So here we are in the middle of our third lockdown of Covid-19 with no end in sight. I’ve decided that rather than feel down about things that are beyond my control, I’m going to focus the things I can control. One of those things is my fitness. I started in November by walking at least 5km most days. I’ve kept that up throughout December. In January, I felt it was time to step it up and get back to running. To do this, I’ll be following the Couch to 5k plan.
I’ve decided to restart the blog as well to document my attempts to get fit again and hopefully soon enough I’ll be back writing about my adventures soon enough. This blog is mostly for keeping a personal record but, who knows, someone might stumble across it and find something useful out of it
What is C25K?
Ok, let’s start with the basics. Couch to 5K (C25K for short) is probably the most popular beginners running plan out there. The goal is to take you from couch potato to being able to run 5km in 9 weeks. It does this through interval running, alternating short runs with recovery walks in between. You do three runs a week with a rest day in between each run. Each week increases the length of the run, starting with 60 seconds and, hopefully, have you running for 30 minutes by the end.
C25K isn’t a perfect plan but it’s a good introduction to running (or in my case a reintroduction). It’s been a while since I was last running regularly, so anything faster than a brisk walk these days will be a real shock to the system.
C25K Week 1
Week 1: 5-minute warm-up walk, [60 seconds running, 90 seconds walking] x 8, 5-minute cool-down walk
So I think all the walking I’m doing and the false start in December definitely helped prepare me for this week. When I started in December, all 3 runs felt like torture. Starting again in January, it actually didn’t seem as bad. W1R1 (week 1 run 1) was still thought during the 7th and 8th running bit but by W1R3 on Saturday, my legs had adapted to the running. One week down, eight to go!
C25K Week 2
Week 2: 5-minute warm-up walk, [90 seconds running, 2 minutes walking] x 6, 5-minute cool-down walk
So every week is a step up from the last. You might not think that running for an extra 30 seconds is tough but when your body isn’t used to it, 30 seconds seems like an age. There can be a great temptation to stop and give up. That’s your body and brain reacting to the change. You need to dig in and fight the urge to stop. It might not seem like it at the time but you’ll thank yourself when you’re done.
Now on to week 3. The third week steps it up even more as two reps of a 90-second run, a 90-second walk, a three-minute run and a three-minute walk.