Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then two repetitions of 90 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, 3 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking.
I'm not sure I can run for 3 minutes, and sure enough, the first day is tough. It doesn't help that there's a strong head wind. And it's raining. Running along the beach suddenly isn't so appealing.
After all that, my phone runs out of charge and my run fails to record. So I have to repeat it. Which means that this week, I'll do this run four times rather than three.
That doesn't sound like such a bad idea. After all, if 3 minutes is this hard, how on earth am I going to move up to 5?
So I do two runs along the beach, and we drive home from our holiday, back to pavements and dry summer grass. And I do two more runs, and the last one is super-easy, and I realise I was ready for the next week after all.
The app's annoying me. It's not super-reliable: sometimes the trainer's calm voice tells you to stop jogging, but sometimes it forgets, so I have to check my iPhone as I run. Plus these fiddly little runs are starting to bug me.
I'm so excited about all this running that when I get back to my computer, I announce it on Facebook: "I'm up to week 4 of Couch to 5K"! I get a few "Likes!" and a private Facebook message from my friend Jane*. She says,
I'm up to week 3 of couch to 5k too! Loving it! Loving the apps that allow you to use your own music! I will think of you tomorrow when I go for my next run xxxThat's when our virtual running partnership starts. And that's when I realise,
- it's much easier with two. Run with a friend if you can. Or at least with a virtual friend.
- some days will be harder than others. It's windy, it's hot, or it's rainy. You're just tired out for some reason. Don't worry, you haven't lost it. Next time will be better.
- when you're struggling, and the next week looks impossible, don't worry: you're more ready than you realise. Don't slow down. Don't repeat a run. Trust the program.
I'm not loving Couch to 5K at the moment. The adrenaline rush has gone. But I'm determined to stick at this...
How did you find week 3 of Couch to 5K?
* Jane blogs at the excellent foodthatserves.