We are in lockdown, and if you aren’t running a 5K, posting your route on your Instagram Story, and boosting that you ran you 5K in sub 20 minutes, are you really doing lockdown correctly? 

In all seriousness, the country has gone mad for running, but I kinda get it, especially when we are only allowed out of the house for our daily exercise or trip to the supermarket. That one hour outdoors each day is incredible, whether that maybe walking or running, getting fresh air into my lungs and dog watching from afar. But we shouldn’t be feeling guilty for not wanting to go on a run or complete a 5K in less than 20 minutes. A walk is great, walking a 5K is also pretty incredible – but social media has pressurised us into thinking we have to go on a daily run and post our route and time on our story or Twitter or whatever social media platform you use. It sucks, but I have also never been so grateful for social media, the outdoors and my body. 

I started running a year ago, and I still have a very much love hate relationship with running. I first thought I could run a 5K easily, considering I was playing lacrosse at uni and training twice a week – it would be easy, but it wasn’t. The Nike app is great, but my lungs hated me and so did my calves. 

So I downloaded Couch to 5K. I started it in July and have yet to complete it. I stopped on week 4 back in August, and with commuting to London 4 or 5 days a week, and not wanting to go for a run in the dark, running was pushed aside for Yoga and YouTube workouts (Not the Body Coach before anyone asks). Okay, I have done the odd run in between, but just about managing a 2k before thinking ‘fuck this’. 

Lockdown came and I wanted to challenge myself, push myself, but get lost in running or walking for half an hour a day to leave the four walls of my house and my parents behind. So back I went on the Couch to 5k, and I have just completed Week 7, and I am pretty bloody proud of myself. I am running further than either, but that doesn’t mean I am not walking some of the way. I am enjoying being out in the sunshine most mornings, and I kinda like the sweaty feeling after completing a 2k, 3k, 4k or my one 5k last Saturday. 

Couch to 5K has pushed me, and I love the encouragements of the podcast. I feel like I am achieving something that even a couple of months ago I probably couldn’t have done. However, the one thing I have realised is that I don’t enjoy running a whole lot. There are days when I crave a run. To be outside, by myself, and my body is ready to run, and let go of the negativity that I have woken up with it. It’s also a great stress relief. I don’t run everyday, but when I do run and I get into it, I enjoy it. 

I won’t be running a marathon or a half anytime soon, but I’m enjoying the freedom of running, and letting my legs take me places and building up my fitness.

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