NHS Couch to 5k: Week Seven

Community Table, NHS Couch to 5K, Running, Fitness, Alex Goode, Health, Kettle Mag,
Written by littlegoode

I am so so so close, I can almost taste the end. Although, of course, the outcome of this whole challenge is to make me want to continue running on my own. And I genuinely think I will, although the runs will probably be further and fewer between. I have to confess that this week I only managed 2 out of 3 of the runs I was supposed to do, thanks to work and the fact that it’s already dark and miserable by 3pm. This might well impact on me during next week’s runs, but we’ll have to wait and see.

You can call yourself a runner now

This week’s podcast reverted back to one challenge repeated three times during the week, which isn’t as interesting as three different runs, but is definitely proof that we’re reaching the end. After last week, this week’s podcast was another solid 25 minute run, with 5 minutes of walking on either side. It’s still a bit of a stretch, but ultimately, it can be done, and I’ve done it three times now, which is almost beside belief. Laura is still with us this week but mostly to time keep and offer encouragement. As she says at the beginning of this week’s recording, there’s not a lot more she can tell us apart from to go for it – the running is down to us now.

All about that pace, ’bout that pace

From what minimal experience I’ve had in my short time running, I can tell you that pacing is the most important thing during these longer stretches of running. A little pre-planning goes a long way, especially if there are hills and slopes that you can’t avoid. Pace yourself before reaching these inclines and during, so you don’t feel the need to stop. In the end, no matter how heavy your breathing is or how much your legs hurt, finishing is a great feeling of accomplishment, and that’ll be the reason you go out to do it again. Instead of negotiating with yourself e.g. if I walk now I’ll run really fast up that hill, focus on the pavement or the music or what you need to do for the rest of the day. By distracting your mind, your legs will keep powering through, so just have a little faith and be strong.

Essential gear

We’ve been pretty lucky with the weather this year, but it is cold and frosty out there now, and it’s important to have proper running gear. If you’re like me, you did this on a bit of a whim and are just making do with leggings and hoodies, but investing in some good running gear will mean you’re more comfortable, warmer, safer and able to run better, without loose items of clothing flapping in your face. Now’s a good time to grab some bargains and pick up some essential items like a cold weather headband, a lightweight but warm jacket and a sports bra, which is a must for all ladies. Check out the following websites for advice and some good deals:

Runner’s World

Start Fitness

See you closer to the finish line!

Have you tried the Couch to 5K? Are you a runner with tips to share? Join the discussion and share your tips and experiences in the comments below.