Couch to 5k – Worth a try?
Posted: Wed, 13 Jan 2021 15:13
The Couch to 5K app was created to help anyone go from the couch to running 5K in only 9 weeks! BBC Sport's Get Inspired teamed up in 2018 with Public Health England's One You campaign to re-launch the popular programme.
After taking part in a few challenges in 2020 as a family we were a bit worn out and demotivated by all the different fitness, charity, and fundraising opportunities that we came across. We decided we wanted to have a consistent regular motivation to get out and exercise, that we could build into our everyday and to also build up gradually. Having recommended Couch to 5k to lots of people wanting to take that first step or improve their fitness in a graduated way I stepped back and thought that we should do the programme ourselves as family, so I can understand the programme, how it feels and also have time together working towards an aim.
The Couch to 5k journey begins
We started on New Years Day 2021 and were keen to get going with renewed enthusiasm. My husband and I both downloaded the app and after choosing a celebrity to guide us through it we headed out to a local green space. The kids were keen but not sure what to expect.
It starts with an introduction of what we were doing and then brisk walking to raise our heart rate and warm up. Then into a light jog for 60 seconds then back to walking for 60 seconds. We did rotations of this until told to do a cool down walk to finish off. I was surprised at how out of breath we all were in the jogging parts and found 60 seconds of running seemed to go on forever and the walking bits flew past! As a starting point, jogging for 60 seconds is pretty tough but it was encouraging and the recovery time really helped, taking it slow is definitely a good idea in the first few sessions. The first week you do 3 sessions with a recovery day between each session. I felt that this was good as it wasn't too full on and I have had trouble with injuries previously, so this meant that it didn't put too much pressure on my body.
We are now just starting week 3 and the times running and walking changes but we find the fact that you schedule your next run in at the end of a session good so that you keep on track. The session takes about 30 minutes and we all go out together as part of our lockdown exercise. We are all feeling a little bit fitter.
Here are a few thoughts from the family:
My husband finds the discipline and structure of the graduated weekly programme really enjoyable and is feeling the benefit already. He likes the reminders and scheduling.
Chloe (8) said - "It was tiring, and my legs started to hurt a bit, but I carry on and finish the runs and feel good afterwards."
Onslowe (10) said – "I am pretty fit as I play football (when not in lockdown) and I can run well; I go faster than everyone else! I like going out and running as a family."
For me, I am loving going out as a family, with our wooly hats and gloves on, we come back with soaking wet shoes and feet but feel good and have more energy afterwards. I am glad I am actually practicing what I'm preaching, there is still a long way to go but feel its achievable. If anyone has done the app, is doing it at the moment or is inspired to start I would love to hear you experiences.