Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Guest Blog Post: Jenny's Advice for Couch to 5K.

Hi All,

I'm Buffy's little sister and I have been testing out the couch to 5Km program for her. I delayed starting until after my uni exams and so am only up to week three but thought I would report in and tell you how it is going and some tips I have found useful.

I am using the NHS couch to 5 km podcast available for free on Itunes.  So far I have found the program really good, although you do have to push your self a little it is definitely doable and although you are jogging a little longer every week it never seems harder, it just doesn't get easier.

I have found the NHS podcast helpful as I don't have to keep looking at my phone all the time to see whether it is time to stop or start jogging and the music is specially selected to have an appropriate beat for the speed you should be going. The down side is of course that you don't get to listen to your own music.

There are a few things I have found that really help me with my jogging; first, always make sure you eat a piece of fruit or maybe some yogurt 5-10 mins before you go to give you energy. This makes a huge difference and stops you from feeling really tired and crap on your jog. Carbs won't achieve the same result as they take longer to digest and get the energy out of.

Secondly, when you are jogging make sure you pay attention to your breathing. Fitness instructors often say breathe in through your nose and out through you mouth. I am unsure of why this is important but I do know that it stops you getting a runny nose when you exercise which in my book is a big tick. This also help makes sure you are getting enough air and not hyperventilating. It helps a lot to make sure you pause a second between breathing in and out. This gives your body time to actually get the oxygen out of the air before you expel it. It also distracts you and helps the time jogging to go by more quickly.

Lastly, I found it really helpful when I start jogging to pick a landmark up ahead that I want to reach in my jogging time. This helps me keep my pace up. I also organise my jog so I turn back at or just after half way so at the end I am back home not 45 mins walk from home and I can challenge myself to see if I can get a little bit further past where I started before the cool down walk. I am jogging the same route most times and while some people may find this boring I find I am too busy getting myself to jog to worry about the scenery and enjoy being able to compare my progress by how far I get before turning around.

To sum up I would recommend this program to anyone who can't run more than a minute but wants to be build up to being able to jog for half an hour. It doesn't push you so much that you end up in a broken heap but you do make a little progress every week. I'm doing this at 100kg so don't think you won't be able to do this because you are too fat or unfit because this especially designed so you can. Also, the NHS also have more free podcasts for after you finish the 9 week program to work on improving your speed and stamina.

Jenny Greentree

(For those that don't know, the NHS is the British National Health Service, and on their website: NHS Choices, they have a lot of advice, programs and free things to help keep you fit and healthy.)

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