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The Stages You Go Through In The 8 Weeks Of Couch To 5k...

Done couch to 5k? Or thinking about having a go? These are the stages you'll probably go through along the way...

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1. Pre C25K Euphoria...

Downloaded the "Couch to 5K" app and started this morning...:Lets see if I can run a 5K by Tigers Opening Day!! #LetsDoThis

You've not looked in your cupboard, so you don't know if you even own a pair of trainers or not yet, but, get you, you've downloaded the Couch To 5k App from the App Store, you can practically touch the finishers medal of you first 10k race already!

2. First session doubts...

Week 1 Day 1 of "couch to 5k" Ouch. My leg muscles. #couchto5k #running #thisgirlcan

How the hell am I going to "run" for 60 seconds, and even if I manage it, there's no chance of me recovering in the 2 minute brisk walk afterward to be able to do it again.

3. A big sweaty sense of relief...

Week 1 Day 2 of Couch to 5K completed. Pretty sure I'm crippled. #couchto5k #ouch #nopainnogain #motivated #determined

Thank crap that's over! You managed it just, you ran for a total of about 5 minutes in the space of half an hour, but are just about ready to drop down dead.

4. Wondering how you're going to manage an extra 30 seconds during week 2...

Just done my first run of week 2 from the NHS Couch to 5k programme. 90 seconds is a lot longer than 30, isn't it...

Those 60 second runs in week one feel like 60 minutes, but after just 3 sessions you need to step up to 90 seconds!

You've just got to the point where at the end of the 2 minute recovery you can string two words together between gasping breaths, 90 seconds is going to seriously do you in.

5. Actually it's not that bad, you're still knackered, but still manage it...

I have completed day 3 of week 2 with Change4Life's free Couch to 5k app. Can't believe I've got this far! Roll on week 3, starting Friday!

90 seconds! No problem! And, bonus! Week 3 is 90 seconds as well...

6. ...But with a 3 minute run tagged on the end! Ouch!

I start workout 1, week 3 of Couch to 5K today. I'm gonna have to run for 3 whole minutes at a time! #Wimp #NeverWasARunner #PositiveChange

Taking you completely by surprise as you only bothered to read the first sentence as you set off on your run this week.

Three minutes? Might as well be an hour, there better be someone waiting with oxygen at the end of this for me, or if not, a bloody big piece of cake!

7. Suddenly the five minutes of non-stop running in week 4 looks like it could be achievable...

Week 4, day 2 completed in @Couchto5K. Almost half way there! Can't believe I can now jog for 5 minutes straight. #gettingthere #fitness

You're nearly a month into this. You're no longer completely fighting for breath at the end of it, you're even raring to go as the recovery walks are coming to an end. It's easy street from here onwards!

8. Wait a minute! A 20 minute run, no way am I ready for that...

Couch to 5K, Week 5, day 3. 20 minutes. Holy crap. Also ouch. A lot of ouch.

20 minutes? TWENTY freaking minutes? Without stopping?

Jog on mate!

Week 5 is when it really kicks on, you're dreaming of those 60 second runs you did in week 1.

9. By the time week 6 comes up you're starting to believe anything is possible

Week 6 #Couchto5K Done! I could make the Olympics at this rate.

You're almost there, nearly three quarters of the way through this, you body is fitter and maybe, just maybe you're starting to feel those endorphins flooding you after every run instead of the pain you once felt.

10. Week 7 and you feel you've totally got this

Week 7 @Couchto5K 3rd run done🏃🏃🏃Hurrah! Actually felt like I was "running" rather than "shuffling". Just wish I could go a bit faster.

You possibly even overtook another runner this week, and wondered if they were doing couch to 5k too, like you! You're getting faster and faster and want to go even fast still. You feel like a proper runner now.

11. Week 8... You're a runner...

I can still remember it now, going out for my week 8 run, running non stop for 30 minutes, and totally, TOTALLY, buzzing from it, and ended up carrying on for nearly an hour. Yes, I was about 21 stone, I was wearing a rather baggy t shirt and cargo shorts because I didn't have anything that remotely resembled proper running kit, but I was a runner, I'd done it, and I was addicted!

What happens next...

I did couch to 5k in the Autumn of 2013, that summer I'd decided as a 30 year old that weighed nearly 26 stone I needed to make some changes.

I'd never even heard of couch to 5k until a friend mentioned it to me and told me they'd done it. I downloaded it and gave it a go, never expecting it to take me where it has.

After I "graduated" I moved on to parkrun, weekly, timed, free 5k runs all over the country (and indeed world), for all abilities. Don't think you need to be super fast to take part in these, my first one took me well over half an hour to get round, and I wasn't the last finisher, the parkrun community is really friendly and supportive.

It's now 2016 and I'm over 10 stone lighter and this April I'm taking on the London Marathon, as part of team Slimming World raising money for Cancer Research UK.

I never forget how it all started, and often spot people out running, with their headphones in wondering if they're also just starting out on couch to 5k and will them to love it as much as I did.

If you want to find out a bit more about me and the team of other amazing runners I'm tackling the London Marathon with check out this link.

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