Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then alternate 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.
I'm no jogger (dodgy knees, not athletic enough, walking is for me). Yet here I am, jogging, feet thudding through the parkland near our house.
Not sure what brought this on! A hand-me-down iPhone from my mum? An article about apps like Couch to 5K? The slow-burning realisation that, when I break briefly into a run during my walks, I actually enjoy it?
Mostly, it's because I made just one resolution for 2013: to get more exercise. I spent 2012 in front of the computer - at least that's how it felt - and I'm fed up with that well-padded, lethargic, energy-less me. So here I am, jogging.
I'm surprised to find that it's fun. It's hard, yes. A whole minute! And then another one! And then another! It doesn't sound like much, but my legs and lungs aren't used to this, and they're soon complaining.
But I get home, and I'm hot and puffed, and I sit next to my husband - so far the trajectory of this has been 1K to couch, not couch to 5K - and I'm smiling from ear to ear. All those promised endorphins have kicked in and I'm exhilarated and energised.
I learn a few things this first week:
- don't jog in 40 degree heat. Yup, I tried it. And came as close to heat stroke as I never want to be again.
- it's not a good idea to run on a full stomach. Eat breakfast, then wait an hour, then jog. Or jog first. Otherwise you'll be sluggish and slow.
- boppy music makes a great jogging companion. It puts a spring in your step. Later on, I'll find I can listen to slower music; but right now, I need the bop.
- the occasional stitch in the side is to be expected. They go away soon. Or at least they did for me.