5X50: A team member’s first week
Mark, my friend and former colleague at the Herald (he’s still there writing away, I’m not!), was looking for a way to kickstart a training build-up to June’s Glasgow MHFS Men’s 10k. Mark has run a few 10ks before but not for a while and he would not claim to be a regular runner (yes, I do have friends who are not regular exercisers!). I suggested he might like to join my FionaOutdoors Does 5×50 team.
Here’s what Mark has written after his first eight days of the 5×50 Challenge 2015.
Mark starts the 5×50
When I heard FionaOutdoors talking about the 5×50 Challenge, it struck me as just the kind of thing for someone like me, who is far from naturally athletic and will often let regular exercise slip. What I liked about the idea is that, although you commit to 30 minutes of exercise every day for nearly two months, you can incorporate all kinds from the modest to the more ambitious.
And as soon as I started looking into the challenge a little more, I realised that I was already a little bit of the way there because walking is included and I already walk to work at least two or three times a week. To that extent, the 5×50 Challenge was a little bit comforting, but it was also cajoling as well. What would I fill the other days with?
On Day One, I got out the cross-trainer, wrote my name in the dust on it, and got going, and what a good way it was to start. I put on some music and adjusted the pace according to the rhythm of the music and, quite quickly, I was enjoying myself. The cross-trainer is also a good way to ease your legs back into exercise, so I used it on Day Two as well.
I was keen to introduce more challenging exercise, but I also knew that if I did it too fast I would be in danger of putting myself off the process, so for the next two or three days I walked into work, which was half an hour there and half an hour back.
I did notice that this was an hour a day rather than the suggested half an hour so, as someone who’s always looking for a shortcut, I emailed Fiona asking if I could carry over 30 minutes to the following day. I got a firm email back telling me it was against the rules. Fair enough.
By the end of the week, I was ready to introduce something a bit faster, but was aware of Fiona’s advice in the past that a good way to reintroduce running is to mix it with walking. So I got out the trainers and did 30 minutes along Ayr beach, staggering three or four minutes walking with three or four minutes running.
The plan for this week is to have a walking or cross-trainer day then a running day and back to walking or cross-trainer and so on.
This means that by the end of the first week I had relatively painlessly met the target of 30 minutes a day. The last day of the first week was a pleasant 40 minute walk down the valley from my house with the dog.
The spring sun was out, the lambs were noisy and the wild garlic in the forest was making me hungry – so it was back for something a little bit bad for lunch. I’d done 30 minutes of exercise every day for a week. I’d earned it.
How is everyone else doing with their 5×50 Challenge 2015?