I’ve become a mum that runs! Back in July I tentatively started the Couch to 5K program in the hope that I would lose a little weight. I’d just been asked to be a bridesmaid for a wedding in September and thought it would be plenty of time to shape up. The program is 9 weeks long and takes users from very small runs all the way up to running for 5k straight in just 9 weeks and I figured I’d give it a try and become a mum that runs!
The program comes in many guises but I ended up downloaded the NHS app that you listen to as you run, which is also part of a bigger program on offer, including podcasts and inspiring articles. You can pick a minor celebrity to be your coach too and they’ll pop up during times runs to give you a metaphorical kick up the bum. I chose Sarah Millican as she’s a softly spoken lass and thought she might be nice to me.
The first run I did with the program was my first run in over two years. The last time I moved one foot in front of the other that quick was just before I found out I was pregnant with The Small One. The tiredness wiped me out and I abandoned any running in favour for laying on the couch. This meant that this time round, just one minute of running felt like a lifetime. I counted the seconds down as a I ran round the local park. Each one burning my legs inch by inch. The “rest” minute was a godsend and I began to love them.
In the past I’d always tried to run a long distance off the bat and usually tire out after 10 minutes and had to have a walking break. I was a bit disappointed in how much I struggled in those first few runs of the program as knew I could run for longer and then when I started to run a minute at a time without DYING I then started to get over confident and frustrated at the short runs.
When the program ramped up to 5 minute runs in the 5th week and I was running them without praying for the time to pass I couldn’t have been happier and then something weird happens: you get really good at running much longer stints without really thinking about it. The program takes you pretty slow in the those first five weeks and then BAM: week 5 you’re 5 minutes; week 6 you’re running 10 minutes and then 20; week 7 it’s 25 minutes; week 8 28 minutes and then 30 by week 9.
I have achieved something in these past 9 weeks I never thought I could ever do and that’s run 30 minutes without a walking break. I didn’t really lose any weight BUT I do feel much fitter, am sleeping better and seem to have more energy in the day. On the days I do my runs it’s at 6.30am so that I can get back home in time for the family to wake up and I am SMUG by lunchtime as I yawn into my hundredth coffee.
What’s next? Well I would like to try and pretend that I can improve my times and maybe enter one of these “fun runs” and complete a 5k or 10k. Watch this space…