Couch to 5K
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Strength and flex combined with jogging?

I've tried doing the first week of the strength a flex podcasts a few times now with varying levels of success. Although Laura says you can do them round the house or garden, my garden isn't big enough for much walking. So I thought when I went for a run tonight I'd try it with the strength exercises. I jogged rather than walked and the warm-up exercises were OK. When I got to the park I headed for a bit that's away from the main paths and a bit less public.

Haven't yet managed to find a fence or something with a horizontal bar at shoulder height for the ones where you lean back. I thought there might be something in the kids play area but it was busy. Didn't much fancy the fence round the electricity substation either. Eventually found a big branch at 45deg which did albeit with one arm higher than the other.

Still haven't got the hang of the leg stretches and find them quite painful especially the oen where you grab your foot. Not sure either about the squats where you bend 10 inches but can still see your toes.

Finished off doing stretches on a bench then jogged home with a few twinges in new places.

Felt a bit more conspicuous in the park doing this than I do running - maybe wearing the new hi-viz gilet wasn't such a good idea! However as I spent more time and had a bit more time to look around I noticed a few cyclists having to get off and push up the little hill I always struggle with when running which made me feel better.

How are others finding these podcasts? Has anyone got to beyond week 1?

9 Replies

I've only had a go once (yesterday) at home. Kept stopping and starting treadmill for the walks, couldn't find anything shoulder height (can't think of anywhere nearby where I could, either) and my knees absolutely loathed the knee bends (10 inches, not a chance). I thought the upper body exercises were useful though and I hope I'll keep doing them. Think I'd feel a bit self-conscious doing these 'out and about' but combining them with a run seems a good plan.


There is no way I could do these outside where I live! It's too embarrassing! I've tried to do them at home but they are designed to be done outside so I haven't bothered.


Hi Gridlet,

Strength and Flex can be done indoors or outdoors. As there's no running involved you don't need much space. Give it a go! The exercises are really easy to follow and they'll benefit your running.


Thankyou sossylmlamoule, I will give them another try. By the way, you look very handsome! I wouldn't mind doing the strength and flex with you!


Oo!! So sorry! I was thinking aloud there! Please excuse me!


Stop, I'm blushing!

If you have any more questions, I'll be happy to answer them on the Strength and Flex forum:



I agree with Gridlet, no way would I do these in public, quite likely to be led off to a cosy waiting ambulance! But I did do the first one in the privacy of my own home (curtains tightly drawn ) yesterday and really enjoyed it. Like you I jogged the walking bits, I did the using the wall, the squats using a Swiss ball against the wall (we do this in core stability class), but using the bookshelf for the pull-ups was not so good as I really though I was going to pull the entire thing down on myself, lol. Will probably do it again today, as it is tanking down outside.


Having got to Week 6 on the C25K programme I took a look at the 'Stretch and Flex' podcasts as I've been doing a Davina McCall work out in between run days so thought this might be an alternative. I'm not sure exercises lend themselves as well to an audio only podcast (it works brilliantly for the running) and it sounds like it's hard to find the right bits of park architecture to carry out the exercises she suggests. I went back to doing my Davina DVD in the privacy of my own home so perhaps try something along those lines instead? I know they have videos of all the Stretch and Flex exercises on line but to do these things properly I'd prefer to be watching someone else doing it as I'm doing it to make sure I'm doing it correctly. At least with a DVD at home it doesn't matter what the weather is doing, you don't need any equipment and no-one can see you...



One of the advantages of the Strength and Flex podcasts is that you can listen to them and perform the moves without having to stop to look at a screen. It is a continuous work out which will help build your fitness levels. The coaching is easy to follow and the exercises are hard to get wrong. That said, it may take you a few goes to perfect the moves but that's a goal to aim for.


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