1/ Couch to 5K works. However. If you are unfit like me, the weeks will take you longer than a week. Frankly they may take you months. You might even need to practice to get good enough to do week 1 (I did). Don’t feel bad about it and don’t do more than you can do. I mean, try to do it regularly and push yourself a bit, but you’re not supposed to be on the point of collapsing because then you would give up and be depressed. Remember: sustained effort, not one-off huge unrepeatable efforts (and that is a summary of everything I have ever done wrong in my life).
2/ If you ever go anywhere near a running magazine, website or other publication, they will impress on you the importance of correct shoes and equipment. Now, if you have existing joint problems then yes, fair enough, but, if you are just averagely unfit like me, let me break it to you: when you first start running, there is absolutely no chance of you running far enough to do your knees any harm at all. Frankly you could drag a pair of flip flops out of the back of your cupboard and do it in those (don’t because you might trip. I fell over today (not wearing flip flops) and it hurt, also I had to be rescued by two ginger dogs and I looked ridiculous). If I were you I would wear whatever trainers you have got lying about until you know if you like it or not because if you spend a fortune on flashy new ones that will guarantee that your first run will be your last.
|Bruise developing on knee from falling over. Splat! Just like a starfish!|
4/ When I first considered running I was very preoccupied by how daft I would look. I felt it was something I could not do in public. I felt the embarrassment would crucify me. After I had been running for 10 seconds I stopped caring and I have never cared since. And I am generally quite self-conscious. So do not let self-consciousness put you off because there will always be someone who looks worse than you (me) and really, no-one is looking at you. If they do look at you, give them the finger, no I am joking, or at least do not do that until you are confident you can run away fast enough. For me that will be some time in Autumn 2012.
5/ There is one item of equipment that is vital and that is a sports bra. I sometimes think you can tell who was likely to have benefited most from PE at school if you know what bra size they were when they were 13. I was 36C and let me tell you, there were additional issues for me when we had to do trampolining (I kid you not) that were not a problem for my AA friends. Get a good, supportive bra (it will look revolting) and I also then wear a tight lycra vest (from Treehouse28 on etsy) to strap myself down further so I can be comfortable, and not be recreating Baywatch Circa 1991 any more than I have to.
5/ Dogs love runners. I run through the local park and the hairier and larger the dog, the more it wants to be friends and run with me. It is a bit disheartening to be continually overtaken by the Dulux Dog, yes it is, but just remember that dogs have no sense of irony and they mean well. (Unless they bite you! They won’t).
6/ Buy a stop watch. Again, you do not need one that measures your blood pressure, heart rate and the condition of your soul, just a very cheap one from Argos. This will mean you can measure your progress and it is encouraging, also you cannot do Couch to 5K without one.
|Pro Fitness. Ha|
8/ What they really don’t tell you is that exercise makes you feel much better. Much better! It is like drinking wine without the hangover. It is the endorphins. They are strangely addictive and also it is better than drugs because you don’t have to be hanging about on street corners, you just have to embarrass yourself failing to overtake dogs and occasionally falling over.
I am thinking of swimming next, but the thought of the swimsuit is putting me off. Perhaps I could have one like Nigella? I would be the talk of Cambridge.