Mom to 5K: Week 5
With week four done we are halfway there! Can you believe it? And we’re running somewhere between 2.5 and 3k at the moment. Not bad, eh? Apparently week 5 is where people start to flag and the sweat really starts to hit the fan. Things are about to get tougher. The final run of week 5 is a run of twenty straight minutes! To be honest, I can’t even envisage it. For a brief, hopeful minute I thought there may have been some sort of glitch in the app but alas, no. It sounds a bit ambitious but imagine how we’re going to feel when we’ve done it!
So, because this is where things get properly tough, I thought it was the perfect time to draft in some expert advice to help us avoid the common pitfalls and prevent us from throwing in the sweaty towel. Running coach and marathon queen, Laura Fountain from lazygirlrunning.com will help us to keep going with advice on how to not quit!
Week 4 in Review
- Yup, definitely harder than week 3. Sh*t’s getting real!
- After Monday’s run, I felt like face-planting on the wet footpath the instant I was told to begin my cool-down but I didn’t have the same dramatic response on the subsequent two runs which is saying something.
- Weirdly, the first stint of five minutes was harder than the second.
- I’m finding that I’m way less out of puff now than I was in the first couple of weeks and it’s more likely that my legs will let me down than anything else. Am feeling the burn – that bona fide fitness types talk about so much – at the back of my lower legs from about halfway through each run until the end. Better stretching required, perhaps?
- I know that I can’t give up now and undo what I’ve done so onward I’ll go!
THE WEEK AHEAD
Read it but don’t weep. Get psyched! Twenty minutes? No problem!
COUCH to 5K – HOW TO KEEP GOING…
with Laura Fountain – lazygirlrunning.com
This week’s guest poster is Laura Fountain, a UK Athletics Coach in Running Fitness and a Personal Trainer. She’s also a freelance journalist specialising in women’s health. She writes a column for Men’s Running magazine and her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Telegraph, Glamour and In Style, among others.
Laura has also published two books; The Lazy Runner and Tricurious. She has been helping beginner runners to take their first steps and go on to great things for years. She helps people of all levels achieve their goals through online coaching, running groups and bespoke training plans via her coaching website, Lazy Girl Running. She also has a popular running blog and a podcast – both well worth checking out!
The crux of the thing for Laura is the importance of enjoying what you’re doing. We need to embrace the positives and the benefits.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to run – whether it’s to lose weight, get fitter or de-stress – learning to enjoy running is key. If you enjoy something you’re more likely to keep doing it. And we all need more things in our lives that we enjoy and that make us feel good.
Former couch potato and self-confessed lazy girl, Laura is well aware of the temptation to give in and turn on your sore, burning heels in the direction of home. She’s sharing some words of wisdom and experience that will help us over the midway hump and keep us on the roads until we’ve completed this thing.
1. Don’t Underestimate what you’ve achieved so far.
Running is hard, particularly in those first weeks of going from 0 to 5k. I’ve run 16 marathons and two ultra marathons and I honestly don’t think any of it has been as challenging as getting off the couch and training to run those first few miles. If you’re finding it hard, don’t be put off by thinking it’s just you that finds running difficult. It will get easier – it will take time, but it will happen. The worst is behind you!
2. Don’t be afraid to Walk.
4. Don’t Overthink it!
A lot of my runners as me how they should breathe and how they should run – is forefoot or midfoot or heel striking best? Try not to overthink things like this in the first few months. Your body is really quite intelligent and knows what it’s doing. If you’re finding it difficult to breathe then this is more than likely a sign that you need to slow down rather than that you’re doing it wrong. And the best way to run right now is whichever feels most natural to you.
5. Don’t be Shy! Join a Running Group.
Joining a beginners’ group is a great way to get extra support and motivation ,especially if enthusiasm is beginning to wane. My runners are always telling me how much easier they find it running in a group compared to when they’re running by themselves. So don’t be shy, find a group near you and see if you can join them. You’ll motivate one another easily.
Check out Lazy Girl Running and Laura’s blog and podcast for all sorts of additional helpful tips and inspiration. She’s a straight-shooter with oodles of experience under her belt and definitely a lady worth keeping up with if this running business is your thing. You’ll also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Do you feel like giving up? I get it. I really do! Share your challenges in the comments below and stop back here or visit my Facebook page during the week to let us know if you’ve battled through week five and emerged victorious! You’ll also find me either gloating or complaining on Instagram Stories.
If you’re a blogger or someone with an interest or background in fitness and you’d like to contribute to the series, get in touch via email. You’ll find me at email@example.com.
Did you miss the other posts in the series? Find them here:
- Mom to 5K – This time I’m doing it!
- Mom to 5K #1 – Running Safety feat. Carrie Budds from Carrie Small Plate
- Mom t0 5K #2 – 5 Running Tips for Beginners feat. Laura Crichton from Edinburgh Life – With Kids
- Mom to 5K #3 – How to Choose the Right Running Shoes feat. Mary Jennings from ForgettheGym.ie
- Mom to 5K #4 – Easy Ways to Fuel your Run feat. Rachel Wattson from rachelwattsonfitness.com