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Couch to 5K
We began our first Couch to 5K Programme in Hanworth Park on the 28th August. Our participants are doing brilliantly on their running journey. Keep your eye on this page for details of the next one. One of our participants is kindly allowing us to share a blog of her experience of the programme. Have a read below: Week One Three things have happened this year that I could not have foreseen, nor would I have believed, even if Mystic Meg had told me. I turned fifty !! Coronavirus !! I have worn leggings and attempted to run in public !!! Like many of us I have gained weight over the lockdown period, the gyms closed which gave me a perfect excuse to snack more and I wasn't exactly an ardent gym goer before they “locked” me out. I have walked the streets of Hounslow a lot, initially for my hour a day permitted exercise, I’ve probably been past most of your houses shuffling along, I thought at least I’m doing something, even if it is not much... But then someone showed me a link on Facebook to something called The Positive Movement Project, they were doing the Couch to 5k app, but with people and it was free. If you have never heard of Couch to 5k it's an app that you download and it aims to get you off the sofa to run 5km. Usually you do it on your own, I’d never heard of it being done with other people, and I definitely could do with getting away from a relationship with my sofa. I looked down at my ever expanding waistline and thought, be brave and sign up for it. I did and on Friday I wandered over to Hanworth Park, feeling nervous, and met the lovely Terri and Leane, and the other people who, like me, weren't really runners. They explained the process, put us through some gentle warm up exercises and we were off, a 5 minute walk, followed by 60 seconds of running. When I say running, I don't mean like Usain Bolt, you just go a bit faster than walking if you are like me. It wasn't like school PE and no one shouted at me to speed up, I was so busy waiting to be shouted at that before I knew it, the sixty seconds were over, you have a walk, then you do another 60 seconds, and then walk and so on…...and before you know it, it's over with a five minute walk and some more stretching. I was really pleased that I went. No one took one look at me in my lycra, no one laughed and there was no shouting to go faster, just lots of encouragement and support. The next two runs you do on your own with the app and you know what……….(to be continued) Week Two ‘I am clearly crazy.’ I thought to myself last bank holiday Monday as I left the house ‪at 7AM‬, what are you doing, why are you wearing trainers? You know when you are sort of in a huff with yourself because you can't believe what YOU are actually doing. What I was doing was my first time on MY OWN doing the Couch to 5k app, I walked up the pavement faffing with the app and got my own music to play. That's better, I walked on as the app explained what I needed to do. Luckily Terri and Leane hadn't lied (phew) and it was a brisk five minute walk and then a 3,2,1 warning….now RUN. Off I went, like a lardy steam train huffing and puffing for a whole 60 seconds. I needed the walk time to get my breath back, before the next little jog, and again I went. Was it easy? NO, did I give up? No. Did I want to stop? YES. Did I stop? NO!!!! I actually did it all. Honestly I was so chuffed with myself at the end that I had done it. I’ve always been self conscious that “Other people” might laugh at me, or I’d be mocked by “real runners”, and that's put me off even trying, or at least it's been an excuse to not try. Being out on my own was a real big deal to me and guess what, no one laughed at me and the runners I did see, did this thing I assume is a “runners nod” as they nodded at me as they sprinted past me shuffling. I think the nod meant “Go woman, you can do it, I was like you once’” When I finished and I walked home I felt more positive, with no huff, I thought, well everyone has to start somewhere and today on Bank Holiday Monday this is my somewhere. I did my second session in the park and just went at my own pace, which, yes, is slow, but it's not as slow as lying on my sofa. On Friday I again laced up my trainers and went to the park to meet the lovely Positive Movement Team, honestly even if you were the biggest grump in the world they’d make you smile 🙂 and I started Week Two. My thoughts... wow, last week I was dying doing 60 sixty seconds of running, now I’m still dying but can actually jog for 90 seconds. ‪In one week‬ I am capable of lasting another 30 seconds, how amazing is that? Even more amazing, another lady popped by and as we were warming down said that two years ago she did couch to 5k and now she was training for a marathon. That is pretty amazing. For now I will concentrate on getting to week three, which is kinda like my marathon. I will end on another of those “I never thought I’d do that moments”, I’m going to my mother in laws for the weekend and I am packing my trainers as I need to fit my Couch to 5k app session in. What is happening to me??? Are Leanne and Terri witches?? Week Three POSITIVITY actually does lead to being more positive... You know all those annoying people that say stuff like, ‘look on the bright side’, or ‘you can do this’ and my previous pet hate ‘you just need to try!’ Well its official now, they might actually be right. I know! Honestly if I’m actually writing that statement down then there may actually be some truth in it. Take me for example. “I might give that a go, mmm, maybe I won’t... I’d like to be a bit fitter, but it’s so much effort and how would I fit it in my busy schedule and me out in public in lycra... are you actually serious?!” Sadly…. Or rather ‘positively’, I have reversed all of my NEGATIVITY into something positive with Terri and Leanne at the C25K group. It’s now week three and usually this is the point of all the other things I tried before that I may give up on myself and sink back into the sofa. Since starting, without any pressure at all from the group, I have taken trainers to my mother-in-laws (normally I lie in and am lazy) and pounded the pavement with my heavy steps, not because of being forced but instead because I thought ‘actually, I think I can do this.’ I set my alarm and woke up thinking, ‘just have a go’, and off I went and did my C25K podcast. The funny thing is when you are running/walking you completely forget about what you may look like to others... mostly because if you are as unfit as me, you are concentrating on breathing and getting to the end. When the podcast ends, you are so HAPPY, it doesn’t matter how long it takes but the important thing is doing your best to get to the end of the podcast. So on week Three, I tried, I did and I kept going. Week four beckons...