Couch to 5K

About to change route and incorporate a hill.......................Yikes!

Well, I'm now on to Week 7, Run 2.

Having completed Week 6, Run 3 and Week 7, Run 1, I have been thinking more and more about changing my route now that I'm 'officially a runner' according to Laura. So far I've been doing 3 and a half laps around the nature reserve out the back of us which is on nice flat ground and has been perfect for my needs so far.

I have discovered that mindset is everything and trying to run to time rather than distance is not a good idea. Waiting for Laura to tell me when each 5 minutes is up is demoralising and makes for a long, drawn out and painful run. I found myself willing each 5 minutes to go by and thinking how long can 5 minutes last? At the same time I was feeling knackered, unable to breathe properly and my legs felt like jelly. It was a struggle to complete the run. So, I worked out how far I would run in 10 minutes which gave me just over one lap. All of a sudden I knew I could do this!

By telling myself "It's approximately 3 and a half laps around the nature reserve" and counting each lap down as I go has boosted my mindset and encouraged me to carry on. It takes away the "time" factor.

But the other day I was thinking "this is okay but now it's all running I'm going to get bored and find it tedious."

So, with memory map on my PC, I have planned myself a nice new route that should last me the entire run for the rest of this week without having to do laps. The only 'but' in this is the hill that inevitably comes with a longer route which I am not looking forward to one little bit. I have a choice. A short, steeper hill of about 250 metres or a longer more gentle incline of about 500 metres. I really don't know which one to go for as non of them appeal. Decisions, decisions................!

What would you do? Shorter and steeper or longer and gentle?

5 Replies

On one route I do it is a short steep hill and on another route it is a very long more gentle incline. When I see the beginning of the short one I feel determined to get up there, it is near the end of my run so I am tired but I am determined and make quite a good pace upwards. The other one comes into view round a bend at the end of a run and I don't feel so optimistic about achieving it, but I do, slowly but surely. So I guess it depends on how you feel, maybe you should do both and compare them. :)


Both but not at once!

Its a really good moment when you are feeling strong enough to leave the comfort of routine and do a few "I wonder if I can manage......." sessions.

Do one a few times them the other. Its starts to be about experience now and each thing you have a crack at us another weapon in your running armoury 8-). Another runner to runner conversation you can have!



Hmmm after thinking about it I'd do the short hill first, the reason being that although it's steeper, it will be over quicker than the longer one. See how you get on with that one and then on the next run you can do the longer one and see which you prefer.

On one of my first longer runs outside I ran up a gentle long incline, although I did it, it nearly did me in! Later in the same run there was a short steeper incline and I preferred this one as it was over quicker! :)


Have a go with it each way and see how you get on. It sounds pretty running round a nature reserve.


I've decided to tackle the shorter, steeper hill. The longer one just puts me right off so I'll see how I go.

Pretty isn't quite the word I would use for the nature reserve. It's in the middle of a built up area and therefore used by a lot of dog walkers who don't seem to mind letting their dogs do their mess right on the paths! Then you also have to contend with the rubbish left behind by those that don't care and the vandals who think it's great fun to set fire to anything that will burn or just chop trees down because their mate can get access to a chainsaw!

I'm probably making it sound far worse than it actually is. I'd rather have that out the back than rows of houses and it's far more preferable than running the streets and it can be quite pleasant and peaceful first thing in the morning when there's very few people around.


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