I’m now on week 5 of Couch to 5k and yesterday I ran for two eight minute blocks. Without stopping.

For those of you who pop out ‘for a quick 10k’ after work three times a week, that may not sound like much, but for me it represents real progress and it feels great.

The amount of ground I can now cover at running pace without having to drop to a walk is very satisfying.

Just five weeks since restarting Couch to 5K I am starting to properly enjoy exercise for the first time in half a decade.

I had genuinely forgotten the feeling you get from the endorphin rush after physical activity, the stress relief that comes from being able to just focus on the task in hand and the sense of achievement that comes from improving performance week on week.

It’s this sense of improvement that keeps me coming back for more. At the start of each new Couch to 5K week, the distance and time you spend running ratchets up, it feels hard and you really have to push yourself to complete. But, by the end of the third run in that week pace is up, the mileage is achievable and my confidence increased.

That increased confidence has allowed me to tackle the step up that begins in the following week.

The ratio of challenge to achievability is set at just the right level and it keeps me coming back for more. I can handle the slog of the first run because I know by the end of the week I’ll be flying.

This, I think, is the genius of Couch to 5K and why I would recommend it anyone wanting to get into running.

Have you done Couch to 5K? What did you enjoy most about it?

Published by Graham

4 thoughts on “Progress

  1. As someone who always said, “I don’t run” and hated running at school, I always had a small envy of people who run because they have an exercise they can do anywhere, anytime with very little specialist equipment. I decided to try Couch to 5k this year after speaking to two work colleagues who I would have rated as less fit than me. They’d both done it and were continuing to run. Grumble grumble, I can’t have them be better than me so I started. And I finished. And I still run. Maybe only once a week right now but I’m still doing it. I like the stepped approach of the programme: the very slow start, run-walk-run-walk-run-walk building up to run-walk-run and eventually ~run~. I used Sanjeev as my voiceover. He was no nonsense; some of the other voices annoyed me with their cheesy “you’re doing REALLY well, keep going you are AMAZING.” I just want to know – how many minutes to run, how many minutes until I can stop. Who are you using as a voiceover?


    1. It’s Michael Johnson for me- I need the no-nonsense approach to keep me going when I’m flagging!

      It’s good to hear you’re still going with running- I’m hoping to be able to stick with it long-term, which is not something I’ve ever managed before.

      After spending years organising 5-a-side games of football, which is often like herding cats, I definitely appreciate the ease of running! Being able to just pull on my trainers and run when I want is a real bonus!


  2. I too needed Michael Johnson. However, having completed couch 2 5k I’m still trying to find the enjoyment! It’s probably because my run involves a few hills but hopefully one I’ll get there one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m fortunate to live somewhere pretty flat- but it does mean when I come across the slightest incline it wipes me out! I’m in trouble if I ever have to run up any proper hills!


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