In an uncharacteristic move I woke up early this Sunday morning (instead of lolling around in my PJs until Midday). I weighed myself (STS), made some porridge, got my gym kit on and hauled my arse down to the gym.
The reason for my excitable start to the day was the prospect of starting the first day of my C25K plan. Running has always been something that has scared me - honestly - at school, whenever the cross country was mentioned in P.E I'd often end up in tears just at the thought of it. After reading up on the C25K plan, which aims to get people off the couch and running a 5k, I decided I was going to try it and try and overcome my ridiculous fear.
So this morning I got to the gym before 10am and it was bloody well full! Did these people not know it was Sunday and the day for rest?! I could feel a sense of panic rising as I made my way up the stairs to the treadmills. I started to plot out in my mind alternative exercises I could do - but I was here to run, stick to the plan I kept telling myself. I picked out a treadmill that only had a few blokes nearby and as I looked at my reflection in the glass I said to myself "no one is looking. No one cares. Stick to the plan!"
The first day of the first week training starts with a 5 min brisk walk warm up. No problemo. I started striding along easily but as soon as the timer ticked over 4:30 seconds my heart rate shot up. Not from exertion but from pure fear that in 30 seconds time I would have to start the first of eight 60-second jogging intervals. I started to panic - what if I could only jog for 10 seconds and had to stop? I imagined those blokes next to me thinking to themselves "ha! She tried the C25K and could only do 10 seconds. The loser!"
5:00 flashed up on the timer and there was no going back, it was time to step it up. I sped the treadmill up and started to jog. It took a few fiddles with the speed to get it right but eventually I was into my first 60-second interval and it felt good. Before I knew it the 60-seconds was up and it was time for a 90-second walk before my next interval. Easy. I started to feel really confident and even though my jog wasn't particularly fast it still got my heart rate up and I concentrated on my running action - making sure my head was up and my heel was rolling through to the ball of my foot.
Half way through my calfs started to burn during the intervals and the 90-second walking breathers were becoming extremely good ideas. I praised the creators of C25K for the pure genius of the 90-second walk to get rid of the lactic acid building in my legs. All hail the 90 second walk! I started counting off the intervals and when I got down to my last jog I had a big smile on my face and put all my energy into the last run. Then it was all over and time for a 5 min cool down.
I checked my HRM and for the 30 minutes I had burnt 341 calories. Not bad!
I felt like I was walking on air when I'd finished - I practically floated out of the gym. It may not seem a great deal for most people but for me it was a real accomplishment to get over that fear of running and I really can't wait for my next session (which will be Tuesday as you are supposed to leave a rest day in between).
Is anyone else doing C25K? Let me know how you're getting on! : )