Podcast: Couch to 5K

After leaving the sports store with running kit, I felt ready to go… Until I got home and put everything on. Now what do I do? So I sat back on the couch!

As a teacher I like structure, routine and planning. I like to know what's coming and I want to be prepared. I made good use of technology skills and browsed the App Store on my iPhone! There must be an app for this!

Plenty of running games came up which are themed around zombies, or missions. They didn't feel quite right for me. I needed something that was a like a coach. I made a few searches on Google for beginning runners. Amongst some helpful blogs from pro-runners giving tips and strategies, one of the top hits came from NHS Choices.

NHS Choices have a free podcast which can be subscribed to from iTunes. It is perfect for me as it is a week-by-week plan with a comprehensive overview for the whole course online. It's backed by the NHS which I like too, I feel it's quality advice.

I was always going to be interested in technology for running, so this is a great start for me. The podcast format is simple. Each week download the podcast for that run, plug your headphones in, listen and do.

The promise is that by Week 9, you will be running 5k (3.2 miles).

A little tip that I picked up from one of the pro-running blogs was scheduling. The podcasts are great for giving you the information but it doesn't commit you to getting out the door. The advice I read was to schedule in runs for the whole program. I had read that you should run 3 or 4 times a week, which pretty much means 1 day run/1 day rest. It didn't quite fit to my routine as a teacher though. I had to double up some running days.

Monday: Rest (we know what a Monday is like in school)

Tuesday: Run

Wednesday: Rest (staff meeting)

Thursday: Run

Friday: Rest (obviously)

Saturday morning; (Run)

Sunday afternoon: (Run)

I put all of these in to my Calendar app on iPhone along with times and reminders to prompt me to go out.

I put my running kit back on, laced up my shoes and downloaded that first podcast. This time I was ready to get off the couch.