Learning to Run – 8 Weeks On – Update

Published by Donna Coppack on

If your looking for a cheap, effective and totally personal workout then I fully recommend running (more like jogging) I wrote a post, 2 months ago when I decided to embark on a new fitness regime.  I started the 5k Runner app and followed its simple instructions 3 times a week for 8 weeks.

Was It Easy?

Yes to start with, as the walking outweighs the running so most of the time you are just meandering along.  As you get to week 4 though, things start to get harder.  I just found solace in creating an awesome playlist so I could keep running when I just wanted to stop.  The last 2 weeks are the hardest but because you know you have come that far you won’t let yourself give up.  I tried hard not to skip weeks/sessions on the app as I had tried that before and it doesn’t give your body time to adapt so you then are unable to complete sessions later on.

Do you ned anything special?

To start with I just bought another pair of exercise capri pants, so I could have one on and one in the wash.  To be honest though you could just chuck on any old tracky bottoms, a t-shirt and get going.  I would recommend ensuring your trainers are run-worthy though as if you sprain anything by twisting your ankle early on it will really annoy you.  I have since bought a fleece headband (I look terrible in this) to stop my ears getting frost bite as I run first thing. I have also purchased some sealskinz socks to stop my feet getting wet.  I am not a fan of running on roads, there is too much, traffic, crossing junctions, boring views, beeping white vans and other people for me.  The place I run most is generally used as a rugby pitch and so is awash with mud.  The first few times I stood in an ice cold puddle, I just got on with it but after a month or so I looked into buying some waterproof trainers, but they were all either hiking boot type things or hideously expensive. I found these fugly socks.  They aren’t cheap, but because you can wear them with any shoes (obviously not stilettos!) I figured they would be useful.  They are parts of the Standard Army Kit so I figured they should be good.

Have you lost any weight?

Nope, not 1 solitary pound.  But…I have eaten enough cake recently (I blame Great British Bake Off) to have normally put on weight and so the running is negating some of my less than healthy eating habits.  I have lost size though  All my jeans are looser on me and my legs and arms, bizarrely, have toned up lots.  I imagine if you did this in conjunction with a diet it would work wonders but I figured that starting to run after a 10 year hiatus was enough for me, so I just concentrated on one change at a time.

What are the main advantages?

I found that the main thing I noticed is my mood improving.  I am much more positive after a run and feel more able to take things on.  I also noticed an improvement in my skin, I guess all the blood pumping round was helping the cells gets everything they need.  I also like feeling that I have accomplished something that I had been avoiding for years.  I had used every excuse to myself for 10 years and I have shown myself that it was just a load of rubbish.  I suffer with back pain, but running has eased it lots, it was bad the first few times I went out, but it quickly eased.  I also told myself I would start running when I was lighter which I see now, is the most ridiculous thing ever, but I honestly felt that it would be too hard to run with more weight.

What do you do when you’ve finished the C25K app?


I ran my first 5k last Saturday at the Banstead Parkrun, which are free 5k’s that run every week in parks all over England.  They are a great way to try a race without the pressure.  I went with some friends which helped me feel less nervous and my Husband came too.  I was definitely not first but then neither was I last so I was happy overall.  I guess you could graduate to training for a 10k if the idea of running for an hour straight doesn’t bore the pants off you. I however have decided to stick to 2 x 20 min quick runs per week and then 1 full 5k each week.  I am hoping that I can improve my Parkrun time and also keep my stamina for longer runs. I found this for anyone who fancies keeping going once the 5k mark is reached.


Has anyone else started running?  I know loads of my friends have.

Categories: Lifestyle


Patricia · November 7, 2014 at 2:42 am

Hi Donna, I've been reading your blog for a while and I'm so glad that you posted this update. I'm quite a bit older than you (54) and have never been an athlete, but was always very slim. Now I've got extra menopause weight to contend with and would like to start running. I've downloaded a Couch to 5k podcast from the NHS website (for free!). Since I haven't exercised for a long time, and I also have a bit of back pain, I'm starting off with walking the route in time to the music. I still have to get new running shoes, so I'm not sure when I'll try the actual running, but your post gives me some confidence that I might actually be able to do it! There's a sports shop in my small town (I'm in Canada) that does a Learn to Run clinic – I'm thinking I'll try it in advance on my own, then join up in the spring (they also teach you about good form and diet and all that other stuff). Hope you'll keep us posted on your progress!

Donna Coppack · November 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Hi Patricia, That is such a good idea to start with walking. You burn the same amount of calories walking 5k as you do running it, it just takes a bit longer. I was inspired to try by my friends and seeing that it was something everyone could do, not just "athletic" types. There were so many different types of people at the Park Run, over 70's under 10's, men, women, super slim and more than chubby. I will definitely keep you updated. Good Luck, I hope you enjoy it xx

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