I started C25K on 07/04/2013, so today is the last day of my first year of running. I like my stats so I will start off with a few of them:
Weight @ Nov 2012 – 94kgs
Weight @ Apr 2013 – 75kgs
Weight @ Apr 2014 – 68kgs (see the photo for before and after comparisons)
1st 5km time – 27:26 (25/05/2013)
5km PB - 21:45 (29/03/2014)
10km PB – 50:27 (06/10/2013)
HM 21.1km PB – 1:57:10 (13/10/2013)
Most run in one month – 147km (March 2014)
Total distance run since starting C25K – 857km
Total time run since starting C25K – 80 hours 40 minutes
My last run was the previous Sunday when I ran a half marathon distance in 2:07:40, it was the day after my 5km PB of 21:45 so it was a tough run because my legs were feeling heavy.
I haven’t been able to run since because I have picked up a virus which triggered my asthma. My aim was to run 23km today to make it both my longest run ever and also to increase my total distance ran to 900km in a year. It wasn’t possible however so I will have to make do with what I think has been a very good year anyway!
My journey began in November 2012 when I decided to weigh myself for the first time in ages and calculated my BMI. I was in the obese category and wasn’t happy. I hadn’t been doing any exercise for 10 years since leaving college and going to work and I wanted to make some changes. I started to go to the gym and calorie counted to lose weight.
I found the C25K programme in December 2012 but at that stage I didn’t have the confidence to begin it. I was still at the beginning of my weight loss and wanted to lose more weight before starting. I began with fast walks and built up to walking for 1 hour. By the time I got there I had lost enough weight and felt like I could begin.
I remember my first run, I downloaded the C25K podcast but I wanted to listen to my own podcasts when running so I listened to Laura the day before to note any hints and tips. I then downloaded a C25K app to tell me when to run and walk. I tracked the run using Nike+ running app and went to my local park. I was very self-conscious and kept thinking people must be looking at me trundling along. However after the first run I realised no-one pays any attention and I just focussed on myself.
I discovered this website when I was half way through C25K and didn’t post until I got to week 7. The encouragement I have received on this site has been amazing and I wouldn’t have managed the distances and speeds without the hints and tips from everyone here.
After graduating I built up to 10km within 3 weeks. That is probably quicker than is recommended but I was on a roll so I ran 7km in the first week, 8km in the second and 10km in the third week.
I discovered Parkrun a few weeks later and have been going regularly since. I took a month’s break in July 2013 because it was the Islamic month of Ramadan when Muslims fast during daylight. So it wasn’t feasible to run when I couldn’t eat or drink for 17 hours! I knew I had the running bug during that month because I got itchy feet! I also decided during that month that I wanted to run a half marathon and when I started running again I began a HM training programme which led to running a HM in October. During the winter I kept running but the distances were less due to the weather and being busy at work. In the last month I have built up to HM distances again so I feel like I am well set for the summer.
The combination of losing weight and finding C25K has truly been life changing for me. My health has improved beyond any dreams I had and I have found a hobby that I love.
My challenges are now to maintain my weight loss (which I have been able to do since August 2013) and to improve all of my PBs. I read on runners world that runners keep improving in their first 7 years, so I still have 6 years of improvements to look forward to!
So for anyone thinking of starting C25K or are at the beginning of the journey stick to it, because for me it got me off the couch I had been sitting on for 10 years and got me running.
Sorry for the long post and happy running!