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

John Dodge
By John Dodge
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Since starting this diary I've received a huge amount of positive feedback. This log is my first time ever writing about myself and, to be honest, it isn't an easy thing to do. I never write anything to seek attention and I don't really want/need a load of strangers knowing everything about me. This Couch to 5k thing has changed that for me.

Not only is it a personal journey but others telling me that I've "inspired" them (and even writing that makes me feel like a wanker) is genuinely amazing. It also puts me under pressure to complete it.

On that note, here's week three.

Week Three, Day One - Saturday, 21st November

Another Saturday dance class for my daughter and another chance to run in daylight. This time the weather was great and the park was full with football games, dog walkers and even another runner. I even got to have my first ever nod of mutual respect with a fellow runner.


Yeah, that's right, my clearly overweight hefty frame in a football jersey was worthy of a nod from a guy who's running gear looked about as expensive as all my clothes combined. Week 3 involves a run of 90 seconds, walk of 90 seconds, run for 3 minutes, walk for 3 minutes and then a repeat of that 9 minute circuit.

I started running uphill immediately. I knew this meant I'd have my first long run downhill but I was happy enough to cheat on my first 3 minute run. It didn't really work that way as the second time round it was all up hill. Serves me right. I completed it fairly handily.

My usual 5 minute cool down walk last only 2 though as I decided to try some stretching as part of the warm down instead. I gave up quickly because I looked ridiculous. I went out that night with friends and bored them with tales of how great I am at running now.


Week Three, Day Two - Tuesday, 24th November

I was looking forward to this run all day. I just wanted to get out and clear some headspace. It is the most clichéd thing you can say about running/exercising but it really is great for the mind. Similar to last week, I went to grassland near my house and mixed running on the roads/paths too. I decided not to turn round on the half way mark this time. I knew it'd leave me with a longer walk home but that's exactly what I wanted.

The last 3 minute jog into a strong win was tough. For the first time I had to check the timer to see how long was left. Luckily it was only 3o seconds so I decided to try and sprint that 30 seconds. I swear I heard my legs say "settle down Dodge" and they continued at the slow and steady pace they were at. The walk home was good. I knew I'd be annoyed with myself if I didn't finish that 3 minute run as I had already completed it on the Saturday.

Week Three, Day Three - Friday, 27th November

A gap of three days. The longest gap between days 2 and 3 so far. Real life got in the way again but I was dying to get out and run Friday night. Same route as W3D2. The winds were still high but this time I felt much better. The "Map My Run" app tells me my opening two splits were a good deal slower than the last outing but I felt so much stronger at the end. No hint of looking at the clock today.


I think that's the key now for me. Slow and steady. Focus on getting to 5k before I can think about getting quick about it. Week four involves 2 five minute runs as part of the programme. Should be fun!

Read more: Week One

Read more: Week Two

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