Couch to 5k: Week 1

This week, I embarked on my first bit of real exercise since I moved to London and started working full time (just over six months, for those of you not counting).

I don’t really have any excuse for this, and a slew of recent “get fit” blog posts/Instagrams had me feeling decidedly guilty. With the sun shining last Saturday and both the boys of the household up and at the gym/on 70 mile bike rides by 9am, I decided to take matters into my own hands and head out for a run.

I’ve attempted “regular” runs before, but I have to admit I’ve been a bit of a quitter with the whole thing and I’m definitely guilty of not going out again because the first time was too hard. In fact, I very nearly didn’t go on Saturday because I was a bit worried that I would collapse and die at the end of the road.

Enter the NHS Couch to 5k app. I think we’ve all heard about this by now and I’ve heard only good things, so, convinced that it was my golden key to an Ellie-Goulding body, I downloaded it and set off before I could change my mind.

You know what? I was very pleasantly surprised. In week one, the app asks you to go out 3 times, for a 30 minute “run” involving a five minute walk to warm up, followed by 1 minute of running/jogging and 90 seconds of walking (repeated for 20 mins), and then a five minute cool-down walk.

I won’t lie; while it was easier than I had anticipated, I was definitely glad of the frequent walking breaks. I’m not sure if that’s embarrassing or not (I suspect yes), but whatever, it’s true. There’s also a nice lady who tells you when to walk and when to run and provides a bit of motivation, which I actually found SUPER helpful. Either way, I didn’t die, and actually you could say I quite enjoyed myself.

Since Saturday I’ve completed two more runs, officially completing week 1 of the 9-week program. Totalling 8 minutes of actual running with each run, it doesn’t exactly feel like I’m changing the world, but eight minutes is better than no minutes, right?

While I haven’t developed perfectly toned legs yet, I do feel better in myself and certainly feel much more productive when my day starts or ends with exercise. I’m even excited about continuing with the app. I think my biggest obstacle is going to be creating a set routine: once I get into that, I’m away. And when I have to actually start running for more than one minute at a time, of course, but I’ll deal with that when I get to it.

I’m posting about it here in order to keep myself accountable, mostly, but also to track my progress and to share my experiences with you guys. In another effort to make sure that I don’t tail off like I have done before, I’ve also decided that if I reach the end of March and am still running, I get to treat myself to fancy schmancy new gym gear. Nothing like a little bribery to motivate you, right?!

I’ve checked the app and next week seems to involve 90 seconds of running followed by 2 mins of walking. I’ll post about how that goes at the end of next week, and if you don’t see a post, then please feel free to berate me!


6 thoughts on “Couch to 5k: Week 1

  1. Oh best of luck with it. I did it a few years ago and found the app really useful until about week 6 (when the long 20 min run kicks in) as at that point I found I needed my own music to run to rather than theirs and so I bought a watch and timed it myself. I went from being a complete non-runner to doing 5k the first year and then a 10k run the following year. I hated every moment of it but the achievement aspect is great. Keep updating us!

    1. Thanks so much – that’s exactly the sort of thing I was hoping to hear! I’m loving the structure so far but a bit worried about what will happen when I’m left to my own devices…hopefully I will have developed a magic love of running by then!


  2. Just keep going dude, running’s one of those things that all of a sudden just clicks and then you’re a runner.
    I agree with Lisa above though, you’ll get to a point where you need to get your own music in your ear holes to keep you going.
    M x

    1. I hope so! I’ve definitely been finding it surprisingly enjoyable…

      At the minute I’m using my Spotify app alongside to C25k and that actually works really well, helpful Laura just shouts above the music and I get to keep oh-so-motivational Missy Elliott in my ear!


    1. Everyone I know who has done it, loved it! Yeah, my worry is slipping out of my (new) routine and not getting back into it but there’s always a second chance ;)


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