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Here’s my experience and journey….so far….

I really don’t know what made me get up one day and decide to take part in this couch to 5 k challenge, however I’m glad I took the first step.  I downloaded the app on my iPhone and selected Sarah Millican to be my mentor and she’s brilliant.  Just the right amount of encouragement! Before I started I read up about how to prepare. 

It’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of strenuous exercise, so it was off to get myself a decent part of running shoes and was advised to purchase some gel insoles too.  And what great advice too!  A good pair of running shoes and a supportive bra…are essential purchases! I really haven’t had to worry about anything other than focusing on the jogging and following instructions from my new “friend” Sarah!

 

By sharing my experience, I hope to inspire others to take on the challenge.

Week 1

Programme: 

3 runs in week 1, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then alternate 1 minute of running and 1-and-a-half minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Day 1 12th August 2019

Felt fairly good and I was pleasantly surprised.  Okay, I took it nice and slow.  It was a jog, not a run.  Previously, my starting off slow would have been running a mile!  I’d feel defeated, unmotivated, and exhausted!  No wonder I wasn’t motivated to do it again.  It felt horrible.

Day 2 14th August 2019

I started off too quickly and the first minute didn’t go well.  I really thought – okay, what was I thinking!  How could I ever go from sitting on the couch to running for the bus…let alone running 5K!  Ridiculous idea!

However, if you think I’m not being particularly motivating – the recovery was really quick and I felt alright after the session. 

In fact, when Sarah Millican said, just 2 more minutes I was surprised I’d nearly completed day 2.

 

Lessons learned:

  • Need to be hydrated and stay hydrated; not just while running
  • Having a good pair of proper running trainers is essential
  • Good nutrition is important – no skipping meals
  • Don’t show off – not even if you see young and good looking guys on route!

Day 3 16th August 2019

Yesterday, was a very busy day and I must admit I wasn’t prepared and skipped lunch and didn’t have a particularly good evening meal either.  Not good!  It most definitely affected my session today.  I felt dizzy a couple of times during the run. 

So, lessons learned.  Must eat good nutritious food and stay hydrated. It was a tough session but again recovery was really good and it was clear yesterday had an impact on me.  I’m considering repeating this week.

Day 5 20th August 2019

Here we are on day 5 on week 2 and I started off feeling a little muscle tension. 

However, by the end of the jog, I wanted to run some more…yes!  I keep surprising myself, that I wanted to run a little more. 

Keep in mind I’m taking it slowly and I’m jogging nice a steady.   

I’m not running at full speed at the moment.  That’s how this programme works by gradually and slowly increasing the length of time.

The only thing that distracted me today was the beautiful cygnets on the Riverside…

Week 2

Programme:

3 runs in week 2, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then alternate 1-and-a-half minutes of running with 2 minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Day 4 18th August 2019

Decided not to repeat week 1 and go for it! Personal pride and the fact that this is a tried and tested programme made me re-consider and click on the next run on the app.  So, we are now running 90 seconds with a 2-minute brisk walk between.

Today, I felt really good.  I started and kept a really good pace.  Nicely jogging riverside and enjoyed the experience.  I was enjoying it so much, got through the session seemly quickly.  Feel particularly good.  I even wanted to run a little longer…!  Remember I didn’t even run for the bus!

Day 6 22nd August 2019

I was feeling tired this morning and could have easily skipped a day.  However, I really don’t want to lose the momentum that I’ve built up and that’s what got me started today. 

My advice to anyone who is considering this programme is not to overthink.  Otherwise, the negative voice will give you so many reasons to skip or quit.  This is the point you need to think louder (yes, you can turn up the volume on your thinking!) about the results and the outcome.

My outcome is to be able to freely run without feeling I’m exhausted and completely out of breath,  I want more energy and that’s already happening actually.  I can get through the day and get stuff done without feeling like I want to go back to bed for a big old nap!  I still need to improve my nutrition and really start reviewing the combination of foods I eat.

Week 3

Programme:

3 runs in week 3, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 2 repetitions of 1-and-a-half minutes of running, 1-and-a-half minutes of walking, 3 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking.

Day 7 24th August 2019

Wow!  So, as you can see from the programme outline above it’s week 3 and we have increased our jogging to 3 minutes without stopping.  And, I did it!  I know to some this won’t be particularly impressive!  However, the first rule of setting yourself goals is not to compare.  The only person you are competing with is yourself.

Day 8 26th August 2019

Still taking it nice a easy with the jogging and building up the length of time without stopping.  I would not have been able to do this without the app.  I would have probably gone too quickly and pushed too much.  I know with exercise you are supposed to constantly push yourself – however, if you are like me and haven’t exercised for many years, then taking it gently is fine by me!  Anyway, you are only in competition with yourself!

Day 9 28th August 2019

All going to plan!  There was some light rain this morning, which made it a lovely cool jog around the park.  Decided to use another app to map my route (Part of the MyFitnessPal) but the app kept interrupting Sarah Millican!!  No no!  I need Sarah’s prompts!  So, this morning there were a few interrupts to my jog and I had to stop and look at the app to see if I was still supposed to be walking.  I think the other app will have to go!

Come and join the Fit Fab 50 Plus Community on Facebook:  Fit Fab 50 Plus Group

Our mission is to Educate | Motivate | Inspire 
“Looking forward to being part of this group and sharing information and positivity”
“At last somewhere I fit!”
“Looking forward to being a part of this lovely group”
“I love communities like this!”
“Great to be part of this fabulous group”

Just some of the comments from our members….

Share your experience

If you have completed the couch to 5 k challenge or it’s in progress, please comment below and share your experiences.  It just might help others to get involved and get active!

Week 4

Programme:

Week 4, we will begin with a brisk 5-minute warm-up walk then 3 minutes of running, 90 seconds walking, 5 minutes running, 2 ½ minutes walking, 3 minutes running, 90 seconds walking, 5 minutes running.

Day 10 30th August 2019

As you can see from the programme outline above, we have stepped up a gear today.  We ran 3 minutes last week and now we are up to 5 minutes without stopping.  That was a challenge but I did it without stopping both sets.  Really pleased with myself.  At the time it was tough, particularly the last minute of the last 5 minutes.  

This is the time to think about the voice in your head – it’s either supporting you or not!  If you catch yourself saying “it’s tough” or “I don’t know if I can do this” then it might not be helping you.  Just think of your surroundings and let the programme prompt you. 

Day 11 1st September 2019

So, this is the second run of week 4.  Two runs of 3 minutes and two runs of 5 minutes.  I stopped thinking about the time and let the app do the monitoring. 

What I did today was think about my Fit Fab 50 Plus members and how I could support them better in the group.   It worked!  It took my mind off of thinking about the actual running and just do it! 

Feeling more energetic during the day too.  I used to want an afternoon nap! This is the River Colne.  It’s so peaceful in the morning.  I’m lucky to have this beautiful place on my doorstep!

Day 12 6th September 2019

Okay, so it’s been 6 days since I ran last.  It’s back to business this week after having most of August to do whatever I wanted.  So, I’ve not only found it difficult to fit in around the “day job” I got myself a migraine.  It wasn’t pleasant!  They usually knock me out for a couple of days.  However, realistically I’ve only missed one run.

Today was going to be tough but I didn’t let that take over my thoughts.  I decided to go for it and stick to the programme.  Today was the last run of week 4 and yes the last minute of running was tough however, it wasn’t impossible.

Week 5

Programme:

Run 1: This week we have slightly different patterns to follow.  The first run is 5 minute run, 3 minutes brisk walk, 5 minute run, 3 minute brisk walk and 5 minute run.  Not forgetting the 5 minute brisk walk warm up and cool down.

Run 2:  This run will be two 8 minute runs with a 5 minute brisk walk in-between with a 5 minute walk warm up and cool down.

Run 3: This run is one run of 20 minutes with 5 minute warm up and warm down. 

Day 13 8th September 2019

It’s going to be a challenging three runs this week.  We are really stepping up the pace!  Felt okay to run non-stop for 5 minutes this morning.  I’m having to consider my route now.  As I’ve been able to stay close to home.  

Fit Fab 50 Plus

Bench at sunrise

Day 14 10th September 2019

So, today was two runs of 8 minutes and I am so pleased I did it!  Although, I must admit I had a restless night thinking about how we’ve only just step up to 5 minutes – how am I going to run for 8 minutes!  But I did it…twice!  Still can’t quite believe I’ve gone from 90 seconds to 3 minutes to 5 minutes and now to 8 minutes in such a short amount of time.

Day 15 13th September 2019

Today was the big day!  20 minutes non-stop.  I wasn’t worried about this run as much as I was with the last run.  However, I was still wondering how I would go from 8 minutes to 20.  Anyway, I cannot believe how quick the time went. 

Sarah Milican letting me know when I’d done 10 minutes and then 15 minutes and then before you know it 60 seconds!  I even run a little longer – just to prove I could!  Amazing!  Absolutely amazing programme.  So, that’s week 5 done and dusted!  

Week 6

Programme:

Run 1: A brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running.

Run 2: A brisk 5-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running.

Run 3: A brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running with no walking.

Day 16 15th September 2019

First run of week 6 and we have a mixture of running time periods.  Considering I ran 20 minutes a couple of days ago, I found today a little challenging.  I still completed the programme and didn’t stop while running.  I didn’t plan my route properly today.  I thought there were two runs of 8 minutes and ended up warming down for 10 minutes!  Didn’t have the energy to run any longer today.

Day 17 20th September 2019

It’s Friday morning and my last run was with a friend on Monday evening.  It was an extra run and we started at the beginning of the programme.  I was expecting it to be an easy run but it was still fairly hard work.  

Anyway today was tough getting started and there was the desire to stop a couple of times.  However, I didn’t stop and kept my mind active with what I was going to post in the Fit Fab 50 Plus Group!  The members keep me motivated.

Day 18 22nd September 2019

So, I must admit it was a little bit daunting facing a 25-minute run without stopping.  This probably impacted my performance and I didn’t make it.  I got to 12.5 minutes and I was really struggling.  I just wasn’t in the mood and give up.  I did start running again but because I felt bad about stopping I turned the app off and went home!  Thoroughly disappointed with myself.

However, I shared my disappointment on Instagram @FitFab50Plus and the Facebook page and everyone was so supportive.  It’s a fantastic programme however, it doesn’t take into account an individual starting point or age.  Therefore, it’s a guide, and if you want to adjust or adapt it’s your programme.

Here are some of the comments:

Don’t be disheartened. You’re right; it could have been any of the above; I feel really heavy when I run in the evening.  Go for it! You can do it!  x 💛 x

I’m right there with you. I’ve stayed on the same week for a period of time until I’m comfortable moving on. The body does adjust to the workload – just sometimes not in the timeframe, this plan expects. Hang in there and don’t beat yourself up – you’re so much further into the plan than those still on the couch 😁

It’s an excellent programme BUT it’s designed to cover all bases with everyone regardless of age, starting fitness etc.  It ramps up in duration quite quickly halfway through so another week or 2 staying where you are comfortable is no drama. You’ve nothing to prove – remember what you have achieved not what you haven’t 👍

Week 6 – Rinse and Repeat!

24th September 2019

Decided to repeat week 6 and build up to the 25 minutes and as my confidence has been a little knocked it will give me a chance to build this up too.

27th September 2019

So, I was all set to run two 10 minute slots today.  I started off really well and kept a nice steady pace.  When I got to the end of the first 10 minutes I actually felt really good.  It was probably because I’d kept to a nice pace and was breathing really well.  So, I thought to myself, why not keep going.  At 15 minutes it was starting to get a little tougher but I just kept pushing on. 

When the programme finished I worked out that I’d been running non-stop for 23 minutes, so I thought keep going for another 2 minutes and you’ve done the 25!  However, it was just too tempting to carrying on and see how far I could go!  I ended up running for 28 minutes!  I was absolutely buzzing and wanted to tell everyone I walked passed on the way home, I’ve just run non-stop for 28 minutes! 

29th September 2019

Okay, today is the day I attempt the third run of week 6 again and run non-stop for 25 minutes.  Again, it was tough but I kept a steady pace and kept my mind busy with other thoughts.  It worked and I completed 25 minutes (in the pouring rain by the way!), non-stop!  I was really pleased and a little in disbelief.  Have I really just ran 25 minutes!  

2nd October 2019

 

Come and join the Fit Fab 50 Plus Community on Facebook:  Fit Fab 50 Plus Group

Our mission is to Educate | Motivate | Inspire 
“Looking forward to being part of this group and sharing information and positivity”
“At last somewhere I fit!”
“Looking forward to being a part of this lovely group”
“I love communities like this!”
“Great to be part of this fabulous group”

Just some of the comments from our members…

Share your experience

If you have completed the Couch to 5 k challenge or it’s in progress, please comment below and share your experiences.  It just might help others to get involved and get active!