get moving

Cutting the String – C25K Day One is my bitch!

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Hello lovelies!

Just a quick update to let you know that after a delayed start (was supposed to start last week but life and headaches got in the way!) I officially did Day 1 of C25K today.

This may not seem like a big deal to many people, I mean running 8 minutes is nothing compared to what serious runners do, but I am not a serious runner. In fact I’m not much of a serious anything.

For anyone who doesn’t know my backstory, I am a severely unfit relatively obese 30-something. I am not a fan of exercising anything other than my mouth and opinions. I haven’t done any structured exercise in nearly two years, but in my mission to cut the string of yoyo dieting and improve both my physical and mental health, I am embarking on a new lifestyle.

Honestly, I thought Day 1 of C25K would be a killer. When I used to go to the gym I much preferred anything other than the treadmill. My legs always used to ache after 30 seconds and my chest would burn. However, I have to admit that C25K today was actually very manageable and quite enjoyable. It started with a 5-minute warm up brisk walk, followed by alternating 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of brisk walking. The 60 seconds of jogging was just enough to start feeling it and then the 90 seconds was a perfect recovery time. At no point did I feel overstretched or unable to carry on. In fact, I have to admit I feel really energised now – must be the endorphins – and elated that I actually completed it!

I have to do a minimum of 2 more runs at this level this week before I can move up a level, and they advise to leave a rest day in-between so I plan to do my next session on Wednesday and am looking forward to it already!

The app is brilliant, the podcast tells you exactly when you need to start and stop running and can be used over the top of your own playlist. With this in mind I am going to set up a new “running” playlist full of upbeat tracks this afternoon!

Edited to add: I am currently doing these at home (walking and jogging on the spot) until it gets a little warmer and I work up the courage to run in public!

Watch this space for more C25K updates!

C25K – getting ready to run!

Beautiful young woman runner in a green forest.

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)

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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!