If you’re anything like me, you’ll have heard of Couch to 5k, and know people who have done it. You may have been tempted, but never taken the first step.
Most parents are permanently exhausted and aren’t keen to take on something that will tire them out further. However, they are also in desperate need of some fresh air, alone time, and some feel-good endorphins. I decided it was time to find out what all the fuss was about Couch to 5k, and started Googling. To save you the hassle, I’m going to let you know what I found out.
What is it?
Couch to 5k is a fitness plan for people that spend more time on the couch than they do working out. The idea is to get complete beginners running 5k without stopping after 8 or 9 weeks. You start very gradually by alternating between walking and running and this means it’s achievable for anyone that wants to take it on (you should check with your GP if you’re pregnant or have recently given birth though).
Why should I do it?
Couch to 5k is free and is a great way to get fit that doesn’t require travelling anywhere or purchasing any equipment. Running boosts your mood, reduces stress, and improves your fitness levels. For me, the most exciting part is the opportunity to get out of the house without the kids, focus on myself, and have a goal that I can work towards.
Step one is to download an app that will guide you through the plan. I naively thought there would be one that everybody used but there are lots of different versions. I downloaded C25K and 5K Runner from the App Store and I’m going to see which format I like using best. Most apps allow you to listen to music stored on your phone while you’re working out and this is a definite plus; when you have an energising soundtrack driving you on, I definitely think you work harder.
I already have some comfortable runners and a suitable tracksuit to wear. If you don’t, then this would be next on your to-do list.
It’s good to have a set time for your 3 runs a week and I’ve decided to go out early evening once the boys are ready for bed. If this doesn’t work for me, first thing in the morning would be another good option.
Why not encourage others to join you?
One thing that always helps when starting something new is having someone else join you on your journey whether physically or virtually. You’re less likely to give up if you can chat to friends and family and keep each other motivated. Good luck!