Couch to 5k

June 6, 2015

I. Do. Not. Run. I do not. I can brisk-walk my way through an entire day on the flat, downhill, uphill, in heels - walk I can do. But I do NOT run. I used to be able to run (16th in the South East Under-11s Cross Country Championship, yeah, that’s right, touch me) but it’s been 2 decades and I have resigned myself to being unable to run. 


In 2010 I graduated from drama school and went from 7+ hours of full-on exercise a week to a hefty zero. 5 years on I knew it was time to get off my arse and do something. And I’m doing it! I’m doing the NHS Couch to 5k. It’s a podcast which builds you up from a non-runner to someone who can run 5k (about half an hour of continuous running) in 2 months. And if I can do it ANYONE can. “Oh that’s easy for you to say, Sooz - you’re already thin!”. That’s what I mean! If I can, anyone can. I have NO incentive to exercise beyond being fitter and YAWN, what a borefest health is.


So I got my nifty Asics trainers, my 90s-tastic Adidas trousers and an ex’s t-shirt chopped up to be like something a cool girl would wear and left the house, headphones a-blasting. And yes, I'm aware that my iPod in my pocket looks like I have a man's penis. Har har har har har etc.




Here’s what Couch to 5k entails: the podcast is about half an hour and Laura, your earnest personal trainer tells you when to walk and when to run while music plays. That’s literally it! 


Week 1 - Day 1: The sun was out and at 11am I set out with my iPod Classic in my pocket (it only plays through one headphone but that’s OK). You run for 60 seconds at a time and then have a 90 second brisk-walk recovery. This is repeated 8 times. I stuck to a 0.3 mile circuit that goes past my house and is super-residential and ended up doing 7 loops. I got a sweat on and my lower-legs were hurting a bit and I was quite breathless by the end but it was totally doable. I CAN run! For one minute at a time. One of the things that puts me off exercise is the searing pain you get for the days following a first workout and having to do more working out while feeling like that. Good news! The day after my first Couch to 5k run I felt an encouraging ache in my thighs and arse and couldn’t wait to get further into the program because maybe this running lark would even TONE me. 


Day 2: I decided to be more adventurous with my route. I’d run/walk up the long road that runs through the estate my house is on and turn round after the 4th of the 8 runs. I found it totally doable. I can’t say it was actually fun but the way it was doable felt fun…if that makes sense. And 30 minutes is a cinch. I got home and looked to see how much ground I covered - 2.4miles. That’s less than a mile off 5k so I think I’ll be able to run a 5k in 2 months, all sweaty and slow and mucusy. What's with the mucus your face produces when you run? I disgust me.


Day 3: Decided to gun it a bit today. It’s my last run of the Week 1 program and I wanted to see what happen if I pushed my luck. I’ll tell you what happened: I got a damn stitch. I remember those from school. It was no biggie (walk with your arms up to get rid of a stitch according to Mrs Wheeler at Oakwood School in the 90s) and I’m looking forward to week 2 of Couch to 5k. Next week I graduate to 90 second runs. If all goes well I might even treat myself to a new pair of ridiculous running trousers. 


Laura thinks I'm doing really well too, she keeps telling me so, the legend.

Please reload

Featured Posts

I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!

Please reload

Recent Posts
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
Follow Us
Please reload

Search By Tags

October 1, 2017

August 1, 2015

July 16, 2015

Please reload

© 2014 by SOOZ KEMPNER. Proudly created with