Couch to 5K First Timer's Experience - Week Nine


lady running beside Sydney Harbour with the Opera House in the background

Wow well, okay then. I made it to Week 9 of the Couch to 5K and I somehow survived??? Yeah, I still don't know how that happened either to be honest! I always thought running was a slightly sadistic form of exercise as my only memories of it, prior to starting on this journey with the Couch to 5K, were of being forced to do it at school and being unable to keep up with my classmates. Ever since then I've actively avoided it, unless absolutely necessary and even then I've tried to do everything in my power to NOT have to end up running!


I also know that you have to do a lot of it to get any calorific benefit, as in you have to run for a long time and over long distances to actually burn calories and keep fit. So why would I put myself through this if it wasn't to lose weight? Oh yes, to prove my old self that it isn't ACTUALLY THAT BAD!?


Maybe, but also now that I'm back swimming again I can use that as an exercise I enjoy and then run on the days I'm not in the pool. Well, that's the plan anyway, we'll see how long it lasts when I go back to work!


For now though, let's see how I got on in Week 9 of the Couch to 5K training plan.


Couch to 5K Week 9


Week nine being the final week of the Couch to 5K training plan now tells you to run for 30 minutes non stop during each workout. As I've been working up to being able to run for this length of time throughout the whole 9 weeks, being able to now run for 30 minutes shouldn't be too difficult.


Run 1

Warm up 5 minutes

Run 30 minutes

Cool down 5 minutes


Run 2

Warm up 5 minutes

Run 30 minutes

Cool down 5 minutes


Run 3

Warm up 5 minutes

Run 30 minutes

Cool down 5 minutes


Sarah Millican is still here, willing me on and encouraging me despite this being the last week of the Couch to 5K. She says she's proud of me for sticking to the programme for the last few weeks and that she'll miss me when I'm gone! I'll miss you too Sarah!

photo of the legs of runners in a race the ground is wet and you can see the reflections

How I'm Feeling After Week 9 of the Couch to 5K


That' I'm still here to be quite honest! It seems surreal that I've kinda enjoyed going out for my runs every week and that my body has managed to keep pushing me forward when all I've wanted to do was give up.


I've found that I AM capable of doing something I previously thought was almost impossible for me. I've proven to myself that despite my history with running, I can overcome it and push further than I ever thought possible. That by breaking the 30 minutes down into manageable chunks, almost anything is possible.


It's also amazing that my body has been able to push through when all I've wanted to do is give up! The phrase, "Every time I run I'm reminded how much I hate running" has never been more true! But also, finding others who are also working through the Couch to 5K training programme really helps, sharing their wins and their struggles equally.


I would definitely recommend joining some facebook groups and perhaps following others on Strava, as seeing others push themselves really does spur you on to push through the hardest times on runs. Plus, it's also good to post your own wins and allow the congratulations from other runners to push you on!

female runners in a race

My Thoughts After Completing the Couch to 5K


I think this could be a whole other post in itself but for now I'll say that it feels amazing to have finally completed it and to have gone on and run by myself afterwards (without the Couch to 5K!) I was worried about not having any guidance and having to go it alone!


I knew I could repeat Week 9 of the Couch to 5K training plan, but to be honest, I just didn't want to! I liked the fact that it had kept a record of when I'd completed the runs and I didn't want to mess it up.


The first time I managed to finally do a 5K was on my Graduation day which just made me even happier to be honest, as I'd been close on previous occasions and to be honest I didn't think I'd be able to hit it but I kept going because deep down, I knew I could do it.


So, it was with this in mind that I downloaded Strava and started tracking my runs. I started using it during my Week 9 runs so I could get the hang of it before going solo. I was new to this whole Strava thing, but thankfully some helpful souls in the Facebook group I was in, told me how to use it and most importantly, how to set up audio cues so I can keep track of distance and time.


Since I graduated from the Couch to 5K training plan, I've been out on 3 runs and have managed to knock up distances of 6.16K, 7.76K and 10.1K! Yes, I have now managed to run 10K, in just under 90 minutes, which isn't too bad considering I've only recently managed to complete 5K!


To give me something to aim for, I've signed up to do the Race for Life in September here in Harrogate. (Feel free to sponsor me using the link!) I thought why not put my new found skills to good use? It gives me something to aim for as well as doing something good for charity of course!


I'm hoping it will encourage me to keep going and stop all those " I have no energy to go out " or " I can't be bothered " excuses from cropping up! Plus, seeing as swimming is now the exercise I do for fun I can use that to relax after a few heavy/longer runs without having to ensure I hit a certain number within the 45 minutes we have in the pool.


I've been continuing with using music to help me through my runs, BBC Sounds is coming up trumps here. There are many playlists and podcasts available, but I favour cheesey pop music so I can dance whilst running - well, make funny arm movements anyway! I also mime along to the music which makes for some funny looks from drivers and runners alike lemme tell you!


I try to make my runs interesting and fun because otherwise I get very bored and wouldn't want to continue! So it's cheesey tunes which keep me on track and wanting to go further to hear all the songs!


So, it's quite obvious I have enjoyed following the Couch to 5K training plan and learning to run. I would neceassrily be the girl you'd pick out a line up to help your team win a race, but I like knowing that there's some accountabilty withing the Strava app.


If you have any questions for me regarding the Couch to 5K or about running in general, then please leave them below and I'll answer them in my next post!


Sarah

xoxoxo







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A 30 something woman navigating life, sharing posts focussing on mental health, midsize fashion, self-care routines and life as a vegan.

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