A week has gone by since my last blog post, and actually the hardest part is trying to keep online and update!
I decided last week that I would do a pilates DVD – but I didn’t. Instead, I went for a run. Well, a jog. Okay, a fast trot. Nevertheless, I still did it! Inspired by a gloriously sunny day, I pulled out a pair of leggings, stuffed my legs into them (although they did put up a fight!) and braved the world.
I’ve had the NHS Couch to 5k app on my phone for a long time; in fact I did actually start it about 4 years ago. However, like many fitness things in my house, it’s been gathering dust (or taking up space on my phone) and not being used.
Now, I’d like to take a moment here to give kudos to the NHS for making this app which can be downloaded from here, or is available as podcasts from here. It’s not a scary app that demands you run for miles at your first attempt, indeed the first week (which I’m still going to keep doing until I feel comfortable moving up) only makes you run for 8 minutes out of 30. 5 minutes warm up and cool down, then 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking (briskly naturally!). It’s doable.
Now, I will state here and now, that I haven’t managed to run for 8 minutes. I have knee joint issues (specifically Chondromalacia Patellae, which basically means I have damage to cartilage at the back of the kneecap) and so I’m not going to push myself too hard and make things worse. However, there are indications that being overweight makes things worse, so I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. My decision is that I’d rather take things gently and do Week 1 of C25k over a few weeks until I’m comfortable, than do nothing at all.
Another issue for me is the time factor. If I run in the morning before my normal waking time, then I can fit exercise into my routine and I don’t get the “can’t be bothered” feeling which I often get if I decide to do it during the day. A lot of exercise videos are branded as “get fit in 20 minutes” – but you then need to add in preparation time and the time taken to shower and get organised after the fact. I’ve never managed to do an exercise video in less than 45 minutes. The same goes for swimming – it would be an ideal exercise for me; but the pool is about 20 minutes away (so 40 minutes commute) then there’s the changing, showering and drying that it entails. So again, a half hour swim will actually take me nearer 90 minutes to do; and probably longer as I never feel properly de-chlorinated until I’ve had a shower at home!
All that being said – I’ve done four runs in a week now, and I’m feeling quite pleased with myself. I’ve decided to post on Facebook that I’ve done these runs and I’ve had nothing but support from friends that I’m doing it. I’ve even had useful tips about running – the most important of which is that I need to go and get a new pair of trainers!