My “couch to 5k” experience – week 2

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I have actually managed to go through week 2 in, well, a week! <<round of applause>>. It wasn’t quite as easy as I was expecting, but apparently “I’m building on…” so it’s all very encouraging anyway.

  • 1st run: the first session went well rather well. I was happy with 90-sec runs / 2 -minute walks. As I tried to follow the tips provided in the podcast, I found it hard to follow the one about breathing. So first I was “breathing in” for 4 counts, i.e. as my left foot touched the floor 4 times, then breathing out as it touched the floor another 4 times –> I was soon completely suffocating as I guess I’m just too slow, and there’s only so much air that can fill my lungs!suffocatingOK so I thought, “er… must have gotten that one wrong”. So instead I tried breathing in for 4 steps (left foot and right food included) and breathing out for 4 steps, and now I was hyperventilating! Not that I’m running like Flash Gordon, but still it really didn’t feel right. So I decided to just try breathing as best I could. Spotted whilst running: people looking graceful doing Tai Chi, and a mum hugging a tree under her baby’s questioning glaze.
  • 2nd run: oh no. I’ve started finding the music a bit boring, now. How many more times do I need to put up with it? Let’s see, another 7 weeks, 3 times a week… ahhhhh… at least this is motivation enough to make me want to be done with it rapidly-ish. Anyway, today’s session went very smoothly. I’d really enjoyed running at this time of the day (round 7.30pm), I loved the dusk chorus too (cheerful feathered creatures!). Spotted whilst running: many (young) couples, holding hands, kissing and enjoying a romantic picnic or a barbie at dusk. Then they’ll marry, and the rest will be history (says jealous me. Seriously, where have my dating days gone?)
  • 3rd run: Gosh! that first run… those were the longest 90 seconds EVER. I guess running in the morning just after school drop-off isn’t such a good idea. I did struggle this time, feeling my limbs really heavy. It was nice and sunny, and I had to stop to take some layers off. And also, t the park is so beautiful that I had to stop countless times to take pictures as I was in awe at the show natures puts on at this time of year. So again, this wasn’t such a good idea. Finally, every time the brisk walk was ending and I had to resume running again, I was finding myself at the bottom of a slope (and there are quite a few steep ones in Crystal Palace), so it felt like I was training for a cross country. gabrielThis, combined with a tough pilates session in the evening, ensured a great night sleep! (that night I dreamt that Gabriel Garcia Bernal was my horse riding instructor… could be worse, right?) Spotted: little ducklings and chicks swimming happily, and Crystal Palace Park Cafe looking oh! so tempting under the glorious sunshine. Next time I’ll take a magazine and go sip a nice drink on the terrace. Fancy joining me?

DON’T ==> drink alcohol before exercising… unless you allow enough time for your body to deal with it! I particularly enjoyed a small glass of Finca Las Moras Malbec before my 2nd run. Thank you to my friend Aicha for providing the poison!

And don’t think you’re smarter than the app. They say “start with a brisk 5-minute walk” and that’s exactly what you should do. I skipped a good 2 minutes on my last run – thinking that, surely, school run and morning house chores counted for some exercising – and paid the price for it later by exhausting myself too quickly.

DO ==> try and stretch after each run. I don’t really do it, but after the last run (up the slopes) and the sore muscles (especially glutes, oh yes, I’ve re-discovered my glutes), I wish that I had!

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