Marion's Couch to 5K journey
Posted: Fri, 04 Dec 2020 16:01
Active Oxfordshire's Healthy for Life pillar is set out to get Oxfordshire's residents living longer, better by moving more. The fantastic blog below outlines 71-year-old Marion's NHS Couch to 5K App journey:
A few weeks ago, I had a stark demonstration of what 'use it or lose it' really means when my 5-year-old granddaughter ran off across the playing field and try as I might, I couldn't catch her.
WHAT! - So, you are 71, you have never run before - SO WHAT?
Physical activity background
I used to be a good sprinter but somehow in the past 30 years or so I have stopped doing it. I have always been interested in sport having played shinty for my school at under 9 age group then running 80 yards hurdles where I won the Herefordshire county championship at about 15 years of age. After having children, I played squash for Cheshire 2nd team and since I became a bit too old for that I have played golf.
I have resolved to do something about the lack of running ability though. And surprise my granddaughter when she next decides to run away. That will be funny.
The start of the Couch to 5k journey
Que the NHS couch to 5k app.
Couch to 5K is a running plan for absolute beginners. It was developed by a new runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his 50-something mum get off the couch and start running, too. The plan involves 3 runs a week, with a day of rest in between, and a different schedule for each of the 9 weeks.
Its free and I am now in the 4th week and feeling quite pleased with myself for doing it. I really want to complete a park run when they are open again.
Week 1: started with about 30-minute walk/run, 5-minute brisk walk followed by 60 seconds running and 90 seconds to recover; repeated 7 times. I had to be able to manage that, surely!
How the journey is going
This has progressed quite gently - a good thing too, as I am now 71 and at week 4 of 9 where the programme is a 5-minute warm up walk, 3 minutes running, 90 second recovery then 5 minutes running and 2.5 minutes to recover; repeated twice.
And I have done it - with a combination of determination and perseverance. Writing this, I realise I have improved quite a lot from week one and this has encouraged me to see it through to the end.
When I was young, marathons and those events where you challenge yourself were not really in existence but who knows I might even have a go at a half marathon. Then get competitive and try to win my age group. Why not?
Physical activity is for all ages
I hate to admit it, but I know I am much slower than I used to be and get more tired but as I am also retired, I have plenty of time to rest. The point is that unless we constantly challenge ourselves, we will sink into old age without so much as a whimper.
It is essential to keep as fit as possible in our 30's, 40's and 50's so that we can enjoy old age, I never want to be pushed about in a wheelchair or be incapable of being independent. Anyone can do this, and I am so glad I have been pushed to try.
If you are interested in how I am getting on take a look at my blog: https://grouchto5k492178597.wordpress.com . It even has photos!