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Join Me On My Couch To 5K Journey - Week Four

Join Me On My Couch To 5K Journey - Week Four
By John Dodge

Week four was easily the most challenging so far.  I know that’s kinda obvious as they’re supposed to get more challenging but for the first time I had to stop, and for the first time I wanted to give up and not get out running. It’s a fairly different challenge when you know it’s good for you but you don’t want to do it.

Week Four, Day One - Saturday, 28th November

I had breakfast later than usual today so missed the opportunity to run while my little one was at her dancing class. Went out about 2pm and decided to try the park land just outside our estate that I last visited in the dark on Week 1, day 3. I almost immediately regretted this decision when I saw how hilly it is. Week 4 consists of warm up, 3 minute jog, 90 seconds walk, 5 minute jog, 2.5 minute walk, 3 minute jog, 90 seconds walk and a 5 minute jog. I’m fairly sure I have never jogged 5 minutes straight in my life so this was quite daunting.

Too daunting in fact. At every stage of today’s outing I was conscious of it ending with a second jog of 5 minutes. My mind just wouldn’t let it go. As an aside I had no podcasts left to listen to so went with a “running” playlist of music. Bad idea. I tried to sync the run times with a song so if I thought the song was coming to an end, I thought tht section was coming to an end. It didn’t work. I started out fine but the hills, the wet grass and my mind playing tricks on me made me not finish the last running section. I stopped with about 2 minutes to go, walked for a bit, then ran the last minute when the app let me know it was nearly over. I was genuinely disappointed I couldn’t finish it.

Week Four, Day Two - Tuesday, 1st December

I was nervous about this session. The wind was very strong and for the first time I wasn’t mad to get out running. I set out much slower than W4D1 and felt much better. I jogged mostly on the road with a bit on grass and going out I had the wind at my back. You all know what that means coming home and the last run was pretty damn tough. I felt good though and a quick check of the timer told me I had 90 seconds left. Having already pushed past Saturday’s limits, there was no way I wasn’t completing this one. I even upped the pace a little when the final minute was signalled. I felt more relieved than anything at the end. Back on track!

Week Four, Day Three - Thursday, 3rd December

I had the running bug back. No fear tonight. Still windy but I decided to go the opposite way outside my estate and run along some quiet roads with bus lanes. It meant no grass to run on but the tar roads feel better than concrete paths so I was happy enough. Met my second fellow runner on the road and gave him the runners’ nod. It is stupid how smug I am about being in this club now. The decision to run into the wind at the start of the session paid off handsomely and the last 5 minute jog was pretty easy. I was tired after it but felt right as rain after a quick shower and some dinner.

I am genuinely astonished that I can now run 5 minutes without stopping. It seemed unthinkable only 4 weeks ago.  I’m now half way through the programme.

Read: Join Me On My Couch To 5K Journey - Week One

Read: Join Me On My Couch To 5K Journey - Week Two

Read: Join Me On My Couch To 5K Journey - Week Three

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