Get Running: Couch to 5K – Week 5

Just when I was all settled into my new healthy routine, I was sent a tough week of tests which could quite easily send me back to where I started. Saturday was my Grandparents Diamond Anniversary meal, On Sunday it was the wedding day of my good friend Sam which involved enough delicious food to rival an episode of Man vs Food, Tuesday I found myself in hospital for the day and finally my friend Keith generously decided to bring in £50 worth of big cream cakes into the office for his birthday on Thursday.

There was a fair amount of fun to be had though, and at Sam and Lin’s wedding we even attempted to recreate the album cover of Ocean Colour Scene’s Moseley Shoals at The Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa.

New Ocean Colour Scene tribute band launched in Leamington Spa.

On top of this, my usual 5 nights of running after work will be interrupted, which means I will require extra motivation because I am on annual leave for 5 days. Even with all of these temptations aside, I also noticed that week 5 of the app suddenly jumps from several 8 minute runs with a few minutes rest in between to one 20 minute run with no breaks.

My biggest challenge of the week though was the British weather, I have been somewhat spoilt over the last few weeks with running in the sunshine. I have been leaving my work feeling like a battery hen in an office with artificial lighting, air conditioning and no windows, only to be set free by running in the great outdoors with the euphoric feeling of being alive. By contrast this week was a little different as the hot sunshine was replaced with cold winds, cold temperatures, rain, sleet and even snow!

So all in all quite a tough week if you are trying be a little more healthy and that’s before I even mention the words Chocolate Easter Eggs or deals of 6 Cadbury Cream Eggs for £1.00.

Enough of me moaning like a big girl, I started Week 5 on the Get Running Couch Potato to 5K this week which started nice enough with several 5 minute runs, the following day increased to several 8 minute runs but then on Thursday went up to 20 minutes! I must admit to being a little apprehensive about the 20 minute run with no rest but guess what? I only bloody did it, and it was easier than I thought.

Some of you reading this, you may think that’s nothing to get excited about, but on March 17th this self confessed couch potato struggled to run for 1 minute without gasping for breath and sweating like John Prescott in a pie shop. So it just goes to show how quickly your body can adapt and how good this app actually is. My only complaint was that the friendly voice of Claire seemed to leave me to my own devices during the 20 minute run, but I she must have her reasons eh.

For anyone that is nervous about the upcoming 20 minute run, my best advice is to arm yourself with some good tunes, and remember these words “Throttle…Throttle…Throttle”. If you suddenly find yourself gasping for breath, you are running too fast. Simply slower your pace and I guarantee that your heart rate will slowdown, your breathing will become easier and you will feel like you can run much longer than you think. I figure that speed will come later, but right now you just have to concentrate on building stamina.

Another tip is to aim for 5 minutes, then when you reach that 5 minute part of the run, say to yourself another 5 minutes etc. I think much of what we are doing is controlled by your very powerful mind, so if you can trick it, just a little bit you will be fine.

To be honest what carried me through this run was AC/DC singing Highway to Hell very loudly in my ears, you don’t need to worry about sore legs when you have the power of rock on your side.

All in all it has been an eventful but fun week or dare I even say an adventure and I’m loving every second of it.


  1. Hi, I have started the couch to 5k and just about to start week 5. I was the same when I started and couldn’t run 1min without getting out of breath! I am dreading the 20 minute run, is it really doable?? Any tips? Many thanks Kirsty

  2. It really is, I went on to run 3 half marathons, so I am living proof it can be done. I lost my way a little and started the program again and quickly got back up to speed. If you reach a point that you are struggling, do the previous runs for a few days and then move forward. But I promise you, you will amaze yourself when you find yourself running for 20 minutes. Let me know how you get on.

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