Monday, June 09, 2014

My 9 Week Journey to 5K: Week 1, Day 1

Covered 3km on my first day with a mixture of brisk-walking and running

One of the fondest memories I have of Secondary School is of a spectacular race I ran. A little bit of background: Wesley College Ibadan was one of those few secondary schools in Ibadan that celebrated academic and athletic prowess over 'coolness' and 'pedigree' I had quite a field day in my three years there.

Anyways, back to the race I was telling you about. I was placed in second leg for the 4*100 on our home tracks, and nearly the entire school‎ had turned out for the race. I never liked to start the races, or finish them - so I was very much at home in the second or third leg.

For some reason, our starter missed it - and I got the baton last of all the contestants in my starting position. And then something remarkable happened. I remember clearly thinking to myself: ‎I can catch up with these guys, and I can be the star of this race. I must have been 10 meters behind the guy closest to me at this point.

It was one of those moments they call djam karet, the hour that stretches. I like to think I remember every step, every swing of my arm, every bead of sweat that dropped to the ground, and the screams and adulation of the crowd as they spilled onto the tracks... slowly, surely, I caught up with the competition - and in the last 20 meters - I began to pull ahead of them.

Trust me to show off... In one of my proudest moves ever, I looked back over my shoulders at the competition as I lengthened the gap and handed the baton to my teammate for the third leg...

I won my leg...‎but we lost the race. The one or two seconds I lost showing off made all the difference - as the race was so close that I continue to mentally dispute the final results to today.

Fast-forward eight years and I, the wannabe Justin Gatlin, have become a couch potato.

That's me!!!

I have added 15kg in the past ‎eight months, look for striped shirts that down-play my rapidly-bulking frame every morning, and pant when I run up the stairs - no thanks to a desk job, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, and the worst eating habits known to man e.g. waking at 1am to drink a Coke!..

‎All that has to change.

I want to keep some of the weight because the added bulk makes me feel better and look a tad older than I really am, but I desperately need to regain the fitness of yore. And after months of research and weeks of swinging between cycling and running, I have decided to return to my first love.

Today I started a 9week journey to 5k...following the plan available here at the NHS website. It's really easy to adopt, with podcasts that contain voice prompts and really energizing music...

The plan for the first week starts with a 5 minutes brisk walk, proceeds to eight 60‎ seconds runs interspersed with 90 seconds brisk walks, and ends with a 5 minutes brisk walk.

Frankly, it wasn't easy...I ended up with aches in more muscles than I even knew I had before the run, and I flat-out skipped two runs in-between (no 5 and no 7) but I ended on a high note, and as I write this I'm positive I can see this 9-week challenge through. After all, that's what I do...

I win.



  1. Dude, are you using endomondo? It's a good app to track your progress.

    1. Yeah definitely DKB. I got a slew of apps... Runtastic, Endomondo, MapMyRun, plus my trusty old pedometer :)

      One day when I grow up, I'll be running effortless 5ks like you :)

  2. I need this too