* Just click here and let us know where you're up to and how you're finding it!
* And no, you don't need a Smartphone - a watch and this program will do.
* Next week, I'd like to start my jogging diary, as promised here (as long as my knees are still holding up... :) ).
*In the meantime, here are some hints and tips from friends who've gone before.
- One tip is to keep stretching afterwards. Even if you don't need it to prevent soreness, it still prevents injuries and back issues. I've noticed my hamstrings are tighter than they have ever been and it's just the running so I need to just keep working at stretching them.
- Tanya and I found signing up for a fun run very motivating to train for a longer distance.
- Having a friend to run with is probably the main reason I've kept going regularly.
- I would emphasise the importance of moving up levels despite it being hard. It's the main way you see improvement, and your body can actually cope, even if your head thinks it can't.
- In terms of pace/speed: if you are getting way too breathless, slow right right down, even if it's slower than walking pace. As long as you keep jogging you are challenging your body and will see improvement. You can always work on getting faster later. The rest in between runs helps.
- Runs after very little sleep are harder but manageable. Early nights make for an easier run : ) Jess and I both notice how much harder the run is if we've had too many late nights.
- It really is a luxury having someone to keep you getting up and going consistently. I think encourage people to find a friend, if possible, and begin it together like we did. Not only does it help physically but can be wonderful bonding experience.
- You'll be surprised that you can do it if you just keep going.
- "Hard but not too hard": that phrase sums up my whole experience. I've found it quite addictive, setting myself a difficult challenge and then finding I can actually do it.
- I've also found Jess' advice helpful - to "trust the program" when feeling scared the next increase would be too hard. There were times when I really wouldn't have given the next challenge a go had that not been ringing in my ears.
- Stick to the program, especially in those moments when you think you can't move to the next step. When I paused and re-did a step, I realised I was actually ready for more.
- If you can, run somewhere beautiful - it helps a lot! The best course is not too hilly, with gentle curves.
- Put something boppy on your MP3 player (if you have one). It will make you feel more energetic, and it'll be a lot more fun.
- I've been sidelined with a sore knee for the last few weeks, probably because I took a week off and then jumped straight into my first 20 minute run. Here's what I learned:
- get a decent pair of running shoes
- do a set of stretches after you run (it helps prevent muscle tightening and injury)
- if you take a break (e.g. due to illness) you might want to go back a few steps
- if your knees start to get sore, don't push through it: rest and ease back into running s-l-o-w-l-y
- seek professional help if needed.
- My daughter's self-defence teacher told her: Stay safe. Run with just one ear-bud in, so you can hear what's happening around you. Don't run in a place or at times that are too isolated.
Three final thoughts -
- Jogging is FUN! Who knew? Exhilarating, energising, and a great work-out.
- I'd never done more than a minute's jogging before. I was astonished to discover how capable my body is. You can do it!
- The program works! I feel like Master Yoda: "Trust - the - program."
Don't forget to let us know if you're joining in.