Having been given the green light by my knee consultant, I wanted to make sure that when I started pulling on my running shoes again I was doing it in the best possible way.

I didn’t want to cause myself an injury by going off too hard, or pushing myself too far. I  wanted to make sure that my iffy knee could adjust slowly to the rigours of high impact exercise. Whilst my consultant said the cyst in the bone that had been causing all the problems had reduced dramatically in size, he also emphasised that I needed to ease myself back in.

But I didn’t let that warning put me off running altogether. I figured having a structured plan with graduated goals was the best way to reacclimatise myself and reduce the risk of injury. I just needed to find the right plan for me.

This is where the Couch to 5K program came in.

I knew about the app from my friends who have used it.  Most of them enjoyed the training programme and completed the eight weeks, creating a routine they have stuck with ever since. 

Some have gone on to take part in 10Ks and half-marathons.

That’s what I wanted.

To built an habit, to enjoy myself and open the door to further running experience.

I have to say, so far, so good. C25K is providing me with a structure to build up my confidence, strength and stamina. 

I’m enjoying the incremental increases in distance, the sense of achievement that comes from completing a week and the motivation that comes from knowing that there is a greater challenge to come. 

The biggest surprise about taking part in C25K for me has been the sense of community I’ve got through it. Having grown up playing team sports, the experience of exercise being a shared experience with others is massive for me. I suspect one of things that always hindered my commitment to running was that I found it to be a largely solo endeavour. Couch to 5K has helped me get over that hang-up. You know thousands of people have completed the program, are doing it at the same time as you, and will do it in the future. Just popping #C25K into the search bar of Twitter or Instagram gives you that instant sense of tribe, of belonging, of knowing you are one many.

During these times of Corona Virus, lockdowns and social distancing that’s more powerful and more important than ever.

In essence by doing C25K you are part of something bigger- not something I could have said if I just started trotting around the block with a plan I created for myself based on internet research and gut instinct.

That’s why I am loving it and would recommend it to anyone wanting to get started or get back into running!

Published by Graham


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