So, if you've read my previous post about my first week of Couch to 5K you'll know I was getting ready to do Week 2 of the Couch to 5K. Well, I've now finished that and am getting ready to start Week 3 tomorrow morning! Something I didn't think I'd get to when I first downloaded the Couch to 5K app, but against my better judgement I have actually been enjoying it? I know, I know, it's a shock to me too, but I have!
Couch to 5K Week Two
OK, so week 2 of the Couch to 5K steps it up a bit. You run for 90 seconds and then walk for 2 minutes repeating this 5 times, adding up to a total run time of 9 minutes, one more than Week One. You're still doing the 5 minute warm up/cool down at the end which I really enjoy actually, although I'm not quite sure how briskly I'm actually walking during this time or in between runs! When you only have yourself to judge against, it can be hard to know for sure.
This week comes with more motivational advice and little cheers from Sarah which I found really helped, especially when I feel like I can't go on! Sarah also gave me a bit of advice about my breathing which I really liked as I was panting quite a lot in Week One.
The upturn in weather has really helped me out this week. Starting off in the snow and rain wasn't particularly joyful to say the least, so waking up and seeing the sunshine definitely made it easier to get up and go this week.
I've also made an account on the associated Health Unlocked forum which you can access via the Couch to 5K app. I haven't posted anything yet, but just reading the posts from other people trying it who may be at the same level as you can really help in making you feel less alone in all of this!
Getting tips and advice from other people who are currently doing the Couch to 5K, makes such a difference. Simply reading the posts, knowing that someone else has been struggling in the same way and them coming through the other side of it, makes all the early morning runs worth it.
How I'm Feeling After Week 2 of Couch To 5K
Surprisingly, I'm still really enjoying it, despite feeling like I'm going to collapse halfway through! I'm hoping that by continuing to follow the Couch to 5K training plan, that my breathing will improve and therefore this dying feeling will subside!
I'm also trying to incorporate hills into my workout because a) I can't really avoid them and b) I figure it's good for me! Plus, if I start doing them now whilst I'm still in the early stages of doing the Couch to 5K, that by the end they will not be such a challenge to me. Well, here's hoping anyway!
Having got into the routine of waking up early (without an alarm), putting my running gear on and going out before breakfast in Week One of the Couch to 5K, I now find I do this more naturally. I think to myself, it's only 30 minutes, I can be out and back before the weather turns! Sometimes this has saved me from running in the rain again!
There was one day where I ran in the afternoon (after my eye test actually) and even though it was before lunch, it still felt odd to have not already been out and gone. I've found that I'm much more of an early morning runner which in itself surprises me because I'm the girl who loves her sleep!
I've also found that I have more energy on the days I run as well as being better able to tackle the hill in the Valley Gardens here when I go for a dog walk with my work wife! I'm already warmed up and so walking up it doesn't feel like too much of an effort anymore.
Another aspect I've noticed is that I'm starting to lose a little bit of my couch potato-ness, which apart from being a rather nice side effect, isn't something I chose as a goal when I set up the Couch to 5K app. I'm not doing this to lose weight because that can get all kinds of messed up in my head, so instead I chose to get fit and feel healthier. Like I said in my previous post, it's more about my cardiovascular health than anything. I can already feel I'm improving, despite the feeling of not being able to get my breath during my runs, I'm hoping this will improve as I continue with the Couch to 5K training plan.
Also mentally, it feels good to be out and doing something active instead of being the proverbial couch potato! I felt this almost instantly after only my first couple of runs, as prior to starting the Couch to 5K training plan, I was beginning to feel a bit depressed and lockdown was really starting to get to me.
My mood lifted the moment I got home after my first run, all those endorphins were coursing through my body, making me feel happier which was just so lovely, after a month of feeling the complete opposite. This high has lasted throughout weeks one and two, which only goes to show that the old adage of 'exercise is good for you' is unfortunately, true!
Another thing I've noticed since starting the Couch to 5K plan, is that I get really tired on run days. Like, can't do anything other than shower, change and lie on the couch after coming back kind of tired! My legs feel heavy and tired afterwards too, despite bathing in Epsom salts ! Not sure if this will last or if it will go after a few more weeks but it's something to note anyway.
I'm very much enjoying the better weather too! The lighter mornings, the warmer air, the general spring-ness, it all points to better runs ahead and it doesn't half lift my mood! I'm so pleased I started the Couch to 5K training plan when I did, because getting to run in the warmer air makes all of those early morning, snowy filled runs worth it! I just need to remember I don't need all the layers I had previously as I get really warm during my runs and always end up taking my jacket off. The hunt for a lightweight running jacket with pockets begins!
My Thoughts Going Into Week 3 of The Couch to 5K
I am mainly excited actually! I am curious to know if I can run for 3 minutes without stopping and how I'll feel afterwards. I'm pretty confident that I can do it so it's just mind over matter I think. Like Sarah Millican says, I've built on everything I've done in Week One and Two, so it should start to get easier from here on in.
If followed correctly, the Couch to 5K training plan will get me running 5K three times a week comfortably. I'm confident that I'll get there and build my fitness week after week. I'm hoping my legs will carry me through this and that my breathing will sort itself out as I progress through the runs.
The gentle encouragement I get from Sarah on each run really helps to keep me motivated and most importantly, happy. If I feel like I'm not getting anything back from running three times a week then it'll be all too easy for me to give up and call it a day. But at the moment I'm kind of enjoying it so I'm going with it.
I am loving my new activewear actually! It definitely serves as a good motivator because I want to put it on and show if off on my runs! I try to get everything ready the night before, so that it's even easier for me to get up and go when I first wake up. So far it's been working so fingers crossed this continues too!
All in all I am ready to start Week Three of the Couch to 5K training plan, I am excited to see how my body will cope with the extended runs as well as *hopefully* running in warmer/drier weather!
Thanks for sticking around, come back next week to see how I got on in Week Three of the Couch to 5K training plan!