Monday, 14 March 2011

Getting fit: Couch to 5K.

So. I've been meaning to do a "couch to 5km" plan since January 1st, but have only just got round to starting. I would say that life got in the way, but really it was laziness and nothing else. But, on Saturday afternoon I took the plunge and downloaded an iPhone app from here. I added a selection of "motivational music*" from my iTunes, put on my running gear and headed out. I really enjoyed it, and so did the drivers of Worcester if my "beeped horn count" is anything to go by (four, if you're interested). I did the second workout on Sunday (two beeps), and the third one today (three beeps). That's right, three days in a row. It's almost a trend...

The plan is designed to last nine weeks, with three workouts per week. Week one workouts last just over half an hour and are made up of a five minute brisk walk for a warm up, a walking/running interval section (60 seconds running, 90 seconds walking) for 21 minutes, and a five minute cool down walk. Each week, the amount of time you spend running increases and the amount of time you spend walking decreases. At the end of the plan, you should be able to run for 30 minutes, which should equate to 5km. I plan to try and squeeze four workouts in each week, which will mean I complete the plan in about six weeks. I'll do the week two, day one workout on Thursday this week I think. Parents' Evening tomorrow and Wednesday, so I'll want to veg out when I get home...

Here are my stats:

Saturday: Covered 3.86km in 31 minutes at a pace of 10:53/mile for the running section and 13:54/mile overall.
Sunday: Covered 4.02km in 31 minutes at a pace of 10:23/mile for the running section and 13:00/mile overall.
Monday: Covered 4.02km in 31 minutes at a pace of 10:30/mile for the running section and 12:57/mile overall.

Not bad. Wonder how long I can keep it up for? I think I'll blog about it once a week to keep a record. The fab thing about the app (which costs 59p) is that it tracks and keeps a record of progress so I'll (hopefully) be able to see an improvement over the course of the next few weeks, as well as feeling an improvement when out on the road. The sad mathematician in me likes the little graph you get too...

Has anyone else tried one of these plans before? How did you get on? Did you keep running afterwards?

* A fantabulous mix including System of a Down, Muse, Girls Aloud, Glee, PJ & Duncan, ELO, Pixies, Backstreet Boys, Chemical Brothers, The Strokes and MANY MORE amazing tunes. AMAZING.

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