1030466666_32da2c87b5_oLast month, I decided to take up Pilates, and I’ve been very pleased that I’ve managed to stick with it so far. I’ve done another 4 or 5 classes since I last talked about it and have continued to enjoy it, although there have been a couple of moves which have been fairly difficult and have had me a bit confused, including the “Seal”, which includes a fairly comical rocking motion with clapping feet (no one outside the room will ever see me doing it, but see this video for an example!) and the “Swan Dive” which was really hard (again, watch the video rather than see my poor attempts).

So I’ve been talking to a few of my friends about my new found love for pilates, and they agreed with me that it is a great way to get into exercise, but I should try to include some cardio too. I’ve never been one for getting really hot and sweaty, and just throwing myself into these cardio exercises tends to that. But one lady recommended the Couch to 5K to me – it’s an NHS programme that builds you up slowly towards running 5km, which is about 3.1 miles. It’s supposed to take 9 weeks to get you to the level of being able to run the full distance without stopping, but I think it might take me a little bit longer as I’m planning to repeat some of the runs until I’m completely comfortable doing them.

So far, I’ve only completed Week 1 and just started on Week 2, which means moving from doing 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking and repeating it for 20 minutes with a warm up and cool down 5 minute walk, up to 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes walking for 20 minutes, still with the warm up and cool down. I had to get myself some better trainers and a pair of shorts to wear outside since it’s fairly warm at the moment, but it hasn’t actually been too bad and I’ve actually looked forward to getting out for the runs a couple of times! It’s difficult to arrange a time sometimes as the boys are usually around and need me there, so I have to wait for an evening when hubby’s back or at the weekend. You’re supposed to do it 3 times a week with at least one rest day in between, but sometimes I’ve taken 2 or 3 just to fit it in.

I’ve tried a couple of different ways of doing it – the first is the app which allows you to play your own music and get prompts from “Laura” who tells you when to walk and run and encourages you along the way; the other is just to download it from the NHS website and play it on your player. This is still Laura and the same prompts, but includes music chosen by the makers. I find I prefer the last one as the music speeds up when running to keep you motivated, so it’s a bit easier.

I’m looking forward to finishing this week now and starting Week 3, although I’m a bit worried about the 3 minute long sections of running. I may repeat a Week 2 run once though, just to make sure I can do it.

Image courtesy of reb.

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