Couch to 5K: I Can’t Do This, Week 5

by Oct 27, 2017

Join Sophia as she takes on the Couch to 5k challenge, documenting her progress and giving a few tips along the way.

Week 4 had felt like a breath of fresh air compared to week 3, and I hoped that the steady improvement would continue into week 5…

My bubble soon burst after I scrolled through the routines for week 5. Yes, you read correctly – routines – 3 to be exact. This really threw me off balance; I had just started to get used to the 3 weekly runs, feeling myself getting better each time. How could I improve in just one week when each run was going to be harder than the next?

Week 5 consisted of the following routines:

Run 1
Warmup – 5 minute walk
Run – 5 minutes
Walk – 3 minutes
Run – 5 minutes
Walk – 3 minutes
Run – 5 minutes
Cool-down – 5 minute walk

Run 2
Warmup – 5 minute walk
Run – 8 minutes
Walk – 5 minutes
Run – 8 minutes
Cool-down – 5 minute walk

Run 3
Warmup – 5 minute walk
Run – 20 minutes
Cool-down – 5 minute walk

Run 1

5 minute run, 3 minute walk – repeat. I can do this, I thought. It’s more or less the same as last week but with a few added minutes here and there, no problem. My positivity helped me bucket loads with this first run. I felt comfortable running for 5 minutes at a time and wasn’t anywhere near as hot and bothered as I had been in week 4. Again I noted the steady improvement and gave myself a pat on the back.

Run 2

8 minutes?! How the hell am I going to run for 8 minutes? Imagine my surprise when after 7 minutes of running Jo Whiley told me that I’d almost finished my first 8 minute run of the night. But it was that 5 minute walk in between that rocked the boat. I’d gotten too comfortable with the first run of the night and practically forgot that I had another 8 minutes to go until I finished. When I heard the usual “3, 2, 1 – off you go!” I panicked and struggled through the final run. Note to self: don’t get too cocky.

Run 3

There is no way in hell I’m going to be able to run for 20 minutes without stopping. I’d scared myself silly reading stories and experiences from the Health Unlocked website and practically admitted defeat there and then. Well, I’ve done better than I thought I would. I guess it isn’t too embarrassing to drop out at week 5. Sunday evening came around, drizzly rain soaked the pavements and as I reluctantly put on my running gear I said to myself I just can’t do this. As Jo Whiley interrupted The Strokes to tell me it was almost time to start running I settled with the fact that if I couldn’t do it then it wasn’t the end of the world. It’s still early days, there’s always time to start again.
I’d distracted myself so much with negativity that I almost jumped out of my skin when Jo announced that I had been running for 10 minutes – I was halfway through the run. Oh bloody hell, maybe I can do this. I focused on my week ahead, taking my mind off of my burning thighs and sore knees. “5 minutes left, you’re doing so well! Push yourself if you can…” I can, I said to myself. And for those remaining minutes I upped my pace and enjoyed feeling my lungs fill with fresh air, my ears thumping as new blood flushed around my body. I did it – I ran for 20 minutes without stopping.

Week 5 outcome

I wanted to punch the air. I was soaking wet from the rain and sweat and had started to shiver but I felt amazing. I was so proud of myself. I still can’t quite believe I did it – I honestly didn’t think I had it in me. It just goes to show that we are so much stronger than we think we are. We don’t give ourselves enough credit. It’s a bold statement to make but I actually feel like a runner now – I’ve feel like I have accomplished something.

For more information about the Couch to 5k challenge visit the dedicated BBC page here.

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About Sophia Chettleburgh

Sophia works and lives in London and recently began writing as a hobby in her spare time. Her interests include films, music and food. Although Sophia has only been writing for a short amount of time, she has written for an array of well-known lifestyle brands and popular publications.

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