If you haven’t done it, you should!

Couch to 5km is an app which has a 9 week schedule to train you to run 5km. Each week you do 3 runs and the intensity increases gradually. I used to run a few years a go but after an ankle injury I was advised not to run – but as it’s a lot better recently I thought it was time to get back on the running train.

I decided Couch to 5km was the best way to do it as the difficulty increases gradually so I could train my ankle too.

I logged my journey as I went so that I could share my journey and progress with you….. so be prepared to see my sweaty post run faces!

Week one starts off nice and easy with only 8 minutes total running time which is split up in intervals of 60 seconds running 90 seconds walking.

Run 1: the weather was WET, cold and windy! I struggled a little with the stop go stop go aspect of it as moving from the walk to the run took a while to get used to it then all of a sudden it was back to walking again!

But despite the weather it was really nice to get outside and be active over my Christmas break from uni and my ankle had no pain at all!

Run 2: weather was sunny and I went in the afternoon after catching up with a friend for coffee so managed to time it in as a longer journey home

Run 3: was the sweatiest of week 1. I did it the following day from run 2 and it was so sunny despite it being so foggy as first. I was very warm but I felt the best (so far) after this run

Week Two : A 90 seconds run but then a 2 minute walk so the recovery time was much longer.

Run 1: I still found this nice and easy. It was my first run back in Plymouth. Felt a bit more self conscious as the park where I run in is always busy. Feels so awkward running past someone and then stopping not far in front of them back down to a brisk walk.

Run 2: I tried to make this run a bit harder by adding in a hill in. But I miss timed and ending up running across a muddy field (HARD, I don’t recommend as you’ll keep slipping backwards) and then there were more hills than I was expecting. I was soo sweaty and exhausted after! At least it was a lovely sunny day. It was nice to be out

Run 3: so I’d left it well over a week. Life got busy, the weather got bad … all the excuses in the book.

When I did get back on the running horse I was glad I did 🙌 was a successful sweaty run but still felt good, not too challenging … yet! Week 3 next!

Week Three: It moved up to a 3 minute run 3 min walk 90 second run 90 second walk twice

Run 1: Well this happened 2 weeks after the last run but at least it still happened. My house mate Harry persuaded me to go by saying he’d come with. This was the one I struggled with the most (so far)- I’m putting it down to a sore throat and a rattly chest.

Run 2 (first lockdown run): Ah yes yet another gap 😦 I need to start taking this running more seriously! After finding the last time difficult I was pleasantly surprised by this being a very successful run, I felt confident and happy – maybe it was because I was able to get out as this was my first self -isolation run. I’m hoping to get my running shoes back on in two days and try and knock my pace up a bit to make it more challenging.

Run 3 : I was feeling good!! So good that I ended up jumping straight onto week 4 straight after

Week four: 3 min run, 90 sec walk, 5 min run, 2.5 min walk – then repeat this again

Run 1: so I went straight off the bat doing this after a 5 min break from doing my week 3 run 3 so I found this pretty tough but I was very motivated

So it ended up being a pretty long route as you can see:

Run 2: I wasn’t feeling particularly motivated so this one was a bit tricky but I’m so glad I made myself go. Felt so good after for going

Run 3: OW. My blister from run 1 of week 4 popped. Big ouch. But other than that the run went well and I felt progressively better mood wise as I went. Think a few rest days are in order now

Week five: I thought this week was 3 lots of 5 min runs with a short break in between! But I was wrong, each run was different!

Run1 : After a 4 day break to let my blister heal I put my running shoes back on. Think I’ve sorted a route for the next 2 runs too (I always find it difficult to judge how far I can run in a new time). Feeling good!

Run3: this was a big 20 minuets run! I felt very positive the whole way round doing this. Think I might actually find going constantly easier (although my pace was overall slower)

Week six: each run was different again for each week

Run 1: as the night before I was planning to do this run I got nominated to do a 5km. It is a trend going round raising money for the NHS that means you run/walk 5km, donate £5 and then nominate 5 people to do it too. I think they’ve raised almost 2 million pounds from it. So I went to do my week 6 run 1 and added on a few bits at the end. So week 6 run 1 meant a 5 minute run 3 min walk, 8 minute run, 3 min walk, 5 minute run then I had a 5 min walk and added in a couple stretches of running.

I was feeling really confident with this run, I think due to the fact in the last run I did 20 mins straight so in comparison running 8 minutes felt like nothing.

As you can see my Strava tracked it a bit weird as I did not run through a field and certainly did not go in the lake!

Run 2: this kinda says it all:

Run 3: this was the first 25 min run which I didn’t complete successfully. My blister was killing me so I ended the run at 18 mins and decided to do 25 mins on our exercise bike at home the next day to make up for it … so kinda counts right?

I had the bike on a hard-ish setting (basically so I could feel the strain similar to running) and then made sure I was going quick enough to be have heavy breathing like I do running

After not completing the first 25 min run I got a bit down about not finishing it and didn’t feel motivated to run again in case I failed again. Silly I know. Instead it took the dog on a shorter run on a HOT day… I wanted to run still but without the pressure of 25 mins and as Amber (my dog) is fairly old I thought that felt like a good excuse … she flopped at the end and refused to move for a while. Think we ran for about 15 mins.

Week Seven: 25 min runs each time

Run 1: I took the dog again (as it was my time to walk her but i’d scheduled a run) and was expecting to cut it short again like last time BUT WE DID IT.

The Dog was running at a good pace and I was feeling good at the point where I could cut it short so we carried on past the shortcut.

Run 2: The weather had been a bit grim so I took a few days off and did the exercise bike and other exercises instead. When I got round to running again I was surprised by how easy the first half was and then struggled through the last 5 mins. I also tried out a new route which was pretty successful

Run 3: this run was interesting as I had to stop for a wee in a hedge 😂 but was a nice sunny day. And an enjoyable run

Week Eight: 28 minute runs

Run 1: with the warm up and cool down walk I did my first 5km!!! Very chuffed ☺️

Run2: this was a midday run between uni work essay editing

Run 3: was a morning run round the lake grounds which I actually found really tough! Whether I just wasn’t feeling it or was having an off day or am getting bored of running there, but I was generally a lot slower and less motivated… until I saw my friend Amy towards the end of my run as she was just starting hers! We had a very excited wave at each other

Week Nine: the final week!!! 3 x 30 minutes runs

Run one: as the weather had been a bit hot and my feet a bit sore I took a few days off running for a bit which I think my body was grateful for when I set out to do this run. I got up nice and early for a morning run which was so nice because I barely saw anyone, was nice to just be out in the fresh air without worrying about social distancing

Run two: was planning on only doing a short run, but I was feeling like I could go on so I did! I ended up meeting my boyfriend Will for a distanced chat in the shade straight after. I’m glad we are comfortable enough to see our gross post run sweat faces

Run 3: THE FINAL RUN!!! I was buzzing to complete my running journey… but WOWIE it was a tough one to end on. It was too hot and honestly if it wasn’t for the breeze by the marina I might have passed out!

So even if I’m not graduating uni yet, at least I’ve graduated couch to 5km. Instead of 9 weeks it actually took me 5 months as I kept taking big breaks and only running once or twice a week but either way I completed it!

Even if you’ve NEVER EVER ran I totally recommend giving this a go. Now is a really good time to get your running shoes on as it is so good for your mental health which we all need to be taking good care of right now!

I hope you enjoyed this diary style/journal/log blog post on my running! Let me know if you’ve tried this out too, or plan on giving it a go.