I loved the Simon Pegg film Run, Fatboy, Run but it had nothing to do with my latest harebrained scheme.
I’m forty-cough now, a bit overweight, extremely not-toned and frankly just not very fit. Unless science makes some pretty amazing advances I’m unlikely to get younger or fitter by just sitting around on the sofa. If I’m brutally honest, the getting younger thing is probably impossible, but I can do something about the fitness.
I’ve been aware of the couch to 5k programme (C25k) for quite a long time (a friend of mine did it a couple of years ago) and while it seemed like a sensible way to get running, it also seemed like a reasonably daft thing for someone like me to do.
I’ve never, ever, ever been able to run. When I was at school PE was, without a doubt, my least favourite lesson. I quite enjoy swimming, although not to excess, and I can walk – 2 Moonwalks are testament to that.
But running? It hurts.
Any time I’ve tried to run it has hurt my feet, my legs, my knees and hips, my lungs, my throat and pretty much everything in between.
The thing is though, I really like the idea of running. It doesn’t cost anything (the only real necessity is a pair of trainers) and you can do it wherever and whenever you want to/can fit it in.
But running? It hurts.
I’m still not quite sure what changed my mind (two young children that I’d like to be able to keep up with, a photoshoot booked in August, some stunning looking mummy runners I know locally (they just look so healthy!), a desire to stop feeling so tired all of the time, an operation coming up that I’d like to be fit enough to recover from fairly quickly – pick any of those), but a month ago I bought some new trainers. Don’t think I rushed into anything though. It took me a week and a half before I actually went out in them.
The C25k programme eases you into running very, very gently. The first three “runs” consist of a five minute warm up walk, followed by 21 minutes of running for a minute and walking for a minute and a half, finishing up with a 5 minute cool down walk.
The first time I went out I managed a one minute run, a further 30 seconds of running and walked the rest of the way. On attempt number 2 (a week later) I managed to do 2 one minute runs in one session. I also got out twice that week. Week three saw me continuing on week one of the programme but I finally did all of the one minute runs in a session (and got out three times).
I’ve just done “run” two of my fourth week and the first “run” of week two of the programme. I’ve moved onto a 5 minute warm up walk, followed by a 90 seconds run and 2 minute walk repeated for 20 minutes, finishing with a 5 minute cool down walk. I have to say, I really surprised myself. I was worried that I’d find the change in run length a real problem as I was still struggling with one minute runs on Monday, but it was ok.
I’ll keep you updated (probably tediously more often than you’d like me to!).
In the meantime, you’ll be glad to know that I’ve got all the important kit sorted out – a pair of trainers and a swanky new water bottle (it’s the pencil case all over again!).