Wednesday, June 10
- Overall Experience with C25K & Tips...
I've mentioned a number of times over the past few weeks how I've been using an app based on the C25K running program, and as I've just completed it, I thought I'd post about my overall experience. In case you're not aware, the aim of the C25K program is to have you running 5K with ease, comfort, and without stopping. It's designed to get beginners into running and provides a superb structure to slowly ease you in. As long as you can comfortably walk 30mins-1hr without getting out of breath, you can definitely do this! The exact app I followed was the 'Couch to 5k', and even though I wasn't really 'couch potato' level to start with, I followed it religiously. I used to get stitches really early on with running and struggled with my breathing meaning I had to stop, but after completing this I can happily run for just over half an hour without stopping and stitch-free. I have actually been left really impressed with how the human body adjusts and how fitness increases. The program is over a 9 week period, with 3 runs per week and rest days in between. The goal is to increase running time and decrease walking time, with a beep directing you when to walk or jog/run. The aim isn't the speed or distance you achieve, focus is on just to keep moving and build stamina. TIPS: ► Accept there'll be good runs and bad runs - some days it just won't happen, but anything is better than nothing, right? Plus, the sense of achievement after a good run outweighs any of the struggles. If you can't stick to the session, simply pause it and carry on when you're ready, then re-do it next time. Move onto the next level once you've completed each session successfully. ► Warm-up and cool-down - each session involves a 5 minute warm-up walk and cool-down, which I really recommend you stick to. Some days you will be raring to go and feel tempted to skip the warm up walk, but it's so important to warm the muscles up and ease them in. Equally, it's important to cool them down and after the end 5 minute walk, spend 15-20 mins stretching. I tend to do a yoga sequence - trust me, it's worth it to avoid any aches the next day or two. ► Food is fuel - eating the right food and drinking plenty of water pre and post workout will really aid your performance. Carrying out this program is also great if you're after weight loss as is it helps reinstall that food is fuel for your body, guiding you to eat 'right'. ► Push yourself - there were times where I really wanted to stop, but pushing yourself for an extra few seconds/minutes is great for progression (despite the not so attractive facial expressions). ► Take rest days - You'll read that the aim is to go 3 days a week and to have rest days in between. It's important to allow the body to adjust, strengthen and fully recover after each run, else there's an increased risk of injury. ► See the outdoors - I find running on treadmills SO boring; there's nothing better than running through woods, fields and the countryside. If you don't live close to the countryside, find any green space nearby eg parks, playing fields, or if you're lucky enough to live along the coast, even better! ► Force yourself - there's been a few times where I really didn't feel up for it, but I ended up really enjoying it and felt so good afterwards. It's that first step that I feel is the true struggle for most people, but just think that it's a great escape from everyday life and it's the perfect way to take time out, or even better, have a running buddy to help motivate each other! ► Enjoy it and be proud of your progression! I'm now off to download the 5-10k training program! Wish me luck... Have you given the C25K program a go? Have you got any other running/fitness tips to share?
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