Hurrah, I've only gone and bloody done it! Had my first attempt of W9R3 on Thursday,but got hit by the most excruciating stitch that I couldn't get rid of, around 23mins in, so had to walk for 1min to get rid of it before carrying on with the run. Felt a little disappointed, but just decided it was just a practice run, so went out again this evening for my second attempt at the final run (having been painting the sitting room all day so was already knackered, but felt determined) and slowed down my pace to avoid a recurrence of the dreaded stitch. It did hit me again around the same time, but this time managed to get through it by stretching out a little as I ran, and then it disappeared altogether, thank god! And then I just kept on going, and when Laura said to stop, it was weird cos I just carried on, determined to get to 5k! And I felt absolutely fine! Ended up running 5k11 in 35mins40! So chuffed with myself!
To any of you who are at the beginning of your c25k, you can absolutely do this, I promise, because I did and I could never run before! Keep on checking this forum, because you will pick up some really good tips, and everyone is so supportive, it really has been invaluable! A few things that I've learned along the way;
Don't feel self conscious - no one is looking at you, everyone is too engrossed in their own lives to pay any at attention to you.
Don’t go too fast. I was, in the first few weeks, and I just struggled with my breathing. But then I slowed the pace a little, and my breathing was much easier to control. I also experienced a bad run in week7, where my body just stopped and I had to walk a couple of times (so I repeated the week), and i realised when I check my MapMyRun app that It was because I had been running too fast. Psychologically, it's better to go slowly and finish the run, then too fast and have to stop.
My best buy for running in this weather has been my long sleeved compression top and my compression tights ( I admit that I do wear small shorts over the top of these!) - both from eBay. Compression clothes are amazing! they keep you warm in the cold, but don’t make you hot. Oh, and my running jacket from Aldi!
I have a fast metabolism, so prefer to run in the evening, so that I have been able to fuel my body throughout the day. I used to think that I should be fuelling up with food right up to 30mins before each run – big no no! Did this during the first 2 weeks, and I ended up feeling sick on quite a few of the runs. Having a 2 hour gap between eating and a run (not counting a banana, of course!) made a massive difference.
I found that drinking plenty of water throughout the day Leading up to my evening run really really helped - I'm rubbish at keeping hydrated and used to actually forget to drink sometimes during the day, but it's made me realise what a difference hydration makes to my performance
Most important of all : Enjoy your run - don't think of how horrible it is, how tired you are, how you want it to be over. Just think that hey, you're actually running! With every step, your body is getting stronger, you are getting healthier, and it's flippin' amazing, and you're doing it!