From couch to 5k – and back to couch ?>

From couch to 5k – and back to couch

My road to triathlon started in September 2015 when I decided to get serious about getting fit.

A week of using a pedometer revealed the sad fact that the recommended 10,000 steps per day was going to take a bit more effort than the occasional walk to the shops. Faced with a choice of walking further or moving faster, I went for the latter.

I’d tried running (or, let’s be honest, jogging) before and failed. The minute the evenings got dark (or wet), my backside stayed well and truly on the couch.

This time, for some reason, everything clicked. I dug out the running shoes I’d bought the year before, downloaded the Couch to 5k app, sorted out a motivational playlist on Spotify and hit the road.

And I loved it. Soon I was looking forward to my runs and enjoying the exercise.

What made a difference this time? Structure was part of it – the c25k program is designed to get you moving in easy stages and you can see your progress week by week. Listening to music also made the runs fun. And thirdly, the buzz I got really made a difference at a time when I was feeling pretty low and still suffering from post-op fatigue.

By the end of November I’d completed the 9 weeks. I hadn’t quite managed 5km but I could run steadily for 30 mins without stopping.

On 5th December I did my first Parkrun. I managed the 5km without stopping to walk – and I wasn’t last! It felt great and I put the slight ache in my hip down to the extra effort I’d made.

Wet Parkrun at Stretford.

The next week I ran 5km in under 35 mins. But in the hours after the run my hip really started to hurt.

With Christmas coming up I decided to give it a rest for a couple of weeks. The pain eased and in early January I went for a short run/walk to see how things went. Not very well was the answer. Again, the pain flared up.

Since then I’ve tried physio, complete rest, more physio and frustratingly I’m still unable to run. Each time I tried (and the last attempt was in February) it flared up more than before. Worse – it began to hurt after walking too.

My problem has been diagnosed as Trochanteric Bursitis – pretty common in older women who suddenly start exercising I’m told! I’m currently having weekly physio (with daily strengthening exercises) with an absolute ban on running and very short walks only. I’m hoping to be able to walk further in a few weeks, but running could be some way off.

So I may have to walk round the 5km final leg of the triathlon – but I will do it somehow.

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