Couch to 5K

New Gear, new record!

Ah, new gear! When I started out, I did so initially wearing t-shirt, walking trousers or shorts (knee length), a lightweight jacket if it was raining, and for the first two weeks, my walking trainers - comfy, but heavy. Gradually, I've gained bits and pieces - starting off with proper trainers, adding proper running tops, a pair of trail runners for off-road running, and now, finally, a cheap Running Jacket. It's a problem with sizing sometimes - went into a shop in Shrewsbury last week, and not only were the prices eye-watering, but as I need an XXL minimum there wasn't anything in stock that would fit.... So online order of one in highly luminous yellow from Mountain Warehouse, the princely sum of 20 quid.... It fitted, so I thought I ought to take it for an outing.

So off I went with Laura in my ears to do the 35 minute Stamina run round the roads and park, looking like a proper runner on the top, but still in my walking trousers on the bottom - partly as my wife has said she'll disown me if i get running tights! Now, the last few runs I've found quite hard - especially as I'm doing more of the Stepping Stone ones recently that get me going at a faster speed than I naturally fall into. This was no exception, but I managed to keep it going... I've recently had to take a walk break at about 20 minutes, but kept up this time albeit with fairly short strides, time for the last 5 minute blast , I even keep on another 30 seconds or so at the end as i slow down before stopping the tracker..... 4.99km! The furthest I've ever managed without a walk break, and yet another 10m and I would officially have done the magic 5k for the first time..... a wee bit frustrating, still, it's Parkrun this weekend and I'm in good shape to smash that 39:47 PB, even if I do have to walk up that hill before the finish....

Anyone new starting out - take comfort in the fact that you don't need lots of expensive gear: the most important bits are 1) Your own body and 2) a good-fitting pair of running trainers. After that, everything is gravy - though of course, as with any hobby, you might want to invest a bit more as time goes by!

4 Replies

You do need a jacket but it will soon pay for itself. You can tie it round your middle if you get toasty at any point and pop it back on post run. Mine is a £6.99 job but it's great 😀

You could wear running tights with dri fit type shorts over them so as not to outrage the neighbours. Lots of blokes do that, especially in winter. Walking trousers! Nah 😃

Would your wife really notice? My husband wouldn't notice if I wore a horses' head 🙄


Nothing like some new gear to inspire a good run! I think you can claim that 5k - gps is supposed to have a 3-15m discrepancy so I think you can hang your hat on that one! :)

1 like

Haha. Get the running tights, man! Wear light shorts over them if you feel more modest that way.

Your wife WILL get over it. I know this because Him Indoors has been a cyclist for years (long before I took up running). When he first purchased cycling shorts and tights with their padded posteriors I scoffed at their "big baboon bottom" as I called it, and called him a MAMIL (middle aged man in lycra). When he bought the first pair of cycling shorts that had "bib straps" as well I called it a mankini and said that, yes, I would wash it with the rest of the laundry but I wasn't hanging it outside on the washing line in case the neighbours saw.

Now I like nothing better than the sight (absent of course over the winter) of a whole row of his cycling stuff and my running stuff blowing on the washing line in the breeze! I celebrate the good health that it represents. :)


I wish I'd got my tights sooner, they are the dogs whatsits! My legs were giggling after my first run with them, they give you shed loads of support, and I really miss them in summer. Go and get some, you won't regret it!

Congrats on your PB, that's really fab! Melly is right, when I've done parkrun or races, my Garmin usually gives me 4.90 for a 5KM, even though I start parkrun back behind the start line. I'm a Stamina addict too and bore on and on about it here....must give it another go soon too, haven't done it for ages...


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