C25K – Who invented this monstrosity?


C25K – My story

Physically, for me, 2012 was where it all went wrong.couch_to_5k

I wish now that I had known when I was in my prime because I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more at the time.

Anyway, teeth, knees, back, lungs, head, body, innards – last year it was all collapsing.

Of course, I didn’t go to the doctor, I did what anybody else in 2012 would do and consulted Doctor Google who frightened the bejeezus out of me.

One good thing is that I still managed my yearly goal of 150 gym sessions, though now that we’re on to the 5th year of this it’s become less of a goal and simply a thing that I do.

This year I miscounted and accidentally did session 150 on Christmas Eve, and so could take the rest of the year off, which turned out to be a good thing because I then developed a cracking lurgy which resulted in me hiding under a blanket for quite some time.

So I enter 2013 feeling a bit lumpen and under par, but not intending to keep it like that. Whilst I do do a lot of things unsuccessfully, you can’t fault my capacity for having a go.

And this week I downloaded the C25K app. This is the latest incarnation of the Couch to 5K beginner’s running program, which aims to take you from lounging peacefully on the sofa eating crisps (lovely) to pelting about like the zombies are after you (nightmare).

For the first session, my knees protested, as did my left hip. The next day I woke up at 5am with griping calf pain. My legs really don’t like this running business at all. Hard cheese hombres, I’ve started now, and one way or another we’ll finish.

The program works by starting you off very gently – repeated sessions of a minute’s running plus double that in walking to recover. Having done Couch to 5K before I know it’s got a sting in its tail – at about week 5, when you’ve progressed to gentle lolloping like a happy spring bunny, it wallops you with something ridiculous like an 8 minute run.

The app works by interrupting whatever music you’re listening to and telling you to start walking or running or whatever. Only, it doesn’t do it quite loud enough for my cauliflower ears and I keep missing the cues. This has led to, on occasion, an accidental extra 30 seconds of running. Honestly, the things I put myself through. It’s no wonder I’m collapsing.

So my plan now is to keep up with C25K (or Y2K as I keep calling it in my head) for as long as I can until either the gym classes empty enough for me to get back in, or my legs crumble, or I get sick of listening to the Human League’s Greatest Hits.

Well, you’ve got to have a plan haven’t you? Wish me luck.

  • Hell it has to be hell at this time of year to try to run. I am trying to get off my lardy arse and just when I thought I have the inclination, it snows and I am stuck inside again!!

  • Thanks both for encouraging comments! I am up to 90 seconds of running at a time followed by 2 minutes of running, repeat for 20 minutes. Just worked out how to make a running playlist on my phone so now have a soundtrack to drown out my terrible wheezing.

  • 150 gym sessions is awesome. Well done you. I’m not sure if running is for me, not only can I not get that whole breathing thing right, I also don’t fancy running in 30º+ heat for 6 months of the year. 4

  • Exercise bike in the TV ad breaks is another good one, or you could jog on the spot if you don’t have one

  • I did C25k last year, it really is a great little app! Aiming for 8km then 10km this year, fingers crossed!

  • mlm

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  • jerseys

    Well done you. I’m not sure if running is for me, not only I can’t breathe, the whole thing right, I also don’t like running in 30 º + heat 6 months this year.

  • Eva W. Faller

    There’s certainly a lot to learn about this topic. I really like all the points you’ve made.