From Screen Potato to 5k

running blogWeek One

A week now of doing the  NHS From Couch Potato to 5k running programme.  So, I downloaded the podcasts and started the first at the beginning of the week.  So, in summary, the week 1 podcast starts with 5 minutes ‘brisk walking’ to warm up, then 90 seconds ‘brisk walking’ and 60 seconds running until you’ve completed 8 minutes running in total, and finally, another 5 minutes ‘brisk walking’.

The first day I went out with headphones on, I was shocked to find how hard I found it to do 30 minutes non-stop brisk walking, let alone running.  I tried 60 seconds of the running which seemed interminably long.  In fact, I couldn’t even make it to 60 seconds.  I managed about 30 seconds, and gave up after that.  The other seven times I was told to run I just walked as fast as I could.    Now I have lived a long life of trying to get fit and it never lasting longer than a few weeks – probably three at the most.  So this time, I have decided to make my struggle, pain and hopefully achievment public, by writing about it here, in a blog.

Now one of the problems I have is the weather.  Like most people, I don’t want to go out when it’s cloudy, cold or raining, but even though it’s June, there are too many of those days.  I have some experience of facing the elements because I have to walk my dog but on those occasions, I can get away with walking a bit, resting a bit, talking a lot and throwing a stick.  It’s easy to ‘walk’ a dog without getting much exercise.  I’m a past master at it.   So, this weather and exercise thing, I don’t see there’s any other way of dealing with it than just gritting my teeth, stop whingeing, and getting on with it.  It’s just logical.  But it hasn’t happened (yet).

The running programme suggests that you take a day’s break following each ‘run’ and there’s all sorts of reasons why one day should develop into two days.  This week it was (of course) the  inclement weather,  urgent things that had to be done for the radio station and assignments  and a house that had to be tidied and clothes that had to be ironed.  I could add more  – a myriad of excuses.

On the positive side, however, I have had another go at the week 1 podcast – twice.  Of course, the sun was out and it is so much easier to pluck up courage to face the world in unfamiliar guise when the sun is out.  So the good news is that the second time I jogged for 2 of the 8 minutes and today, I jogged for 4 of the 8 minutes.  I don’t know if I would call it a ‘run’ because I was jogging so slowly that it was practically walking, but I didn’t give up after 30 seconds so I guess, for me at least, slow jogging is the trick to lasting for 60 seconds.

What next?  The programme suggests that you should go on to week 2 after 3 times of completing the week 1 podcast, but in both theory and practice, I haven’t yet successfully completed the week 1 podcast.  So it looks like week 1 might be two weeks’ long.  The next step is to complete the 8 runs before I go onto week 2.  Let’s see how it goes…

Week Two


Well gone mad today,  but guess why?  It’s the weather again – so frightfully English!  Two days in a row with sunshine – amazing and such a spirit lifter.  So, I didn’t follow the rules and take a day off.  I hope an achy body doesn’t make me regret that tomorrow.  5 slow jogs this time and in view of  walking people as opposed to solitarily in a  semi-derelict playground.  I’m disappointed that yet again, I couldn’t manage 8 slow jogs but I want always to show some progress, so I walked/jogged ‘at  a brisk pace’ for 45 minutes.