Couch to 5K
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Running common sense (From someone without any)

My wife likes to say I am a clever fellow but completely lacking in any common sense. With that in mind, I thought I would share some of the things I have learned up to my most recent run of W8R1. I am also a notorious procrastinator so hope some of these will encourage you to just get on and do it as much as they have me.

In my experience the plug in ear headphones always pop out at some point in my run leading to a panic and frantic scrabble to put them back in. I gave up and now use clip over the ear ones. So much easier.

Pop your headphones up in between your top and jumper (or between skin and top if you are a hardy soul) and out the neckline.. This stops you knocking the headphone wire whilst you are running and yanking them out.

I have my running gear set up and good to go so I don't have to hunt them out. I use light trousers and an atheltic top. I use normal t-shirt and socks. I can get away with washing my light trousers and athletic top after the 3rd run of the week so they are always set up ready to go. Store your running clothes inside out so they can dry and air out so you don;t have to wash them too much.

If your top has laces to tighten up your hood, tug them out a bit and pop them inside your neckline so they don't fly up and hit you in the eye with the plastic end piece. (This did happen to me in R1W1)

The right trainers really help but can be quite expensive. After a couple of weeks commitment I popped along to a sports shop and got some useful advice. Good running shoes can easily be £75 or £100, way out of my budget. The helpful man got me to try on the most expensive pair (they felt like pillows stuffed with marshmallows - so comfortable). Then he gave me the cheapest pair they had at £16 with some fancy £10 in soles. Felt exactly the same so I bought the cheap pair with the insoles and have not looked back.

Cut your toe nails! Particularly if you have a long second toe like me. Whilst not especially long I chipped the end off one of my toe nails and ran for half the time getting jabbed by it which was very uncomfortable.

You may have to wipe your nose or sweat drips at some point, especially in the cold. You can use long sleeves or a handkerchief. Keep the handkerchief in your running trouser pocket for a regular wash! I use a pair of cotton fingerless gloves that keep my hands warm and can be used for a fly wipe without searching through my pockets.

I update my podcasts after run 3 in a ritual way and make sure it works after updating it. I leave my mp3 player right by the front door so I can pick it up on my way out.

One of my big procrastinations was worrying that I looked daft when running or that I flailed my arms around or something. Noone has ever looked at me in disgust as I stumble along and am now getting the occassional sneaked jealous look by some. I do sometimes get nice people moving out the way or car drivers pausing at a junction so they can wave me on instead of running on the spot waiting for them.I also envisage Paula Radcliffe running and conclude I don't look that silly. I have even had some encouraging smiles and some knowing runner nods from fellow stumblers.

I hope if anyone else has a good tip they might share it in the comments. Happy running everyone.

4 Replies

This made me chuckle, especially the hood laces in the eye...been there! Thanks for the tips :-)


I alway run with only one ear pod in, i tuck the other under my bra strap...sorry boys, dont know what the equivalent would be for you...sellotape stuck to chest hair springs to mind! Please feel free to add an evil cackle at this point! ;)


Lol - this really made me chuckle. Now thing yourself lucky on my first run I had to contend with the in ear headphones keep falling out and my bra straps falling down (my hands had never been so busy!!!) so after the run bought the around the ear clip headphones and a sports bra!!!! Havent had any laces get me in the eye though!!!!!


i loved reading your post. I'm on my second visit to C25K, having had a long period off for illness followed by snow and ice, and now working my way through w5. So I've been at it a while, and still procrastinate, so your anti-procrastination tips really scored with me! Just at the end of my last run (Sunday, I'm going out running just as soon as I've finished this) I thought, I'll get a stuff bag from a camping shop to put my hat, Buff, gloves, water bottle etc in at the end of each run so they are always ready to go the next time. My Scottish husband chipped in with the suggestion of using a small see-through carrier bag, which admittedly would be cheaper and just as efficient. Haven't actually located one yet, but at least the spirit is willing.


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