Dunstable: 01582 608 400 
Leighton Buzzard: 01525 372 447 
Dunstable: 01582 608 400 
Leighton Buzzard: 01525 372 447 

Couch to 5K 

I first found out about the NHS initiative, Couch to 5K, through a family member back in January/February time this year. I was looking for a way of getting fit and active without the cost of joining the gym. I had never done any kind of jogging or exercise for that matter since leaving school so the thought of jogging in public in the daylight scared me! I downloaded the C25K app on my mobile, put my headphones on and 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 I 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 at work and being mum. 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: 
Sarah Hedges 
Receptionist at Woodside Clinic 
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