Back in my primary and secondary school days, I wasn’t interested in sports. I took part in P.E. lessons and sports day, but outside of school, swimming lessons were the only activity I semi enjoyed.
I remember it all began after talking to a friend about the marathon she had just completed. Feeling so inspired and motivated by her, I decided I wanted to give running a go! I looked into how to get started and found the Change for Life Couch to 5k App.
One afternoon I downloaded it, plugged my headphones in and off out I went that evening after work. I felt really self conscious of myself and running in public, so I kept to the quieter streets and woods, so no one could see me. As the days turned into weeks and my running grew, so did my confidence.
If you are unfamiliar with the Couch to 5k app, it is a programme set up to get people running. First developed by a guy named Josh Clark, the programme consists of three runs a week, with a rest day in between. Every week is different and aims to increase the amount of time you are running by using a run/walk routine (one I still use, and love, to this day!). The end goal, being able to run for 30 minutes or 5k without stopping.
After completing the 9 weeks, I felt extremely proud of myself and happy! Starting on week 1, running for 1 minute sounded easy but I remember it being quite difficult. Some weeks I remember being quite challenging and sometimes didn’t think I could keep going. It tested my physical and mental health but I learnt so much from it. To build up to running for 30 whole minutes without stopping, seemed impossible when I started, but amazing once I’d finished!
Since then, my running has continued and grown more than I ever expected it to. From 5k, I climbed to 10k and then all the way up to an Ultra. Unexpectedly I had found a sport I enjoyed, got excited about, helped me mentally and physically, gave me experiences and chances I thought I’d have and a whole bunch of new and lifelong friends.
I have a lot to owe the Couch to 5k app, and highly recommend it if you are wanting to get into running! Unfortunately the Change for Life Couch to 5k app isn’t around anymore, but there are plenty of others on the app store. I believe you even get to choose from a range of celebrities to ‘coach’ and motivate you along the way!
If your not sure where to start looking, my friend Charlie, also known as TheRunnerBeans, recently recorded a podcast about the Couch to 5k app. It includes some inspiring stories/experiences from runners who have used it and you can find it here. I highly recommend her podcast if you are unsure of getting started and need some questions answered! All her podcasts are great, they are informative and so easy to listen to!
If are thinking you want to give running or any sport/activity a go, do it! I’ve realised life is too short to “wait another day”. This app really changed me and I can’t recommend it enough!
Stay safe and well and have a lovely weekend!