Tag Archives: C25K

He’s not the only one…


Alex at the Plough (Furrow)
Originally uploaded by L.B

10 days in to my fitness programme (see the tab at the top of this blog) and the benefits are showing.

Today I messed up the stopwatch and ended up doing a 90 second run… yeah, not great, but up until 2 days ago I was only doing 45 seconds. To top it off me and EJR did the whole 5K in 60 second runs and 90 second walks – instead of the 20 minutes suggested in the C25K programme. We just felt up for it…. and even put in a full power sprint down the last 100m.

To add to this improvement in my general fitness I have also reduced my body fat percentage by 1.2% closer to the desired number (now only 0.9% too high) and lost 2.5kg.

The weight isn’t as important as the BMI, as that’s what I’m aiming for, as height, build etc do not allow for an ideal weight alone… Body fat is the key thing. Let’s face it, a weight lifter is going to be over weight for his height if you look at the old “ideal weight for height” charts, but his body fat percentage would most likely be fine.

Most importantly though, I am feeling better for it… and the green tea is really helping too!

Note: Thanks AH for the BMI pointer.


Fitness part 2… we start again!

Today I was joined by E.J on my run. We’ve decided to (try) and do the C25K together – (or at least a programme based on the C25K). Misery loves company, after all!!

We decided on a slightly different route covering 5km, with a good 5 minute walk to get to and from the start point (to warm up). Admittedly the C25K programme says only do 20 minutes at the start, but we can’t reduce the route as it would mean crossing a lake…

As I am new to this (and have the underlying lung issue), we added an extra week to the begining of the 9 week C25K programme. We differ from the program by always covering 5km…and the extra start week…

We took our 5 minute brisk warm up walk to the start point, and then started on the route. We did 45 seconds of a reasonable paced jog, followed by 90 seconds of walking. This process was kept up for the full route. We were originally going to do a 30 second / 90 second split, but as timing would be awkward we decided on a jog pace count based on 4 steps to 1 count. 30 steps worked out as 45 seconds – surprisingly accurately at that.

The 90 second walks were timed on a wrist watch. Oddly the walking seemed to be shorter than the running…..

A week ago the both of us would never have thought that we could make the 5km, but we did well. We were so impressed at our achievement that we have started to think about running goals.

You know… next years Half Marathon doesn’t seem like a big step… and maybe a full marathon the year after. It would be great to be able to say I have run the London Marathon… but we’ll see.


Time to get fit and less fat

About 10 years ago I was ill and managed to end up with scarred lungs. The easiest way to explain this is if you imagine a big barrel with a tap half way up it. The barrel can hold 100 litres of water, but because the tap is halfway up, only 50 litres of that water can be used.

I have a large lung capacity, but I can’t use all the air they hold, so I get out of breath quite quickly. The thing is, once I’ve run out of breath and had a minute or so’s break, I’m ready to go again. If I get a jogging pace just right, then I can keep going, as I can take in enough fresh air….but if I up the pace just a little I end up gasping in seconds as I can’t pull the O2 in fast enough.

It is crazy – I can load up a back pack with several kilo’s of load, bung on some old boots and walk mile after mile after mile. If I take off the back pack, put on some trainers and try to run 50 metres, I collapse! On top of the lung issue I have Carpal Tunnel issues, so I had to change jobs from very physical work to more office based and light engineering duties.

All of this has lead to me adding on a bit of padding….which hasn’t really helped with the breathlessness!!!! Something needs to be done!

So…. (If you’re still with me) I decided to do something about it…. Change my diet (I don’t need to eat like I used too, being in a less physical role), so I am cutting down on all the junk I used to be able to burn off. That deals with one side of the issue.

I have also embarked on the “Couch to 5K” (C25K) running programme. I’ve always liked running, but since the lung issue I haven’t been able to, so I just let it go. I don’t want to be this out of breath Dad who can’t enjoy his son, so I am training myself up.

I did try just going out and running a few months ago, but after less than 20 metres I was fit to pass out. My pace was too much for what O2 my lungs could drag out…. It really knocked me back. At a slower pace I lasted longer, but I couldn’t keep a slow pace…. and even a medium pace knocked me out after a few minutes…… I gave up, obviously running wasn’t for me….

football Ali (48)

I then discovered a running programme for the totally unfit or those recovering from injury…. The “Couch to 5K programme”.

The C25K takes someone who can’t run 50 metres without feeling like they are about to die (me) and over 9 weeks has them running 5 kilometres.

It’s a gradual build up, based on going out for a certain amount of time/distance and walking for so many seconds, then jogging for so many seconds.

Week one is meant to be spilt into 3 days at 20 minutes a time. After a warm up (brisk 5 minute walk), you spend 60 seconds jogging, then 90 seconds walking….and so on.

I didn’t embark on this straight away due to my health – and also the route I had in mind was more than 20 minutes. I adjusted the C25K by adding another week to the start. 30 seconds jog and 90 seconds walk…. over 3 miles.

I did my first stint of this last night and actually found it easier than I thought. I think I could go straight into the 60 second run / 90 second walk – but I’ll do two more of my reduced journeys before I go that far – It’s all about routine, and if I push myself too hard to soon I’ll end up not enjoying it and giving up (probably). As it was, the first stint was very enjoyable, and a nice gentle start.

I’m off to go and get some green tea now – It boosts energy in a gentler way than caffeine and has actually been proven to better for you than just water. It also shifts up your metabolism so you burn more fat. In fact by just swapping out coffee for green tea research showed a 10lb weight loss could be achieved over a year – not a great amount really…but this is just from drinking the tea with no added exercise.

Coffee is actually bad for weight loss, as it puts the body into a “flight or fight” set up. Because of this, the body holds onto the fat reserves ready for this fight or flight action. Lifehacker Green Tea link.

All of this so I can enjoy my life and family for longer, for better.


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