Couch To 5K: You’ve Done It Before, So You Can Do It Again , Week 6

by Nov 27, 2017

After a successful week 5 with Couch to 5K I found myself relaxing a little, and the mental benefits of running started to become more apparent…

I’m not going to lie, I was pretty damn chuffed with myself for running 20 minutes at the end of week 5. I’d near-on convinced myself that I wasn’t going to do it, but to my surprise I didn’t find it as hard as I was expecting to. I felt like I’d turned a corner (literally); now 5K didn’t seem like such a stretch of the imagination. I had a quick look through week 6 on the app and noticed that I was going to back to shorter runs with the intermittent walks. I found this a tad frustrating as I was impatient to finish another 20 minutes.

Week 6 consisted of the following routines:

Run 1
Warm-up – 5 minute walk
Run – 5 minutes
Walk – 3 minutes
Run – 8 minutes
Walk 3 minutes
Run – 5 minutes
Cool down – 5 minute walk

Run 2
Warm-up – 5 minute walk
Run – 10 minutes
Walk – 3 minutes
Run – 10 minutes
Cool down – 5 minute walk

Run 3
Warm-up – 5 minute walk
Run – 25 minutes
Cool down – 5 minute walk

Run 1

So, I was back to the shorter runs with the walks in between. A bit disappointing but my faith in Couch to 5K didn’t falter – it’d got me this far. The first 5 minute run was enjoyable; I ran at a nice steady pace and wasn’t too out of breath. It was the 8 minute run that got me. I found it so hard! I wanted to cry with frustration. I ran 20 minutes two days ago, why was I finding 8 minutes so difficult? I think it was all down to my mental attitude again – I’d started the run feeling agitated and it clearly affected my physical performance. I managed to keep going and complete all of the runs but I was taken aback by the change in myself.

Run 2

I decided to give myself 2 full days in between run 1 and run 2 as I was feeling a bit anxious. I needed the extra day to recuperate and get my head in order. Luckily run 2 had a more consistent routine and I was happy to know that I would be running for 20 minutes again (albeit with a 3 minute walk in between). But the break in between threw me off balance; I felt comfortable after the first 10 minutes so to slow right down to a walk ruined my rhythm. I completed it but was a bit downhearted.

Run 3

Oh God. 25 minutes of running? After beating myself up about run 1 and 2 I was forced to pull myself together, as I now had the longest run of my life ahead of me. I started off feeling a bit unsteady and out of puff, but I powered through and by halfway had found a comfortable pace and breathing technique. I made myself focus on anything but the fact I was running; the cars passing me by, what I was going to have for lunch the next day, what series on Netflix to binge next. The last 5 minutes were fairly grueling as I decided to up my speed to finish. By the time Jo told me to slow down to a walk I felt more than ready to stop.

Week 6 outcome

I’ve definitely gotten into a bad habit of thinking negatively before run 1 and 2 of each week and I really need to try and break the cycle, as it has such a knock on effect on my performance. Despite the shaky start I did in fact manage to run for 25 minutes, which is the longest I have ever run – ever. I was drenched from the rain but felt so hot and sweaty, so the cool down walk wasn’t too enjoyable. But after a warm shower and a cup of tea I gave myself a few minutes to congratulate and praise myself on my achievement. It was the first time I felt like I deserved to call myself a runner.

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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