Couch to 5K
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A satisfying end to week 7; and a book recommendation

For my first post-holiday run, I was able to hit the streets on a week-day morning as I have not yet returned to work. I am trying to enjoy morning runs as much as evening runs (ever hopeful that I can join a local park run when I've graduated), and although I do find myself getting better at them, I think evening runs are where my niche is.

Anyway, today was W7R3 and I finally used my own music. I didn't get round to making a playlist (too many songs to choose!) but stuck on an upbeat album and set off on the new-ish route that I had previously ran last week. I knew that if I passed a certain mark, then I had definitely ran for 25 minutes.

Again I set off too fast and had to adjust my pace around 7 minutes in. Again I felt tired and lethargic but knew I could finish the 25 minutes, so I slowed up a bit and kept on at a steady pace. Given that it was a weekday morning, it was a lot busier in the streets and at almost every single road crossing, I nearly got mowed down by stupid people in their cars. As a driver myself, I am always extra cautious around cyclists and runners; and have always given them a few seconds to get across a road before I turn in my car. Hmmmph, well there seems to be no karma for doing that. My point is that I had checked round over my shoulder for approaching vehicles. saw that it was clear to cross, then a car comes speeding up and round the corner, making me have to jump back on to the pavement or else run half way down a side street before I can get a safe place to cross. One lady who drove in such a way was at the receiving end of some very cross swear words, which I hate using, but she was so close to knocking me flat and completely oblivious that I was already making my way across the road as she decided to turn down. Agggh!

Despite the annoyance and downright danger of the traffic, I settled into the latter half of the run quite nicely and was pleased to pass my mental marker still feeling quite good. Laura being absent and me being a technophobe meant I wasn't exactly sure when 25 minutes was up, so I ran a further 300 metres just to be sure. My mp3 player told me I was 26.5 minutes through the music I had chosen, which I'm very pleased about as I usually stop dead when Laura says I'm finished for the day.

I enjoyed my own music and definitely felt the benefits of no interruptions from Laura telling me how far I'd ran. I always find it difficult to hear I've only ran for 5 minutes, and today in the absense of this, I felt more motivated to continue to run. I'm going to use the podcast again for W8R1 and then see how I feel. Perhaps I'll finally get round to making that playlist.

In the meantime, I wanted to recommend a book that I've just finished reading about running. It is called "Born to Run" and is by Christopher Macdougall. It is based around ultra-running, but has a fundamental quesiton of "why do we run?" at its core. Along the way, the author discovers how as human beings, we are quite literally built for running long distances, and how diet, and nutrition can help the way we run. It also promotes barefoot running, and again gives the science behind why this can prevent injury. I was worried that it would be dry and dull, but instead I found it fascinating, empowering and inspirational reading.

4 Replies

As a wee taster for Christopher MacDougall's book, I found his TED talk the other day and was fascinated by his message.


This is brilliant! Thanks for the link :)


Ooh, that is too risky for me, running on pavements/crossing roads AND with headphones in, asking for trouble!

I meanwhile think its clever to do my 2 mile "easy" run up the local wood this evening, forgetting it gets darker earlier these days, especially in the deepest part of the wood where no sunlight reaches at the best of times DOH! And, as I was tripping lightly (lumbering heavily actually) through muddy sections, over rocks, ,around tree roots etc, it suddenly hit me that I had told no one where i was going AND I had left my mobile in the house on charge ! Double DOH!

Thanks for the book suggestion.


I never have my music loud enough for this reason - I can definitely hear cars, birds, my own breathing etc as I want to remain alert when out, especially in the dark.

I had to laugh at your description of being in the woods though - maybe we'll get this amateur runner thing figured out soon enough! Trial and error i say :) I never bring my phone out with me, but ensure my housemate knows where I am. Maybe I should start as the weather gets darker and colder, but I love the freedom of not having my phone any where near me on runs; I feel like i'm getting a proper break from the world!


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