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In which your humble correspondent investigates this “Fitness” malarkey.

Last year, as you may recall, I attempted to join a gym. After a suprisingly positive start, I attempted to give them money. They said they were restructing their prices, and would contact me later with how much it would cost. Then a couple of weeks later they invited me for another trial day so they could give me the options, then I failed to reschedule this second attempt. Then that appeared to be lucky, as I was suddenly and unexpectedly unemployed, and couldn’t afford the gym anyway.

Soon after that I was employed again, but spending three hours a day on commuting was wiping out my brain, plus work said they’d give us gym memberships. Then I moved house, discovered that the gym between me and work is quite expensive without someone subsidising it (and work are still working on that).

And now it’s over eight months since I went to the gym, the olympics have started, the sun is shining, and suddenly a number of my friends have come over all fitness-minded. So I decided to do something that doesn’t require a gym, is designed for unfit morons, and comes with half a dozen iPhone apps to add geekery to my attempt:

Couch to 5k.

C25k was invented in 1996 by software developer and runner Josh Clark. It’s a 9 week program of 3 runs a week, building up from close to zero to a 5k run. It’s designed to be really easy to follow, in friendly language, and to seem attainable from the start. So this morning when I accidentally woke up at 6:30, I decided that the world was telling me to go for a run. I’m using Active.com’s C25k app, which helpfully features iPod integration (for the all important running tunes) and spoken guides to when to run and stop running, as well as information on how far you’ve come and how fast you’re going. The C25k programme starts off alternating between walking and jogging every couple of minutes.

Subideally, I’ve picked up a horrible cough in the last few days, so I’m going to blame that – and not my complete lack of fitness – for the reason I failed halfway though. I’m even somewhat not joking. I was alternating the joking and the walking fine for the first half or so, but then it started to aggravate the cough, and I came spluttering and retching to a stop, which wasn’t great for my flow. I walked back, ignoring the “Jog now!” directions and listening to the “Brisk walk!” ones. So much for attainable.

Still, never give up, never surrender. I’ll try it again in a couple of days, see if I can get past day one…

1 comment
  1. I can personally vouch for Couch to 5k.

    Having not done any running for X years, I started running per the schedule at the start of February and did the Sport Mile 3 mile (just shy of 5k) in March.

    Keep at it, my very first run I managed about 2.5k before dying. The amazing thing is that once you have built up a base of fitness it takes a while to go again. After the Sport Mile I didn’t run for a month, cursed myself for letting the training go to waste, but when I ran again I was able to do 5k fairly easily (albeit slower).

    My recommendation is to use an online tracking tool, that has some social integration. I use Endomondo ( this was my first run http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/36790883 ) The fact that there might be friends online who can see my failure and success spurred me on. You can also see the improvements you make, with personal bests. The numerical geek in my likes the numbers 🙂

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