Year 2 Graduation Anniversary : Well, it’s two... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Year 2 Graduation Anniversary

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate

Well, it’s two years to the day since I graduated, having never run before in my life. Today I was out of the door by 6:30 am in order to fit in a 5k run before I had to be at my home desk for an early morning work call. If you had told me two years ago I would still be running, I would have been amazed if you had then told me I would be getting up at 6 am to do it, I would have laughed ! In fact today I ran an old route for the first time in ages, the excitement must have put me in a higher gear as I ran a 29 min 5k, which is my fastest run for a long time.

Normally, I don’t really worry about speed or distance, I just focus on getting out three times a week. I’m quite a relaxed runner, I tend to go out and just see how I feel, although distance wise 6k seems to be my normal run length now, with a longer 8k or so on the weekend, meaning that I tend to run 20k or so a week.

So for all those still on C25K who are reading this and thinking ‘that will never be me’, believe me I was in exactly the same position a couple of years ago. It really is possible, just stick to the plan and then when you graduate, stick to regular runs, regardless of your speed or distance. The more regularly you run the easier it is, even I have noticed that if I miss a few runs it is always harder to get back into routine.

Over the last two years I have learnt to just enjoy running and to go with the flow, I’ve also learnt that running for me is a little bit of ‘me time’ so enjoy it and don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a bad run. Believe me I still have bad runs, some days 3 or 4K can feel like a killer, but I know the next run will probably be absolutely fine - just go with it.

Looking back to when I started C25K I can quite easily say it was one of the best decisions I ever made, I feel a lot, lot fitter and healthier today, I am also much more relaxed than before.

To everyone whatever week of C25K you are on, all I can say is stick with it, when it gets difficult just remember why you started this journey in the first place and use that to get through the tough runs. Believe me, I have been where you are, worried about being seen out running when I started, finding week 1 impossible, worrying about the step up in week 5, worrying about running 30 mins or 5 k. All I can say is that you will get through all those worries and it will be worth it. For me the big change was when I realised it really didn’t matter what anyone else thinks, or what distance or speed I run at, all that matters is that I am no longer sat on that couch.

Good luck all on C25K and I look forward to reading your graduation posts!

39 Replies
Poppdog profile image
PoppdogGraduate

Thank you for the words of encouragement to all us C25K runners. I like the thought that this could be me. Love the picture a stunning sunrise

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to Poppdog

Just stick with it and I am sure you will achieve C25K, just remember that isn’t the end of the journey, just a start to regular running. Good luck.

Billy5 profile image
Billy5Graduate in reply to Poppdog

I got covid when nearing my 10k only got to 9k , just started running after a month off . Completed 3 x 5k runs this week I’m buzzing to be back . Your right about it been me time . Good luck

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Moderator

Happy anniversary and what a great run and picture !Also love your philosophy on running !

Not interested in pace or distance , just get out and enjoy ! 😁

Long may that continue 👍

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to Instructor57

I went through a phase of pushing speed and distance, but now I just let each run find its own way. I usually know within a few hundred metres whether it’s going to be an easy or hard run or log or short. By the way thanks for all the encouragement we receive on this site, much appreciated.

Instructor57 profile image
Instructor57Moderator in reply to Ant50

😁👍

nowster profile image
nowsterGraduate

So true! I'm just over a year after graduating.

The most important thing is just to keep doing it.

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to nowster

Yep, definitely the most important thing, but still hard some weeks when life just seems to get in the way!

R2Bears profile image
R2BearsGraduate

Thank you so much for such nice and encouraging words. I'm finishing week 8 now and it's hard to believe I've done that. I hope to enjoy the run continuously and hope to be able to push myself to go out there. You sound very inspiring and I hope to be you one day looking back how I got started and how I kept going. ❤️

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to R2Bears

If you are on week 8 then I am sure you will manage it. By the way once you finish you might feel a bit lost without the app to follow, but just remember you will then we a runner so just go out and do your own thing, just don’t be too eager to push yourself in speed or distance. Just spend some time getting use to running for 30 mins regularly and just by doing that your speed and distance will naturally improve. Good luck with your final weeks.

Rennur profile image
RennurGraduate in reply to Ant50

Then you can even ditch Laura/Michael/ Jo and listen to music. You can put on a timer for 30 minutes.

doggytail profile image
doggytailGraduate

What an inspiring read thank you.Here am I on my first consolidation run wk 3 feeling sorry for myself for not being better at it, you have certainly put things in perspective for me.

Continue to enjoy your runs as I'm sure I will now x

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to doggytail

Thanks. Well done for graduating. I must admit when I graduated it felt a bit strange, almost a void of what next? With hindsight I probably pushed too hard at that stage, ended up with an ankle injury which set me back for several weeks. So I can’t emphasise enough about taking it steady and just get use to regular running. I also learnt via this forum that the more I slowed down the better my running got as it builds stamina. If after a while you feel like you need to follow another plan, then I recommend Ju-ju’s magic plan for bridge to 10k. Believe me you can do it……!

Happy runniversary that’s a great post very inspiring

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to WillowandSola

Many thanks!

Nannyshirl profile image
NannyshirlGraduate

Soooo true Ant50 I am at my 1 year anniversary. I have lost 5 stone in weight and just completed the Great Bristol 10K run. If you had told me a year ago that I would be slimmer and fitter and able to jog up hills, run for over an hour and enjoy it I would have laughed 😅 but here I am today enjoying feeling fitter than I have for years.

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to Nannyshirl

Well done on the year 1 anniversary. It’s quite amazing what this plan can achieve. When I run a 10k for an hour or more, I struggle to think back to week 1 when I was really struggling to run the 1 minute sections, still doesn’t seem quite right that I can now run. Just goes to show what can be achieved with time, perseverance and a lot of sweat 😓!

Nannyshirl profile image
NannyshirlGraduate in reply to Ant50

Absolutely I syruggle to do the first weeks of C25K now when I help friends to go on the journey.

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to Nannyshirl

I even convinced my wife to complete the course, or rather I should say that she did it to ‘shut me up about the benefits of C25K’ - anyhow just to say she now runs and is really glad she did it !

Nannyshirl profile image
NannyshirlGraduate in reply to Ant50

Well do e to your wife I am unable to persuade my husband 😒

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to Nannyshirl

Succeeded with my wife, failed with teenage daughter. Not sure if it was the thought of exercise that put her off, or being seen out with her dad!

Nannyshirl profile image
NannyshirlGraduate in reply to Ant50

😀😀😀😀

How inspirational, thank you.

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to RosemaryandParsley

Glad you thought so ! Thanks

Lola-bear profile image
Lola-bearGraduate

Thank you so much for that, I graduated in July and have been struggling what to do next. You have put it so simply -run, set a timer and listen to music, time to ditch the app 😊

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to Lola-bear

Yep, just run and enjoy it, don’t pressure yourself. When I graduated I was too hard on myself expecting each run to be quicker or longer. I eventually realised the real challenge is more about running regularly and just enjoying it.

Frenc profile image
FrencGraduate

Ah what a lovely post, thank you for your wise words! That’s a lovely photo, lucky you. And congratulations on your 2 year run 🏃‍♀️😊.

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to Frenc

Many thanks. Yes, very lucky with my local running track, miles of empty tow paths along a disused canal, just a few swans to avoid. Best of all it’s totally flat 🤣

Frenc profile image
FrencGraduate in reply to Ant50

Lol yes, flat is so much nicer! 😁

kangel1970 profile image
kangel1970Graduate

Thanks for your post this morning woke up knowing I was doing my last week 7 run wasn't really in the mood but read your post about 'me time' have to say I walked out the door with that mind set and had my most enjoyable run to date wasn't thinking about work how much further or how long was left I just ran and forgot about everything looking forward to the next week 8 me time challenge 😀

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to kangel1970

Thanks for your reply. It’s great to know that my post helped you out the door this morning, I’ve certainly needed that encouragement a few times. Glad the ‘me time’ approach helped. Like I say it made a big difference to me, when I thought of it that way and stopped worrying about whether I was running fast enough or for far enough. Good luck with the last couple of weeks, I’m sure you will smash it if you have got this far - just think ‘me time’ 😊

kangel1970 profile image
kangel1970Graduate

Thanks 😊

Loved reading your runniversary post.

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to Comfortnotspeed

Thanks !

Hi, I really enjoyed reading your post. It has given me renewed inspiration. I am on week 2 run one and found it quite hard. I feel a bit daft trying to run at my age but I'm going to keep at it now.Lovely photo.

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to Stellarstar

I found those first couple of weeks really hard, in fact after week one I wondered what I was doing. However the mentality of ‘I’ve started this, so I’m going to finish it’ kicked in and kept me going. Follow the advice and if you find it hard, just slow down and then slow down again, it’s not a race, just take your time and if you want to redo a week, then just do so. Remember the plan is designed to get your body use to running, by the way, remember to tell your brain as well, as it’s as much a mental challenge as a physical one. Good luck and I will look out for your posts to hear how you are doing.

Stellarstar profile image
Stellarstar in reply to Ant50

Thank you I'm not one for giving up without giving it a go. I'll keep you posted😊

JulieByf profile image
JulieByfGraduate

A perfect blog to encourage even the most reluctant of runners. Thank you.

Ant50 profile image
Ant50Graduate in reply to JulieByf

Thanks. This forum certainly helped me, so it’s good to be able to offer a few words of encouragement back.

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