Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Running 10km: January's progress

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an introduction to my challenge for the first half of this year - training for and completing my first ever 10km run for charity.

So how's my training going so far?

Well, I'm really pleased to say that I've managed to keep up a really regular training pattern alongside the busy responsibilities of work, blogging, maintaining a social life and whatnot. During the week, to avoid running outside alone in the dark (not very safe!) I've been rushing off to the gym to use the treadmills, while on Sunday mornings I've been cavorting around the Common.

I've just finished Week 4 of the NHS Couch to 5km programme, which has seen me repeat this pattern three times:

Warm up walk: 5mins
Run: 3mins
Walk: 90secs
Run: 5mins
Walk: 2mins
Run: 3mins
Walk: 90secs
Run: 5mins
Cool down walk: 5mins

Running for 5 mins doesn't sound like it should be too hard, and is very easy for many, but I find it hard to keep going for so long, and I feel really proud that I was able to complete this last week without stopping (or wanting to stop) once. It certainly pushes you week by week, but I can really feel an improvement, and I am enjoying seeing my progress as each week goes on.

I am amazed by the sense of achievement I feel after each run. Yes, I may only be out for a total of half an hour, and it may not be the fastest, but I complete each session and enjoy it. It seems to be working. And, dare I say it...I am actually falling in love with running.

Who am I and what have I done with Jo?

I am a little nervous about the next few stages, but if I can run this way after a few weeks, I can't wait to see where I'll be at the end of next month.

Looking at my Nike+ app, I can see that I do seem to be improving with each run - I am managing a further distance with each increase, and I have yet to really struggle. I am very pleased to see that I am maintaining some sort of consistency. I also love being able to see my progress visually!

As for the other benefits, I am feeling much healthier - it feels good to be exercising regularly, and I don't allow myself to even question skipping the gym now. I'm taking more care about the food or 'fuel' I put into my body too, and am finding it to be one of the best stress busters I've tried in a while. Nothing feels better than burning off some nervous energy. In fact, when I don't run for two days, I get very restless and uncomfortable.

So, in summary, Training is going well so far - I can see and feel progress, I am enjoying it and, although I am still worried it'll be a struggle, I am pleased I have set myself up for this challenge. My summary below may not be impressive to some, but I am very proud that I'm even trying.

When I begin to worry that I might not be achieving enough, or pushing myself enough, I like to think about the wonderful THIS GIRL CAN campaign. No matter what we do, we are still lapping everyone on the couch. Every little really does help.

If you're interested in donating (I will be running for Mind in April) you can check out my Virgin Fundraising page.

January Summary:

Fastest run: 7'32"/km (average)
Furthest run: 4.22km (week 4, 32.23mins)
Total runs: nine
Total distance covered: 34.3km
Average speed: 7'51"/km

February goals:

  • Run outside more in lighter evenings.
  • Eat more clean foods to complement my running.
  • Keep enjoying it! See it as a hobby, not a chore.
  • Attend my first local 5km Parkrun session once I reach my 5km goal.

As always, if you have any running advice or encouraging words, please let me know in the comments below. I'll be blogging about my progress at the end of each month.


  1. Well done you! It's such a huge achievement and like you said, the biggest mood booster ever. I am also obsessed with the This Girl Can campaign - so genius!

  2. Wow you're doing so well! I'm really glad you're enjoying it :) xx