A few months ago I was faced with the dilema of how to add exercise to my daily routine. I was missing my cycle to work and things were getting squidgy! I turned to the convenience of the Gym, my refuge for exercise in the past, but £42 a month just wasn’t affordable, by a long stretch.
Spring was springing and my trainers were beaming shiny, white rays at me from the wardrobe. I knew I had to face my lifelong fear of running and hit the pavement. I had horrible flash backs to secondary school cross country; muddy, smelly and utterly impossible.
My PE teacher’s threats to chase me with an axe were surprisingly unhelpful at the time. So I turned to my trusty iPhone and came across a couch to 5K coaching plan called Get Running.
A nine week schedule of runs is laid out before you, combining walking and running to gradually build up your endurance to a full 30 minute run in week 9. During the early weeks a 1 minute run felt tough and I nervously looked ahead to a non-stop 8 minute run in week 5. Of course, by the time it came around I was marginally fitter, and it was no trouble.
The app reassuringly tells you when to walk and run, how long you have left, when to turn around and head home and when to cool down. I found myself not wanting to let my new app friend down and stuck to her schedule rigorously. The one thing the app doesn’t do is track stats, like distance or pace, so I used Nike+ Running in the background to record those.
Having now completed the full course, I can’t tell you the difference it’s made. I’ve trimmed down a few (7!) pounds and feel a lot stronger in my core, which has been good for balance and posture. Exercising my lungs has also helped the mild bouts of asthma I was susceptible to.
Obviously I highly, highly recommend this app, especially for people who haven’t done regular exercise for a while, want to feel more energetic, and do it on a budget. Did I mention it’s only £1.99?
Mr Moyse, and his axe, would be so proud!