Disclaimer: this picture isn’t me – I just wish it was!
At the end of 2014 I decided that I wanted to do more to raise money for charity. Like most families, the bastard C-word (cancer, not the other!) has been responsible for more than a few tears shed. I also wanted to achieve a few personal goals in 2015, one of which is to run – actually RUN – the Race for Life. Actually I have to admit I have never done the R4L at all, but if I do it, I want to run it. So this year I have pledged to do the R4L Muddy Run which is in July to raise money for Cancer Research. I would also like to do “Run or Dye”, again to raise money for charity.
I can hear the laughter from here – specially from my dad! This more than a little plump 30-something whose idea of fitness is getting up to change the tv channel, wants to run to raise money for charity. Wouldn’t I be better off doing a charity cake-eat or something? Well probably yes, and it sounds easier and tastier! But do you know what? This year I am sacking off everything that is easy. I’m up for the challenge!
Those of you that follow my Cutting the String blog posts will now that I am also on a mission to finally shake off years of yo-yo dieting and get, and keep, the weight off for good this time. So what better accompaniment to my new healthier lifestyle than to start running? I’ll tell you what though, the very idea of just starting running scares the shit out of me! How on earth do you get to the point where you can run beyond 30 seconds without collapsing in a heap? A few of my friends have used the C25K plan, short for “Couch to 5k”, which is a programme advocated by the NHS designed to help people to get moving. (More information here: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k-plan.aspx)
The idea is to alternate walking with bursts of running starting at 60 seconds, and gradually increasing so that after 9 weeks you are able to run for 30 minutes at a time. The idea is to run three times a week with rest days in between, which can also be used for strength and flex exercises which apparently help improve your strength and flexibility which will in turn improve your running.
It sounds almost too good to be true, but I am willing to give it a try! There is a free App which I am in the process of downloading – if you get the NHS one there are no annoying “paid for” add on adverts to keep interrupting you. There are built in countdown timers to help you if you are outside rather than on a treadmill, plus the options to add your own playlist of music in. (More App info here: http://www.nhs.uk/change4life/pages/couch-to-5k.aspx).
So that’s the plan! Wish me luck and look out for my regular updates!