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Chump to 5k

April 13, 2014

I’ve noticed that a fair few of my friends are doing a program called ‘Couch to 5k’ (normally abbreviated to C25K) at the moment, which is a scheme for getting people into running for fitness. The idea is that the program is a structured plan designed by experts to build up a person’s fitness over a period of time in a manageable and incremental manner until they are able to run five kilometeres (three miles in old money).  This is, of course, an excellent idea and though I don’t have firsthand experience of the scheme it appears to be a sensible way of transitioning from an inactive lifestyle to being able to run what is considered a decent distance for a beginner. I considered giving it a go myself, as I’ve certainly let my fitness slip in recent years, but being a busy type of chap I wasn’t sure I could commit to the nine week program.  Luckily, I was able to use my experience of being an impatient goon to come up with an alternative plan for getting from ‘Couch to five KM’ which is much faster.    My version – which I successfully implemented last week – is as follows:

1. While sitting on the couch one Friday night, decide out of the blue that you’re going to run 5k the next day.  This is as simple as thinking to yourself  ‘Hmmm… I think I’ll run 5k tomorrow’ while you are sat watching Mega-Shark Vs Crocosaurus and eating a doner kebab.   Be sure to give zero consideration to your level of fitness or when you last did any exercise.  Oh, and don’t consult a physician either – those nay-sayers will only try to bring you down. 

2. The next day, attend one of your friendly local Parkrun events. There’s likely to be one of these excellent free events near you, but it’s important that you ignore the fact that walking  the mile to the race location has left you out of breath with aching legs.

3. Once at the event you should run, jog, walk, lurch and stagger your way around the 5k course in a godawful time. Don’t worry about the fact that eight year old kids and blokes pushing prams are overtaking you, or that you cross the finish line like some kind of wheezy, chubby zombie – as long as you manage to keep down the previous night’s kebab, you’re doing OK.

4. Well done!  You’ve just ‘ran’ 5k!  Now take a moment to catch your breath and relax for a moment while sweating like a hog on heat. Be careful not to relax too much though – that kebab may try to make another break for freedom.

5. Your shoddy recovery is just as important as your shoddy preparation, so once you’ve finished the race you should limp home and eat some high-protein, low-fat food – custard creams are ideal, but if you don’t have them available any biscuits will do.

6. You may find that you spend the next few days walking funny and that you struggle to climb stairs due to the fact you’ve aggravated an old knee injury.   This is perfectly normal and just a sign that you need to build up your ‘stamina’, whatever that is.  Therefore you should resolve to run regularly as this is rumored to  improve ‘stamina’.  This resolution should then be completely ignored till six or seven weeks later when you decide to give the Parkrun a another go.

So there you go – the Patented Ben Stewart C25K program. Why not give it a try? I mean, ‘why not’ apart from all the obvious reasons of course.  Or if you aren’t a hairy Cumbrian eejit and have time to do things properly, maybe you should look up the sensible version instead.

Though if the old saying ‘no pain, no gain’ has any truth to it, then I must have gained a hell of a lot from my version…




From → Musings

One Comment
  1. Maybe I should try it…LOL!!!

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