I graduated a month ago and I feel it might be useful to share what the C25k program has done to me since I started 3 months ago in case some people are considering joining the program as part of their new year's resolution.
A bit about me: I am part Bridget Jones, part couch potato who sits 10hrs a day at work and then sit some more at home. I am in my mid-thirties and an overweight smoker for over 20 years. I don’t enjoy sports or exercise. As a matter of fact, I find hitting the basic recommended 150min of moderate physical activity a week a total chore. I have tried to get “fit” many times over the years but always give up on the sport/ exercise du jour after a while.
This description still fits me post-graduation.
So after completing the C25k program, I have been slowly building up to longer runs, whilst mixing things up with interval and hill runs in the last month, just to keep things interesting. I am now running 2-3 times a week and is probably clocking in less time and mileage than when on the program. But here is a list of the main differences I’ve noticed (I did not expect most of these before I started)
I feel energised for the rest of the day. In the beginning, I used to feel like I need to crash for the rest of the day and now the recovery time is getting shorter and shorter
This is quite hard to describe but basically after running, I feel my bones, joints, intestines, appetite, breathing, etc. – every body function just work better.
I haven’t lost weight but I’m not gaining either despite eating all the junk over Christmas, so who knows what will happen if I control my eating better?
Phwoar! Can I see and FEEL a massive difference in my legs and butt! There are discernible muscles instead of the usual jiggly squigginess I’ve always known these parts to be. The midrift is still sadly jiggly and squiggy but my stomach is flatter
Following on previous point, I feel I look good when I put on my brand spanking new 2XU compression tights (only £19.99 at TKMaxx!!!). Both the compression and my vanity means I can now run 6k with ease
And here is the biggest surprise: I think about all sorts of random things when running, but it seems to have had a meditative effect for me and my thoughts for the rest of day become clearer. There's some science behind this. As someone who dips in and out of depression for many years, my overall mood has improved
Cons (yes, there are some):
I suffer from withdrawal symptoms on non-run days
I now complement the running with yoga and weights on non-run days
I am taking a financial hit with buying decent trainers, mp3 player and colourful lycra
I have gained so much confidence that I am now smug
My friends are bored with my smugness especially when I try to convert them into joining the C25k cult
My husband is starting to hate me too because I cause him to lose precious weekend lie-ins by making him accompany me for my long runs (he keeps up with me by cycling)
I am considering on running 10k, which is complete crazy talk ;D