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!