couch to 5k: my thoughts

Never did I think I would write about anything fitness related on this blog...!

But here's the thing about all the good things you discover in life: nearly always, it's because someone told you about their own experience - be it a bargain purchase, a recipe they loved, or a place they fell in love with. And this is the main reason I started this blog in the first place - because I had discovered so much through reading other blogs (restaurants, books, TV shows, beauty products, the list goes on), I was inspired to write about the little things that happened in my own day to day, and if I manage to spread the word about something that someone out there might end up loving, that would be mission completed.

Hence why, against all odds, I'm here doing a little write up about a fitness program that I recently tried out for myself, in case anyone stumbles across this and it was just the push they needed to get on board with something similar.

Obviously, the Couch to 5K program has been around for forever, and no doubt most people have heard of it or tried it themselves. As is often the case with me, I was very late to join in the fun, but I'm so glad I tried it.

I have my sister to thank for this, since she actually started running quite a while ago. She had told me before that she started off with C to 5K, and although I was curious about how she got on and was impressed when she continued with running after it was over (she recently did 10K!), I wasn't particularly interested in it for myself. I had done some running in the past, but it was never something I really enjoyed and those people who said, "If I can become a runner, anyone can!", quite frankly got on my nerves.

Neither E nor I had made any New Year's resolutions, and definitely not any fitness ones. The decision to try it out was a completely impulsive decision, in the bitter cold of the beginning of February - I just said one evening, "Do you fancy trying out this 5K runner app? It builds you up slowly to run a 5K." E agreed quite easily, and so the next morning, we started.

At the beginning (as you can see in the first screenshot), it's very easy going. I would say that around the Week 5 mark, things start to heat up and begins to get a little tougher, depending on your fitness level. But generally speaking, I think the app is a great way to get started because it eases you in very gently, you don't dread your 3 times a week runs because they are easy to start with, and it allows you to get into the rhythm of a workout routine.

8 weeks later, we've completed it! Since we've finished, we've both continued with running (using the Nike plus app to track distance/speed etc.) and we both agree that it was a great thing to do. Neither of us have office jobs and are not tied to desks all day, so we do get some physical activity in most days, but we've never really led a consistently active lifestyle with regular workout routines. After doing the C to 5K, we both find ourselves wanting to keep building on our fitness (on a very basic level - neither of us are naturally very sporty at all!), and we can appreciate a little more how lucky we are to have healthy, perfectly functioning bodies. 

Currently E is quite quickly working up to longer distances, and I am doing a couple of 5Ks a week along with Way of Gray workouts on a few of the other days (highly recommend them, but they are tough!). I hope to build up to a 10K, maybe by late Summer, but I'm in no rush!

I really hope that this has maybe encouraged one or two of you to go for that new fitness goal you've had your eye on, be it running or at the gym or dance or anything! My number one tip would be to have a "buddy" - you don't have to workout together or even do the same type of exercise, but if you team up with a friend or partner and set a goal together, I really believe that it helps propel you along. I know I would have had a very difficult time keeping up with it if E wasn't in it with me, and it also helped that some of my closest friends were already or had started running at the same time and that kept me motivated too.

If you have any good fitness/wellness tips, please share!

p.s. I feel silly even including such a disclaimer, but needless to say, I was not compensated for this post in any shape or form. I just like the 5K Runner app, Nike running shoes and the Nike plus app. I would seriously question any company who would sponsor me to write anything fitness related...