iPhone Running

Get Running: Couch to 5K – Week 2

One week ago, I am ashamed to say that running for 1 minute without stopping was somewhat of struggle but it was made much easier, thanks to the mystery voice of Claire coming through my earphones telling me to keep going. For those of you new to the app “Get Running – Couch Potato to 5k” Each week contains 3 runs that alternates between walking and running for the first six weeks, to ease you into running. As I have decided to do this 5 times a week, this means I sometimes dip into the following weeks exercise routine if I feel ready.

So by the end of my second week of dragging myself out of my armchair, I have just started week 3 on the app (hope this makes sense) and my small baby steps have led to an early mini milestone of being able to run for three minutes several times during each run. This might sound quite amusing to some of you reading this but Claire was quick to motivate me by saying “this is three times more than you were able to do last week“. Since you put it like that Claire, maybe I’m slowly getting the hand of this malarkey.

As my lung capacity slowly increases, my shins and thighs ache a little less I thought it was time to drop by Boots to see if my new walking/running combination has resulted in any weight loss.

I lost 5 pounds and somehow gained .4cm in height...

I wasn’t expecting any great results this early on but I have lost 5 pounds and somehow gained .4cm in height but I suspect the latter was caused by me looking down rather than ahead during the first weight check, either that or I was sneakily wearing a pair of Cuban heels.

Although I have only been doing running for only for two weeks, I am seeing definite improvement which just makes me want to do this even more and dare I say that I am actually enjoying this which makes it even better. It is quite interesting how it makes you evaluate what you are eating too. When you discover that there are 284 calories in a Twix Bar, suddenly that equates to a 25 minute run, is one Twix really worth a 25 minute run?

Don’t worry, I have never been the kind of guy to count calories and I’m not going to start now, but its just a case of being sensible and no matter what anybody tells you it really does boil down to moving more and eating a little less but everyone did that then a billion dollar diet industry wouldn’t exist would it?

Enough rants from me, if I’m going to run 5 nights a week, I’m going to need more than a pair of Adidas Stan Smiths to progress without niggling injuries. So I turned to the internet and the vast running forums to get some advice on some reasonable running shoes without breaking the bank. I somehow ended up on a Daily Mail article that basically suggested running shoes are bad and we should run bare footed but I think running barefoot in the Black Country would bring more risks than wearing shoes. As I will be running straight from work, I am not brave enough to get on a busy commuter train wearing five fingered shoes.

Pro Grid Ignition 2 Running Trainers

After seeing several fantastic reviews on running forums for the Saucony running shoes and the fact I could get them for £20 despite an RRP of £59.99 it was an easy decision to make. My first impressions were a massive step up from the crappy old pair I had been attempting to run in. The two massive differences I notice are the fact they are incredibly light and the independent heel crash pad for increased cushioning makes a massive difference.

My final purchase of the week was a pair of classic Ron Hill Tracksters, sure as we head for summer, shorts would be more appropriate but once again my nightly run is straight from work and I don’t fancy being sat on a train during rush hour looking a cross between Alan Partridge and a member of the 1982 England World Cup squad.

Next week I expect to be running for 5 minute intervals, as the pace slowly picks up but I am genuinely still excited about it all and very optimistic that my 10k race target by the end of the year could be a reality.

My current kit consists of

  • New pair of Saucony Pro Grid Ignition 2 Running Trainers
  • Ron Hill Tracksters
  • X-Cellerate Stamina Mens Full Zip Hooded Running Top
  • Get Running C25K App
  • Run Keeper App (to map where I am and save stats etc to view on website later)
  • Spotify App with a running Playlist
I will forget about my non existent speed for now and continue to do what the app tells me, but rest assured I will return next week to update you on my progress.


Get Running: Couch to 5K – Run Fatboy Run Week 1…

From the age of 25 to 35, I remained at a steady 12 and a half stone (79kg) no matter how much food or drink that I consumed, but after a few fantastic years that involved the lethal recipe of good times and contentment, somehow I find myself weighing 15.5 stone (98 kg) so its time to become the jolly fat fella or try and do something about this predicament that I have gotten myself into.

A direct debit to a gym membership usually means just that, who can motivate themselves to be plugged into rows of machines and find the time out of an already busy day anyway? Most people I know end up paying a large monthly sum of money to sit on the couch promising to make a start next week.

So the gym is out of the question because it’s not for me, but how can I find something that I can do each day to get in shape that doesn’t cost much but allows me to combine my passions of music, technology and photography?

Suddenly all my questions are answered when I discover the best selling Mobile Application “Get Running” and their Couch Potato to 5K plan in 9 weeks.  The blurb on the website says “Get Running builds your fitness up in manageable stages. At the beginning, you walk and run, never running for more than a couple of minutes in a row. In week five’s sessions you’re running for fifteen minutes  three five-minute runs, with walking in between. By the end of the Get Running fitness plan you’ll be running for thirty minutes solid!”

Maybe I can get inspiration from the movie Run Fatboy Run

This is exactly what I had been looking for, I can do it on the way home from work which doesn’t eat into my leisure time, listen to music from my specially created running playlist, enjoy the great outdoors and maybe even get some cracking iPhoneography shots along the way.

In order to motivate myself and track my progress, I thought I would document the plan here on my blog to see if an out of shape, chubby chaser really can lose weight by following the simple concept of eating less and moving more, will I fail or succeed?  This is my journey…

Week 1

  • Old pair of trainers
  • Get Running C25K App
  • Run Keeper App (to map where I am and save stats etc to view on website later)
  • Spotify App with a running Playlist

At this moment in time, I am not concerned with buying expensive trainers and checking my gait at a local running shop, the intro is a combination of walking and running so will see how it goes for the first few weeks before I get kitted out properly.

Despite being very out of shape, the Get Running app started the pace perfectly and the friendly human voice in my ear was encouraging and felt like I had something to aim for. Just when you get out of breath through running you get 90 seconds to catch your breath and start again allowing you to build fitness gradually.

I simply get off the train home a stop earlier and head back which is around 2.3 mile journey so actually takes very little time out of my day and more a case of just replacing bad habits with good ones.

This week I have burned around 1750 calories ran/walked for 11.5 miles by simply changing the way I come home from work which has shown me that anything is possible but my biggest battle is going to be keeping motivated and making this new habit a regular occurrence.

My legs ache a little but certainly not enough to make me want to stop, and at this very early stage, it is much easier than I was expecting, and that’s coming from a fat boy like me.