Get Running: Couch to 5K – Week 6

This has been a tough week, which involved having a nice 5 days off work, so my normal regime of running home has been interrupted leaving me to gather some motivation. Throw in a sprinkle of crappy wet  British weather and the added temptation of many chocolate Easter Eggs at my disposal and you have the perfect recipe for a disaster.

However, Kerry has decided she wants to start the app during our bank holiday break after feeling both excited and eager to get cracking, which was just the kick up the backside that I needed. After 25 minutes with Kerry doing week 2 though, I was left wanting a little more so ended up doing my Week 6 run immediatley afterwards, meaning I have been notching up 4.5 miles a day.

I think this has actually done me some good in building stamina because today I completed Week 6 and Run 3 of the app which consists of a 25 minute run with no breaks, which is a massive achievement for me considering I am a self confessed couch potato who could not run for 1 minute without stopping for a breather just over a month ago. I guess this is where the app says “no more mr nice guy”  because every run from now on has no breaks, and will consist of 25, 28 and 30 minute runs.

All this is quite strange for me because this is everything that I have always been against, but it was more than amusing to see the hilarious Charlie Brooker go through a very similar experience after being bitten by the Get Running App and how he has now become a runner. You can read the article here.

One of my biggest weaknesses is warming up and down correctly, I feel quite self concious about stretching in public so although I always warm up with a 5 minute walk and warm down with a 5 minute walk, I think its time for me to take the art of stretching a little more seriously. Although these are quite easy to get online, quite a few people reccomend the iPhone app Stretch Guru: Run, so I might give this a run out (see what I did there).

The main reason for my sudden attention on stretching is because I picked up an annoying and frustrating strain/injury in the most unlikely of places. My legs are feeling great and I pace myself, so gasping for breath is not a problem. Just when I think all bases are covered and I have everything sussed, I am struck down with troublesome upper back pain just below my right shoulder blade.

Kerry offered her healing hands and just like Mr Miyagi she found straight away that my backs was full of knots. A few quick excercises on the area and my back was sounding like a bowl of Rice Krispies. So as I begin to take stretching more seriously to avoid rolling around the floor on a few tennis balls in the future. Luckily Kerry ‘Miyagi’ has been able to sort out the knots but I consider this a very valuable lesson learned.

My main calling points at the moment to get me through each day and keep me running are:

There are no more easy rests between runs now, as the next few weeks consist of longer runs with no breaks, so things will start to get interesting as my time with the C25K app reaches its final stages. I will refrain from calling myself a runner until I have mastered 5k in under 30 minutes without stopping and entered a 10k race, so this acidental athelete still has lots of work to do.

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