I was disappointed to read that it wasn’t couch to 5 thousand dollars. Bummer.
No no, these summer holidays I thought I would take on the Couch to 5 kilometre challenge. A set training program that gets you from the couch (aka no running) to running 5 kilometres (or 30 mins). As I abhor running, this does seem ambitious. But the important thing to recognise here is that it is a cross training program, a set of guidelines for walking and running, and it’s just important that I start. Whether I finish the ten weeks is irrelevant, any running is better than no running!
So I downloaded the program and got all set for Week 1, which composes three 30 minute sessions. Easy! And it has structure. I like structure. Beats those days when I head carefree out to run, thinking ‘yeah I’m a runner’, and I can’t even make it once around the oval before I pass out.
So session 1! Walk for 5 mins, then alternate between jogging for 60 seconds, walking for 90 seconds for 20 minutes. I head to the oval as I’ve never been that keen to pound the pavement, I get self-conscious when people watch me run (I’m using the term ‘run’ quite loosely too).
Woohoo! After the 5 min warm up walk, I am running! This isn’t so bad, I’m going to nail this. What? it’s only been 17 seconds of jogging? I’m stuffed. The 60 seconds of jogging becomes unbearable, with me counting down, then feeling elated as I get to walk for 90 seconds, which of course seem to go much quicker than the jogging. As I round the oval for the first time, a homeless man starts clapping and woo hooing, calling out “you’re coming first!!!” Great, an audience. I wave at him before leaving the oval and head out into the big bad world of footpath running. (Footpath jogging is a more accurate description. Or Footpath walking with short spurts of jogging). I develop a new route and surprisingly, I quite enjoy jogging around the neighbourhood.
I last the 20 mins, and am sweating up a storm. I’ve completed 2 sessions now. Will it get easier?
I now feel like 5km is way, way too ambitious. The program says the average person will do it in 10 weeks, but you can repeat a week if you are not ready to step it up. I’m looking at doing week 1 for a few months. Hey any exercise is good exercise!
And which ridiculous person starts a program like this in the week before Christmas?