NHS Couch to 5k: Week Four


Trying to force myself into a routine of running three times a week has brought up the issue of finding the time to do so. I’m not perfect, as you can tell by the fact that I didn’t manage my third run this week, but I’m getting some way towards a timetable. Here are a few things I’ve found to help me along the way:

1. Run early – get up and throw on your running clothes before you start faffing around and doing anything else. This way, the run is done and dusted before you need to go to school or work, and before it gets dark. You’re more likely to run first thing rather than after the day is done and you’re feeling tired.

2. Plan your time – the great thing about these podcasts is you know how long each run is going to take, so you can fit in your runs around other activities. Instead of thinking, ‘I’ve got to do a podcast’ try and think ‘I’ll be back in the house in 35 minutes.’ You’ll find it doesn’t actually mess with your schedule at all.

Pushing you harder

This week’s run definitely ramped it up quite a lot, with two sets each of a 3 minute run and 90 second walk and a 5 minute run and 2 minute walk. It’s much more of a challenge, but that’s the reward in this whole programme – you’re getting better each week and need to be pushed. The feeling of getting through it is super satisfying, and the second set of runs is definitely easier and more controlled than the first.

As always, Laura is there throughout the whole podcast, keeping time and giving helpful hints, especially around stitches and cramp, which is likely to happen during more prolonged episodes of running. The most important thing is to keep jogging until the end, even if you’re flagging and even if the jog has slowed down. By keeping pace, running gets easier during the rest of the podcast. Even more importantly, by the end of this week you’ll have run for a total of 16 minutes. No, really. That’s halfway to the full 5k!

Finally, some numbers to brag about.

[Image: Timothy Takemoto – Running Shoes]