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Couch to 5K A First Timer's Experience - Week Three

Woman running past a white brick wall. She is wearing a black and grey top and is wearing headphones

Hello, welcome back. If you've been keeping up with my progress, you'll know that I'm now on Week Three of Couch to 5K.

I'm really enjoying it and finding that both my stamina and endurance are steadily improving, which is really pleasing to see. I've got two other posts detailing my journey so far, so head on over to read them if you haven't already. Couch to 5K week 1 and week 2.

Couch To 5K Week Three

So, in week three I was set to run for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, run for 3 minutes, walk for 3 minutes, then run/walk again for 90 seconds before another 3 minute run and the standard 5 minute walk to warm up and cool down.

Longer runs this week but I felt ready for it and was excited to see what more I could do with it.

As always, Sarah Millican was right there in my ears, cheering me on and encouraging me. I really like her and I'm pleased I chose her as my trainer.

This is what I like about the Couch to 5K, it's a gentle push in the right direction to keep you going during the longer runs. I'm definitely not the type who enjoys military fitness that's for sure!

The weather has been improving this week which makes me more inclined to put on my trainers and head outside.

Also the fact that I don't have to run straight from the front door, that there's time to get warmed up before the running starts, helps me to get going. I'm still trying to get up and just go before breakfast.

I figure it's only 20 minutes (30 with the warm up/cool down), I can be out and back before my brain really realises what's going on!

Doing the Couch to 5K for three weeks has been really enjoyable. I never thought I would say that about running but this has helped me to change my mind about everything I believed I knew about it.

It's a nice, gentle training aid to help me get moving - the Couch to 5K app may have been developed by the NHS to get people up and moving, but I'm sure there are a lot of people, like me, who are just doing it to improve their mental health and overall well-being.

Close up photo of a woman tying up the laces on her trainers, her foot is on a bench and there is a sun flare behind.

How I'm Feeling After Week 3 of Couch To 5K

I'm actually feeling pretty good! At the beginning of Week Three of the Couch to 5K training plan, I'll admit that I did struggle slightly with running for three full minutes, but by the end of it I found I could run longer, which boded well for heading into Week Four of the Couch to 5K training plan.

Like Sarah Millican says to me, it's important that I get to the end of each run, no matter how exhausted I am, because it's how I build fitness.

At times during Week Three of the Couch to 5K training plan, my legs have felt quite heavy and like they'll not make it to the end; but somehow they have and I for one and very grateful for it!

Like I said previously, the better weather has really helped me out this week. There's nothing quite like running with only a light jacket on to make you forget about the ice and snow you were running through only a few short weeks ago.

I'm also still feeling so tired after my runs. I'm not quite sure if this is a normal reaction the Couch to 5K training plan but I've definitely been feeling it.

It's probably because I've gone straight from the Couch to training up to being able to run 5K in 30 minutes, 3 times a week! My body just isn't used to it, so I have to be kind to myself and understand that my body is still playing catch up.

I've still been reading posts on the related Health Unlocked forum via the Couch to 5K app but as yet I haven't made any posts. I'm not sure I will but just being able to read posts form others who are undertaking the Couch to 5K training plan helps me feel less alone, that's for sure.

As do the other runners I see when I'm out running. They don't know I'm doing the Couch to 5K training plan, so I'm sure at times it seems odd that I'm running and then all of a sudden I stop and continue walking!

Seeing as I don't know any of them it helps me to blend into the background of the Stray and just carry on following the advice on my Couch to 5K training plan.

I know it's a way off yet, but I'm looking forward to the day that I'm doing longer runs and can run uninterrupted with these other, more established runners. Although I'm sure I'll still be panting like an asthmatic dog when I do!

woman running on a track net to a lake, you can see white buildings behind as well as a large mountain.

My Thoughts Going Into Week 4 of The Couch to 5K

As I write this I've finished Week Three of the Couch to 5K training plan and have undertaken Run 1 of Week Four.

It contains two runs of five minutes each, which is a big step up from the past three weeks runs of the Couch to 5K training plan.

When I did the last run of Week Three, I ran a bit longer at the end to see if I could, as I knew I would have to run for five whole minutes on my next run!

I'm pleased to say that I managed it then and I successfully completed Run 1 of Week Four of the Couch to 5K training plan.

It was a bit more tiring than I thought it was going to be but like Sarah Millican says to me, it's important that I get to the end of each run as it's how I'll build on my fitness.

Another aspect of this Couch to 5K training plan that I'm enjoying, is looking forward to what Sarah Millican is going to tell me!

She comes up with some good pieces of advice which help me with my breathing, stamina and posture.

I find these incredibly useful and try to incorporate them into my runs, I've actually found that my breathing has improved since I started as well. I'm constantly thinking 'deep breaths, deep breaths' each time I'm running for a longer time!

The more runs I do in the Couch to 5K training plan, the more I almost can't believe that I'm doing it, you know? The fat girl who hated running at school and would anything and everything to avoid it throughout the rest of her life, is actually willing to get out of bed and go for her next run on the Couch to 5K training plan!

So, in summary, yes, I am looking forward to continuing with Week Four of the Couch to 5K training plan.

I believe I will continue to gain more stamina throughout the coming weeks and will eventually be able to run comfortably for 30 minutes at the end of Week Nine!

Come back next week to see how I got on with Week Four of the Couch to 5K training plan!



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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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