Couch to 5k: the halfway point

I am now officially halfway through my eight-week couch to 5k program. Phew. I have to say I am relieved to be here, but I am surprised at how quick that first half went by (thank goodness). The first two and a half weeks felt pretty doable, but the last week and a half has definitely been a lot tougher.

For those of you that don’t know, a couch to 5k running plan is designed to get complete ‘couch potato’ beginners to be able to run a 5k (or run for 30 minutes) within eight or nine weeks. It starts with a mix of running and walking, and builds the running up slowly. The are a number of podcasts and apps you can use, but I use this one.

Even though I’m starting to find that the sessions are getting tougher now, I haven’t been pushed out of my comfort zone enough to want to stop. I’ve never managed to stick at an exercise plan for this long without at least missing one cheeky session, and I think that’s because I’m finding three days of exercise a week manageable. I often put myself off right at the beginning by trying to take on too much at once, but luckily not this time.

I really like the ease of the app, and someone telling you when its time to stop and start running, it’s motivating. The only annoyance I have with it so far is that I sometimes can’t hear the trainer’s voice over my music, which has meant I’ve carried on longer than I’ve needed to.

Something I didn’t really think about before I started this was how annoying my glasses would be! My glasses have pretty thick frames, and as soon as those tiny beads of sweat have started to form on the bridge of my nose that’s it. I spend most of the session pushing my glasses back up my nose and it’s beyond aggravating. I know I could get my glasses tightened, but I’m a little fussy and don’t like them too tight behind my ears since I have to wear my glasses all day. Running without glasses isn’t really an option for me, and I don’t want to wear contacts either. Glasses-wearers help! What do you guys do?

My headphones annoy me in a very similar way to my glasses. I’ve tried a couple of different pairs of in-ear headphones and no matter the style, after a while they seem to wriggle their way out. I’m not sure about over-ear headphones because I don’t like the thought of them getting too sweaty.

I’ve realised that when I’m in a running part of the session, and I feel like the world is ending and that I couldn’t possibly run another step, I can usually run for another couple of minutes. It’s really good to know that I can get through the burn and push on, and this is improving session by session. Something that worries me though, is that so far I’ve only run at the gym. I think I’m going to have to start running outside as well otherwise this might come as a shock after only ever running on a treadmill.

One thing that definitely helps to keep me going is that my body is already changing. Only subtle changes, but I can notice them and it’s spurring me on. As well as taking part in the couch to 5k, I’ve reduced the amount that I snack between meals and tried to eat a little healthier, and my jeans are fitting better for it!

I can only hope that the second half of the training plan will whiz by as fast as the first half did. However, I’m not so sure it will.

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