Week 8!

Well week 8 of Couch to 5k means we are coming towards the end.  Only one more week after this one!

Week 8 required three runs of 28 minutes each.  I had decided to try to make it easy for myself with run one so it was back to the riverside to the running area where I did most of my early training.  I was really hoping to find it easier and this one was not too bad.  I ran really slowly and it was absolutely flat.  Even so the first ten minutes was a slog until I began to warm up and get into my stride.  I think I expect too much and imagine that because I have got this far I must be on the edge of  a breakthrough into finding running comfortable and easy.  Not so.  But it was doable and I decided to treat myself to a couple of easier runs as a sort of consolidation.  So run two was more of the same.  This time I had downloaded Strava onto my phone because I wanted to get some idea of how fast I was running.  How slowly more like!  The fastest I ran was a 15.5 minute mile.  I could practically walk faster!  I was downhearted for a minute or two but then I gave myself a talking to:  eight weeks ago I could not have imagined I could run without stopping for twenty eight minutes and now I can.   That will have to do.   Speed could come later (maybe).

I have found a forum attached to my couch to 5k app called healthunlocked.com which has a lot of great information and lots of encouragement.  It does seem to be the case that almost three quarters of the people who complete couch to 5k achieve the running for thirty minutes but are not yet running the distance of 5k in that time.  That can come a bit later when speed and strength increase.  So I was reassured to find that it was not just me!

But the urge to get a bit better made me decide that run three of week 8 would not be another easy one.  We have been trying to run in different places and one of the best places so far is a track called Lady Bagot's Drive.  The first time I did this one I chose to run backwards and forwards on the flat part of the track, wimping out at the place where the track rises gently by the river.  The second time I managed to run up the track on the slight incline and felt pleased that I could run until the bell sounded on my app for halfway before turning back.  This time I wanted to see if I could run further, proof that I would be running faster!  This was a good run.  I think I benefitted from having had two easier runs and a gentle yoga class before the run.  There was quite a bit of elevation in this run but even so my fastest run rate was a 14.34 minute mile so  (stunningly slow although it remains) it is getting better!

I feel at an odd stage with this running programme right now.  Partly I am delighted that I am so near to the end and that I have achieved what I have done so far.  I am sure I am going to finish the last week of the programme now and that seems pretty amazing when I look back at how I felt when I began.  I am sixty four.  I am not particularly fit.  I wasn't sure I could do this.  So there is an elation in having got this far.  But I am still finding it hard.  Maybe my expectations were quite unrealistic!  I sort of thought that once I was running for twenty minutes or more without stopping it would quite quickly become easier.  But it isn't doing!  I suppose I am running further.  My first twenty minutes has been followed by a week of three twenty five minute runs and now three twenty eight minute runs so maybe it would be getting easier if I wasn't trying to do more!  And I so want to run a bit faster!  And I will, eventually, at least a little bit!!


  1. Replies
    1. How very kind but I am really not Diana! Persistent maybe!

  2. Don’t beat yourself up! You have done brilliantly. It took me far longer to reach the stage you are already at. In a few weeks your speed will increase I am quite sure. Just build up the time you run gradually and maybe look out for a park run nearby to give you a little incentive. I am SO impressed. B x

    1. Thank you Barbara. That is really encouraging. I was wondering how you had found the business of getting a little faster. I must go back and read what you did when you were at my stage!

  3. I think you're doing so well. I admire your persistence and discipline in doing this.

    1. Thank you Lorrie. I must admit that sometimes I feel like giving up, generally in the first five minutes of a run when I am puffing along and haven't got into my stride, but I am seeing improvements and that makes it easier to stick with it!

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