February 25th, 2016 by () in Diet Log


Laura says I am officially a runner now so I await delivery of my certificate in the post. I get back and my legs ache for pretty much the rest of the day. My wife helpfully tells me that “if your legs hurt it shows it’s doing some good”. Easy to say from her position of not having been out for a run!

Last week I talked about the importance of getting the clothing right, mainly in order to ensure that I don’t freeze. This week I wanted to touch on the importance of warming up.

The C25K programme includes a five minute warm-up and warm-down at the end of each session and it is difficult to underestimate just how important this stage is. When I last did any significant running I suffered from shin splints which if you haven’t had them you won’t know just how painful they can be. Warming-up can help ensure that issues such as shin splits are avoided, although in this case it is just one of a number of factors.

On one run back home today the following track was played by Midlake called Head Home, which was exactly what I was doing. I think my mp3 player is messing with my head.


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February 18th, 2016 by () in Diet Log


The problem with starting the coach to 5K programme in January in the UK is the weather. It can be variable to say the least.

I started five weeks ago and since then it has been cold and wet and windy. This, of course, is no problem if you are dressed appropriately but I had no idea what that was. I raised my cycling gear and hoped that it would be sufficient. As you can see I look like Reading’s best dressed cat burglar or, perhaps, David Niven in the Pink Panther.


Of course when you fist step outside it can be, how can I put this, bracing, but on the way back I am glowing like a little nuclear power station so I need to find some happy compromise.

Part of the issue is that I don’t want to be spending loads of money on gear I might eventually not use if I don’t continue after the nine weeks. This became an issue for me when I ran shortly after it had rained and found that my trainers were porous. Maybe I’ll need to reevaluate.

So far all the podcasts have been structured as walk, run, walk, run, walk. So when Laura announced that “today we are going to run for 20 minutes” I immediately assumed that I had put on the wrong podcast and grabbed my phone to check but no it was week five, day three. I felt my heart sink but as my personal trainer pointed out “you can do it, it’s just a mental thing” and she was right it was and I spluttered to the end. I’m not sure I would describe it as running exactly but it is faster than walking. Just.


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February 11th, 2016 by () in Diet Log


It’s getting serious now and I need a way of ensuring that I can make it though the extended running periods, or “light jogs” as Laura likes to refer to them.

For me I need a distraction and that is music. When I first started I used specific workout music from a specialist company called Audiofuel who specialise in putting together tracks that you can use for your workouts. Problem was that these either had coaching instructions (which Laura was providing) or were paced for Usain Bolt. From week two I reverted back to listening to my own music.

However, I was still left with the same issue of trying to find music that matched my pace but I have no idea just how many beats per minute (bpm) was right for what I am doing so I abandoned that too and just used the music as a background distraction and not something to pace me.

Over the first few weeks of the podcast, when Laura wanted to say that the run was finished, the music volume lowered and she would tell me that I was “doing great’. However, I found that after a few weeks this became a bit of a Pavlovian response because as soon as the volume lowered I would slow down assuming Laura was going to tell me that it was all over. Not so. In later weeks the volume would lower and Laura would say, in that chirpy Northern lilt, “that’s half way” and my heart would sink. So now I have to retrain myself to not slow when the music quietens.

Sometimes though the music appears to be prophetic, like this time when I was flagging and happened to be listening to Mike & the Mechanic’s Living Years and they told me:

“And if you don’t give up, and don’t give in
You may just be O.K.”

Sound advice.


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February 4th, 2016 by () in Diet Log

So week three and the intensity is rising but it is ok because I have Laura with me as I do my run. No I haven’t found a running mate. Laura is the name of the person that narrates the podcasts I use from the NHS.

There are many podcasts available but I chose the one from the NHS because I figured that they would go out of their way to ensure I didn’t end up in hospital using their services which would be self defeating. With this comes “Laura” a Northern lass who guides and encourages you along the way.

Laura assures me that it is quite natural to feel knackered at this point and when she is running she does such and such. I have no way of validating this and strongly suspect that she was chosen for her comforting voice rather than running prowess.

I find some of Laura’s idioms a bit odd. She regularly tells me that “You’re doing really great” when I would have thought that it would be more natural to say “You are doing really WELL”. I can imagine a committee somewhere in NHS Towers where they argued long into the night over the precise wording that would motivate.

I haven’t checked but I also strongly suspect Laura of cheating. The time allocated for walking between the runs seems suspiciously short compared to the length of the run time and certainly not the length of time quoted.

On the whole though I am glad of the company.


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