Couch to 5K


I've been foam rollering and icing and stretching my calf and I'm happy to report that after just two days rest from running, I completed a 5K route today without incident. I can really recommend foam rollers - even big girlie pink ones like mine (I ordered a blue on by the way and was sent a pink one), so for all you folks out there with niggles and aches and tightness in your legs and hips, go get yourself one of these little babies!

I managed my third 5K in a row in under 28 minutes which I'm very pleased about - today's being 27'42, only 14 secs short of my PB. I am determined to try and get it down to under 27 minutes if I can, but this will take monumental effort. Having dissected so many of my 5K run stats and tried to work out the best form of attack, I am still wondering where the extra burst of energy is going to come from to achieve this. The good news is that just over a year ago I couldn't have run for 60 seconds without calling an ambulance, so I'm pretty satisfied as to how I'm progressing.

But isn't that the great thing about running? No matter what your age, your effort levels, your energy supplies, you can always work on improving because of the multitude of variants in the stats. I love that about it. I know I'll never do what some of the parkrunners do (16 minutes for 5K!!!), but for a middle aged chap with his foot at the bottom rung of the "Fabulous 50's" ladder I'm not doing at all bad.

I wish I could tell you of some fantastic incident that happened today, but apart from a grumpy woman saying something about me taking up too much path when running past her, it was a nice and cosy run.

SO next stop will be saturdays parkrun I suppose. I'm definitely NOT drinking the night before this one, especially after last weeks palaver, so my plan is go into this one bright eyed and bushy tailed and see if I can improve my time a bit. Fingers crossed.

Right, back up my ladder I go, painting the windows on our little Victorian cottage.

Tally ho!


10 Replies

My foam roller -it's orange -still lives in corner beside couch but you've inspired me to give it an outing Dan. One of best things about Park run is the age grading which can really zap up your actual time


The woman who was grumpy when you passed her - wasn't a side profile view in your lycra by any chance? Ah no, presumably she wouldn't have been grumpy in that case! Sorry couldn't resist that. Sounds like a nice easy run for you. Have a good time at the Parkrun on Saturday. Best wishes.


Glad the foaming is working... How freaky I did my 5k in 27.41 today!!!!!!!! I would recommend starting with speed and then do the last 2k full throttle... It's fab!!


Well done, Dan; you've certainly come a long way from the early, ambulance-calling sixty-second runs! :-) Taking up too much path?! What is wrong with some people?! I'd love to know what goes through the heads of some folk when they berate/shout at/harangue a runner. They don't do it to ordinary pedestrians (that I see, anyway) but stick on some bright running clothes and get a bit of a pace on and it seems you become fair game for any ol' malcontent to have a yell/say something derogatory. Jealousy. It's got to be. Either that or them being generally off their chump anyway. Or a combination thereof. :/

EDIT: to fit in with the thread title: yo yo, home boy; keep it real, fo' sho!


had been wondering about foam rollers. Shall order one now. Cheers for the tip.


Well done Dan. I look forward to reading your posts as i seem to mirror your injuries.

I spend a lot of time foam rollering (ouch it hurts the back of the calfs - can never get the spot on the front though), I do 20 minutes stretching each day (calfs, thighs and gluts) and ice up as soon as i get back from a run.

Like yourself i can now run on alternate days although i still hurt in between runs - but it is better than once everytime the Villa win which is what i was doing before the stretching and physio. I got my roller personally from sports direct so i had to buy the macho grey, i couldn't deceive my wife saying they sent me a pink one.

I sense a 5k pb tomorrow followed by a celebratory drink.

I'm also back up the ladder cutting down 20 foot trees.


Good to know the calf is OK - I find post-running stretches are really important to avoid the middle-aged (sigh) aches. I tried foam-rollering for the first time the other day, for some reason I'd imagined it would be soft but no! it's an instrument of torture. I'll be Richmond parkrunning tomorrow - I will say hi if I can spot you in the crowds.


Taking up too much of the path? I swear, the path up my nemesis hill (which i have now actually run up, BTW) is a one person width, with a rail on one side to prevent folks falling down into the wild and rushing Kelvin River several meters below. The hierarchy of who stands tightly to the side seems to be cycle riders, cycle walkers, runners, pushchairs and their pushers, walkers both fitness and just passing through types and finally, dog walkers. We practically need traffic signals! I really must get a picture one weekend when it is at its worst.

I worry that if the railings get the least bit dodgy, this path will be closed, as have other Riverside paths. Then it wont be possible to loop around that bend except by climbing all the way to street level and back down. Which makes my former nemesis like nothing.


There is another part that runs between a pub and it's riverside tables. The drinkers really do quite well at keeping the path open reliably enough that experienced cyclists barely even slow down.


How do you take up too much path running? Do you take up too much path walking as well? Some people need to just shush! You take up as much path as you want! And for that matter so will I!


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