faster for these shorter intervals, my 5K pace will have improved by the time I complete the program.


Unlike last time, recovering from a run is so much better. I no longer feel the need to raid the fridge after returning from a 2.5K run; I don’t need to take a nap in the afternoon if I run in the morning; and the DOMS, when they do appear, are nothing compared with what they used to be.


And finally, progress. We all know that Couch to 5K produces great results and that the progress is noticeable after only a couple of sessions, but here’s the difference. The first time around, the sessions became less difficult; this time around, they become easier. I know, there’s a fine line between something being less difficult  and something being easier, but the point is that repeating Couch to 5K is not difficult at all. The sessions are easy and they become easier, which definitely helps with the whole motivation thing.

How’s your training going? Have you gone back to Couch to 5K after injury or a break? What differences did you notice the second time around? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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.