Completion of Couch25K – and beyond! My running story

Since my last blog post on Amateur Blog talking about Couch25K, I have since completed the program and added running into my weekly routine. Read this blog post to see how the completion of Couch25K went.

Completion of Couch25K

The second half of Couch25K consisted of road runs instead of running around the field. This added a new level of variety to the running sessions as it allowed us to go different routes.

For the first few weeks, my  knees suffered quite a bit as the impact of the tarmac was a lot more hard going than grass. Luckily within a few weeks this cleared up without major injury.

The runs consisted of a simple out and back route. So we ran out for half the distance, turned round and ran back to the start. I think this helped me psychologically to complete each run, as on the way back when I started to lack energy, it was easier to comprehend the end of the run.

At the end of the 12 week Couch25K program, we graduated by all running a Parkrun together. I will write more about my first ever park run in a future blog. For those of you unaware of Parkrun, they organise completely free 5k runs within the local comunity. They are great events suited to both complete beginners and professionals.

Since my Completion of Couch25K

Since I have completed my Couch25K program, I have tried to keep running in my weekly exercise regime. Looking back now, I cannot believe how far I have come since I started.

Roy Memorial Runs

Roy is a colleague who I worked with for several years in my current job. He was an avid runner but sadly I never got the chance to be able to run with him. Roy passed away last year due to cancer so a group of us from work have set up a memorial run once a month in his honour. We start from our place of work and run a 5k loop in the surrounding countryside.

Distance Building Runs

At least once a week I try to do a run pushing myself distance wise. I am currently at the 8km mark with the hope of doing my first timed 10km run in a couple of weeks times. Each week I try to increase the pace a bit until I feel comfortable running that distance, then I increase the total distance.

Hilly Runs

Every once in a while, especially when I hate myself, I try to do a hilly run. My aim for these runs is to be about 5km in length and include three or four large hills. These runs help to build up my stamina and leg muscles which I feel help me on my normal runs. I can’t describe the feeling of the first time you manage to run all the way up a hill that you have failed several times before.

Strava - Hilly Profile - Amateur Blog Run

Thank you for reading this far!

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Couch25K – My first attempts of running – Half way through!

Couch25K – Amateur Blog’s introduction to running

Hi there! Welcome to my new blog post. Recently I have joined a Couch25K programme with my local running club. I am currently half way through and this blog post will tell my story so far.

Couch25K is a run/walk approach to going from zero running to being able to run 5k. Each week, the intensity increases by increasing the run time and decreasing the walk time.

Similar to how I started cycling, which can be read in this blog post here, I had heard of a running club which is based at my work. I sent them an email explaining that I had limited experience of running but was interested in starting. I received a reply back that in a few weeks time they were starting a Couch25K programme.

Week 1:

I was eager to start when the first day came along. In total there were seven of us and one instructor. We had a quick introduction to find out a bit more information. The sessions are run three times a week and each week the intensity increases. The idea is at the end of the nine week programme to all run a Parkrun together.

We started by walking around the field to warm up spending a few minutes raising our knees up and then a few minutes lunging. The first session consisted of running for one minute with four minutes walking in between, repeated eight times.

Amateur Blog - Couch25K - Week 1 - Strava Screenshot
Couch25K – Week 1 – Strava Screenshot

At the end of the eight reps, we did a 5 minute cool down which was a similar style to the warm up. I found the first session difficult but not so difficult as to put me off completely. Sessions two and three in Week 1 were a lot easier. I suppose my body had get over the initial shock of running.

Week 2:

For week two, the amount of running time increased to two minutes with three minutes walking. Instead of eight repetitions there was seven. I found that I was able to run for the two minutes without any difficulty and even managed to increase my pace from the previous week.

Amateur Blog - Couch25K - Week 2 - Strava Screenshot
Couch25K – Week 2 – Strava Screenshot

Week 3:

Week three stepped up to three minutes running and 2 minutes walking, repeated six times. This week I started to struggle. I was getting a lot of pain in my ribs, which I can only assume was due to me breathing heavily. During cycling I can seem to control my breathing a lot better than running!

Amateur Blog - Couch25K - Week 3 - Strava Screenshot
Couch25K – Week 3 – Strava Screenshot

Week 4:

Week four had what seemed like quite a large step up to five minutes running and two minutes walking, repeated four times. This week the pace decreased quite a bit but we managed to keep up for the full five minutes.

Amateur Blog - Couch25K - Week 4 - Strava Screenshot
Couch25K – Week 3 – Strava Screenshot

Week 5:

As I write this blog post, I am now at the end of week 5. Compared to week four, the step up in week five was not too bad. This week was 6 minutes running and 1 minute 30 seconds walking, repeated four times. Towards the end of the week, I was beginning to feel that I could easily do more than four reps at the pace we were going.

Amateur Blog - Couch25K - Week 5 - Strava Screenshot
Couch25K – Week 5 – Strava Screenshot

Next week we move up to eight minutes running. Since running, I have noticed that my overall fitness has increased significantly. I have also noticed a difference during cycling as well. I am looking forward to completing my first Parkrun within the next few weeks.

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