I’m one week away from my first 10K, and I’m a little nervous. But I’m sure I’ll be okay. I’ve been following a training plan; I’m prepared and ready.
When I completed NHS England’s Couch to 5K plan back in December, I felt a little lost. What next? I asked myself. I had made rapid progress, and then it felt like I had reached a plateau. Or a brick wall. In reality, I probably spent a week or two consolidating what I had accomplished, going from a non-runner in October, to someone able to run for 30 minutes at a time by December.
But I was impatient for more. So I scoured the internet and app stores looking for a similar, equally magical couch to 10K programme. I found the NHS podcasts for C25K ‘graduates’. These podcasts offer a step up from C25K, with ‘stepping stone’, interval, and stamina sessions. I found them useful, but no replacement for the weekly, structured training plan that I had become dependent on. I tried a few different apps out. But was dissatisfied. I looked at a number of different training plans available online, but didn’t really know what I was looking at, or for.
Then I found Health Unlocked; a social network community offering health-related forums. One of the forums, Bridge to 10K is for graduates of C25K. It is here that I found ’10 is the magic Number’ the plan that I’ve been following for the past seven weeks. To make sure extra sure that I would follow the plan, I also signed up for a 10K race.
The 10K plan has suited me perfectly. It’s simple. It avoids jargon. It sets out one short, speed session, one 5K and one long run each week. The plan also includes strength training exercises to follow each week. It’s flexible, and I’ve been able to swap sessions around. You can choose to do the sessions either as distance, or as timed sessions – whatever suits the individual runner best. A nice aspect of the plan is the way that it is supported by the online community. The genius behind the plan, known as Ju-ju, posts weekly videos and updates. Runners can post to the forum sharing their experiences, and supporting each other. It has got me running 10K straight (albeit a little early – because I got carried away!)
And now I have just one week left to crunch time! For this week’s running, I did a 4K tempo run (first attempt at tempo – not entirely sure that I got it right), a lovely 10K run (see here) and a 5K parkrun (beautiful sunny morning and a new PB). Next week I’ll do some sort of speed session on Tuesday, a slow and easy 5K on Thursday, and the BIG DAY on Sunday.
Wish me luck!