My Couch to 5k Journey – Week 1 Getting dressed


January 4, 2024

I often watch my husband, donned in his fetching Lycra, in all manner of weather and time of day leave the house for a run and wondered…why?

Raising our 2 year old we are in a blur of sleepless nights, tantrums, dirty nappies and a severe lack of ‘me time’. How can he be bothered? Where’s the energy coming from? My idea of 30 minutes to myself (if I ever get it!) would be to curl up on the sofa with a months’ worth of chocolate and watch easy tele.

As Recovery College Co-ordinator its my job to develop an interesting and exciting prospectus of classes for the College alongside my colleague Rachel. We each focus on different topics and one of my bubbles is fitness. I promote how fitness is amazing for the body, the mind and general wellbeing. I try to encourage all you lovely folk to join us and try something new. Yet here I sit…not exercising. Not even stretching at my desk or going for a walk on my lunch break. I even try to get out of going downstairs for the delivery man. What a hypocrite!

So I decided to take on the Couch to 5K.

Now, believe me, I am not a runner. I can crochet. I can use excel. But I do not run. I have never really been in a gym, I have spinal and balance problems, I procrastinate and I have no idea where I would even begin when it comes to fitness. The Couch to 5k claims to be for beginners and that’s me….right?

I will document my journey on this 9 week endeavour in the hope to encourage some of you to sign up to the challenge yourselves or join our very own Couch to 5k class I have just co-ordinated starting in May 2024. Check out the details here.

I am currently 2 out of 3 runs in to my first week. On the 1st of January I tried every excuse; I don’t have anything to wear, where are my running shoes?, will I be too warm or too cold?, where do I go?, how long will I be out for?, I cant remember how to stretch, do I need to stretch?.

I can hand on heart, pinky promise say…the hardest moment was getting dressed. Once I was ready it was actually (dare i say it) enjoyable.

So far I have seen; multiple dog walkers one of which wished me a spritely ‘Happy New Year’, 2 beautiful robins with lovely red chests, explored more of my local countryside and breathed in the fresh (cold!) air. I have been out of the house and on the move for 1 hour more than I would have been this week – big tick!

The app is easy to use and the audio instructions tell you exactly when you need to run and walk – you don’t run for the whole 30 minutes in week 1. In fact you only run for 8x 60 second intervals and even this I did at a pace that was pretty similar to my walking pace! It also has a bell at half way which is handy. I worked out a route from my doorstep that’s reasonably flat. I start in one direction until the bell and turn around and come the same way back.

Half way through my first run I ran past a memorial with some flowers and plaque saying ‘Son’. I took a moment while placing one foot in front of the other to spend a thought for that family and it got me thinking about what I have achieved already. What I have learnt from week 1 is that I am alive and I am able. If the worst part was getting dressed I’m sure I can manage week 2 and I am grateful to be able to do it.

Here are my top 5 tips for getting started:

    1. In the app – you can choose your running guide’s voice. I chose Sanjeev Kohli his voice is friendly and encouraging which Is what I needed
    2. You can play your music at the same time as listening to the app so you can feel motivated by all your favourite tunes. The music fades down when there is an instruction or word of encouragement. Oh yeah!
    3. It really doesn’t matter what you wear – you don’t need big brands or fancy gear just wear something comfortable and sensible trainers
    4. Stretch before and after your run to reduce the risk of any nasty aches or pains. The app has a few pointers on this if you don’t remember your PE days at school
    5. Choose a direction to head in before you go out and try to avoid any big hills – which is quite difficult in Yorkshire!

Good luck and I will check in next week!


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