Have you heard of about the NHS initiative, Couch to 5K? Is this something that you could try during this lockdown period? You don’t need to have done any kind of jogging or exercise … for that matter many of us may not have done any since leaving school so the thought of jogging in public in the daylight probably scares a lot of us!
Start by downloading the C25K app on your mobile, put your headphones on and away you go…and you have made a start. It really does build you up slowly for the first 3-4 weeks. You start with a brisk 5 minute warm up every day and week and then the app talks you through each stage which we found really encouraging. It helps you with your breathing technique too and you can listen to your music on the same app.
My first run I found quite easy and thought this is going to be a doddle but as the weeks progressed I certainly found it more challenging. Very quickly I noticed how my fitness level increased week by week. The app recommends you jog 3 times a week but I did find this impossible some weeks. Being a mum to 3 children I struggled to find the time but the great thing about C25K is you can pick up where you left off and adapt it to you. In the early weeks I really had to push myself to get motivated to even leave the house especially in the winter months with the cold, dark, wet evenings but I just had to remember how great I would feel for actually doing it afterwards. Also, having a jogging partner helps as you can motivate each other.
When I looked through the app and noticed on week 5, I would have to jog solid for 20 minutes I laughed and thought that is never going to happen, how will I ever be able to do that? To my surprise week 5 came and I did it!! I was so proud of myself and never ever thought I would be able to jog solid for 10 minutes let alone 20! That just proved how far I had come and how I can achieve 5k in the next few weeks. I had built my fitness levels and I was more than half way there now.
Reaching week 5 really gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going. Before I knew it I reached my goal and ran 5k for 30 minutes solid. It was a huge achievement and I felt amazing as I never thought I would be able to run 5k but the C25K app really does give you the motivation you need to succeed and I noticed how much more energy I had too!
My advice to anybody thinking of trying the C25K app would be to give it a go and you really will surprise yourself. I actually began to enjoy running and found it a great way to let off steam after a manic day. I looked forward to escaping the house for half an hour whenever I could. I have continued the jogging kept increasing my fitness levels and even getting a bit competitive, trying to beat my personal best….unbelievable!
For more information on Couch to 5K, visit the NHS website below: