This time last year I literally sent a message to my friend that said ” You are mad for running in freezing cold January weather, I’m never going to be a runner”. And look where we are a year later! I just completed 7k on Friday, the longest distance I’ve run in my life, ever. I didn’t realise that when I started C25K it would actually stick with me and that I would keep up with running by here we are. I’m now averaging two runs a week, one 5k, and one bigger run.
I had wanted to start for a while but it scared me. I didn’t know what I would need or where I would run too and the logistics of it all put me off. I figured it out along the way with help from my friend and my brothers who run marathon distances just for fun! So I thought I would put together a little guide about starting C25k and how it’s nothing to cause stress over!
- The App – Of course, you are going to need the C25K app or listen on your browser. I recommend using the NHS one as it’s simple to follow and worked for me. My phone can’t get actually get the app but I listened to it each week on my phone’s browser and it worked a treat.
- Something to hold your phone – Everyone is different. I opted for a waistband because I have this huge fear of the velcro failing on me with the armband-style ones. I got mine from Amazon here (AFF LINK) However I know that a lot of people prefer the armband one and Dion uses this one here (AFF LINK). You will also need some headphones of course to connect to your phone. I use just the basic earphones that came with my phone. Nothing fancy here.
- Running Shoes – Defineity invest in running shoes. I didn’t and I learned the hard way. I threw my knee out for a week because I used a pair of very old fashion trainers I had in the back of the cupboard. I highly recommend Asics. They are so comfy and Dion has just invested in a pair of his own too. I have ones similar to these (AFF LINK) you may need to size up, just check the reviews before purchasing.
- Activewear – I started in a pair of active leggings (these H&M ones look amazing for Winter running! AFF LINK) and a vest top (AFF LINK) as it was Spring. This was perfect up until the end of October when I invested in a long-sleeved running top (AFF LINK). I order a men’s one because it was cheaper and it just worked for what I needed. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy.
- Plan a rough route – In the first few weeks, you will cover around 3.5km, to begin with. You don’t need to plan out a route in detail but just have a think about the time you are running, will there be traffic that will stop you or slow you down when you try to cross the roads. Or will you get too far out and then end up walking more back. I used one of the walks we did through lockdown as a basic route and then as I grew more confident with running and knew how far 5k was I then changed things up a little.
- Don’t worry about others – This is a big one for most but in the whole 9 months of me running I’ve never been heckled or laughed at or anything negative. Most people don’t even bat an eyelid at you. So forgot what others might think and go for it.
- And finally, just do it – Because you are the only thing holding you back. If you want to give it a go just go and do it. Find a friend to do it with if you’re worried about going alone or find someone who can keep you accountable. I used to send a photo of me normally out of breath to my friend to show her I had done it. This kept me accountable and now we both do the same thing. It’s a nice way to support each other and also a bit of tough love when we don’t want to run but know that a run will make us feel better.
I hope those tips helped and if you are thinking about starting and want any more advice just DM me on Instagram and I’ll happily help! It’s changed my body my mindset and it’s just nice o have time to myself where I am not a mama or a wife or a business owner. I’m just Cath, running.