By Get Active
We are following the stories of some of the thousands of people who have been getting active with the free Couch to 5k app.
London Sport took the opportunity to catch up with Tameena, who has recently graduated from the Couch to 5k programme. Tameena has shared with us her unique journey on getting active again.
Why did you begin using the Couch to 5K app?
At the end of March, quite soon after we went into “lockdown”, I was furloughed and really, I was pretty gutted about it. The first month I spent a lot of my time watching Netflix, reading books or sleeping. Ramadan was about to start, and I knew I wanted to be in a better place physically and spiritually, and because I could no longer go to the gym and play cricket and having tried to run in the past and failed, now seemed the perfect time to restart and focus on my goal to run 5k and be healthy.
How did you find the programme? Was it useful?
I really enjoyed the programme and found myself to be quite disciplined. I wanted a healthy Ramadan so started on the first day of fasting and followed it through. I ran every other day at 2am before having breakfast around 3am! Some would say I am bonkers running at that time, but I felt safe and I like doing things on my own terms. The app is very straightforward – it’s weird to say trust an app, but you just do, and it works!
What did you like about the programme?
I loved the coaches that you have speaking to you on the app. I found them very motivating and felt like the coaches were with you constantly on the journey, especially during the last-minute countdown. There was a sense of empathy and connection with the coaches, like they knew exactly how you felt. The online community was also great. On the Facebook page there is no negativity, everyone is supportive, empowering one another and sharing their own positive stories. Its great to see, and you feel like you have everyone cheering you on.
What difference did it make to your physical/mental health?
Physically I feel 100% better, but mentally is where I saw the main differences. The programme has made me realise I am so much more resilient, tougher and stronger than what I give myself credit for. In week 5, there was a slight jump, but I told myself I could do it and with the help of the coaches and the can-do attitude, I then did it! On week 9, I just carried on and managed to hit the 5k. It’s made me feel a lot calmer, which is needed with the current situation and being put on furlough. Since starting the couch to 5k I feel more at peace, little things that normally stress me out don’t as much anymore. Strange to say, now when I see people running, I get jealous of them and I never thought I would be that person!
Are you still using it? Do you think you’ll continue at the end of the nine weeks?
I’ve gone from not being able to run for 60 seconds to running non-stop doing a 5k in 42minutes. I did it to get fit and healthy and I want to continue doing so. I have a competitive streak in me and so now I want to take it more seriously. I bought a Garmin watch towards the end of the programme and I am now eager to improve my time – hopefully down to 30mins. After that I would like to do a 10k and who knows maybe a marathon one day.
What would you say to other people thinking about beginning to run? Any advice?
Just get out and do it. If you downloaded the app the intention is already there. Just step out the door, that’s the hardest battle. The feeling of accomplishing something outweighs any negative thoughts! Don’t get hung about pace or people watching as its your own journey and you can’t fail. No run is a failure, the fact you’re getting off the couch is the achievement. I have started using the Nike phrase “just do it”. What is the worst that can happen?