Total Couch To 5K!

Recently my Facebook wall has been covered with people taking part in various Couch to 5K running programmes, which are designed for people who do very little or even no exercise, to get them running 5K in just a few weeks! I used to do a lot of running when I was going to the gym 4 times a week but then a lack of time and money intervened! Since then, I’ve put back on all of the weight that I had spent months working off at the gym and then some *sigh* but I have decided that I’d quite like to lose some of the weight again, but mainly I’d just like to feel healthy again! When I was doing a lot of running I completed the Race For Life 5K race in about 25 minutes so it would be nice to be able to accomplish that again!

The Total C25K app that I am using is designed for my Windows phone and it is a 9 week programme, that involves running three times a week. You have a rest day between each run, with an extra rest day to use when you like, at the moment, me and James are running Thursdays, Saturdays and Tuesdays with each new programme starting on the Thursday. The aim of the app is to complete thirty minutes of continuous running, reaching the distance of 5K. What I really love about the app is the fact that it tells you when you have to run/walk/are half way/warm up/cool down via the headphones so you don’t have to time it yourself.

Last night I completed the first programme which involves a five minute warm up walk then alternating 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking for a total of twenty minutes then a five minute cool down walk. As I already do Zumba at least three times a week (when I don’t have a mountain of essays to do anyway!) I am quite used to doing exercise so luckily this first week wasn’t too much of a struggle but I did like the way it started out gently because whenever I am running I seem to struggle with getting my breathing right, so running for minute sprints it has helped me get into a rhythm.

I was really surprised to see a dramatic improvement in each run, especially because there was more walking than running involved. By my third run I wasn’t getting out of breath and my running was a lot stronger. To demonstrate how such a low intensity programme can make such a big difference, here are my stats for the first week:

1st Run:
Total Distance: 3.18km
Speed: 6.37 km/h
Projected 5K: 47:06min

2nd Run:
Total Distance: 3.38km
Speed: 6.75km/h
Projected 5K: 44:24min

3rd Run:
Total Distance: 3.42km
Speed: 6.83km/h
Projected 5K: 43:54min

It is really reassuring to see my stats improving and it is giving me the motivation to keep going! On Thursday we will start our new programme which involves a 5 minute warm up then alternating 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking for 20 minutes before doing a 5 minute cool down walk. Hopefully I will continue to see and feel an improvement throughout week two to keep my spirits up!


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10 thoughts on “Total Couch To 5K!

  1. knitish says:

    Thanks Hannah, You’ve inspired me! I keep seeing Cto5K around and I’ve been meaning to look into it. Now I’m going to go find an app-right now!

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      Ooh I’m glad to hear you are inspired! I hope your programme is as good as mine! I think they differ slightly depending what operating system your phone uses but they are all very similar…I am thoroughly enjoying it so far!

  2. A. Wright says:

    Good for you! Just as the body willingly goes into couch mode, so will it go into workhorse mode 🙂 The later comes with a lot more sense of accomplishment too 😀

    • Hannah Ackroyd says:

      Thank you 😀 yes that is true! I used to love going to the gym and feeling energised all of the time but as soon as that stops the body automatically switches to being lazy scarily quickly! I’m really loving feeling healthier again though…and that is only after one week! I am looking forward to feeling even fitter as the weeks progress!

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