7QTs: Jogging for Beginners

comes Jogging for beginnersI was never a runner. It’s hard to believe I am now, but I have just finished a Couch to 5k (C25k) plan, and can run for a full 30 minutes! This is the second time I have done this plan. (My first time was a few years ago, before my wedding, but I didn’t keep it up.) Jogging has three main attractions- it’s free, all you need to get started is a pair of runners, and it gets results! I figured it was the best way to get back into shape after having a baby- I could do it with baby in tow, at a convenient time and with minimal expense. So I started again…. Here are seven tips I have learned along the way:

  1. NHS Choices Couch to 5k

    My couck 2 5k programme

    Find a good Couch 2 5k programme You can find them online, on podcasts, apps, and in books and magazines… I used the NHS Couch 2 5k programme, which consisted of 9 weeks worth of podcasts. Laura, the narrator, told me when to walk and when to run, as well as giving tips and motivation.

As well as listening to the podcasts, I would use an app like Map My Run or Endomondo to track my progress. This is a real motivator as you can see how many calories you burn after each work out and see your distance increasing as the weeks go on.

  1. It’s just a light jog C25k programmes usually start with interval training- walking for a bit, then jogging for a bit. The girl on my podcast often said, “Remember, its just a light jog”. I found this really helpful to remember as it took the pressure off.
  1. Route It’s good to vary the route. This comes naturally as the weeks go by and you are running further. If you are running on a treadmill, why not run outside? If you are already running outside, why not try a lap of the park instead of sticking to the pavement. Sometimes I go for a short drive and run somewhere beautiful, like a nature park or the beach. Changing the scenery mixes things up. Variety is the spice of life, right?
  1. My running buddy

    Equipment The first time I did a C25k programme, I knew by week 4 – 5 that I was going to stick with the programme, so I invested in some trainers, fitted at a specialist running shop. This made the word of difference to my feet.

The second time I started the C25k, I would bring baby T along with me. I didn’t need a special buggy for the first few weeks as the running distance was short and I was slow… again, when I knew I would stick it out, I bought a second hand jogger buggy online.

  1. Take a break I began to enjoy running so much I wanted to run consecutive days. However, it is really important to give your muscles a rest and chance to recover, and avoid injury. Why not do something else with that energy? Go for a walk, or a swim…
  1. Prayer Initially, I started praying when I was looking up a big hill, praying a decade of the rosary to get me to the top! Towards the end of the C25k, I found that jogging was a good way to incorporate prayer into my routine. Now, I often pray a whole rosary during my jog. And I offer up any suffering! Its also a good way just to get some head space and think about any ideas / problems or figure out what’s for dinner!
  1. Believe in yourself I am not a natural-born runner. I will never forget the time I ran for two minutes for the first time and looked back on the distance I had covered. I had a real sense of achievement! C25k programmes are designed to build you up gradually, minute by minute, not drop you in the deep end with a 30 minute run. I trusted in the programme and believed in myself. If I had a bad run, I wouldn’t beat myself up- a bad run is better than no run. If I didn’t feel ready to move on to the next week, I would repeat the week. By recognising your progress and believing in yourself, you can do it!

I finished the Couch 2 5k plan this week and I have already set myself a new goal- a 10k run in two months. Watch this space!

Would you like to take up jogging, but have a question? Or, are you a already a runner and have a comment or tip? I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks to Kelly from This Aint the Lyceum for hosting 7 Quick Takes. For more quick takes, head on over there!

A 1 Year Old’s Schedule: Eat, Sleep, Play, Repeat

eat sleep play repeat sample schedule 12 month 1 year old talking about family blogEver wondered what a one year old does all day? Here’s a typical day for Teresa. She’s just turned 12 months old and has always had a baby-led schedule!

7:30        I wake up, usually in my cot, ready to start the day

8              Breakfast time talking about familyDaddy gives me milk while he has his breakfast. I nibble his toast, Weetabix or fruit too, depending on how hungry I am. Then Mummy changes me and dresses me for the day

10           If the weather is good, we sometimes walk to Mass. I fall asleep in my pram. Otherwise, we play at home. I am good at independent play in the mornings. I also like to crawl about, pull myself onto my feet and flick through some of my favourite books. This is when Mummy gets jobs done, like tidying up, doing the laundry and sometimes cooking the dinner in advance, if she’s really organised!

11           Milk time again! I often have a little snack too, especially if I didn’t eat much at breakfast.

11:30     If we stayed home, I tend to have a nap now, and wake up just in time for lunch! If I have already had a nap, I play play play!

1              Lunchtime! Mummy sings grace, which makes me smile. Sometimes I put my hands together. I am a pescatarian, which means I eat fish but I don’t eat meat, just like my Mummy. Now that I have 7 teeth, I usually have what she’s having; salmon, broccoli and cous-cous, Spanish omelette, vegetables…. I like to be able to feed myself, so finger food is the best! I have a little drink of water with my lunch, and sip it throughout the afternoon. I like to have fruit for dessert too. My favourite fruit are blueberries, grapes and apple slices. They make good snacks too.

2              We are often out and about in the afternoon. Sometimes we run errands, and sometimes we meet Daddy during his lunch break. It is nice to see him during the day, and sometimes he shares a little bit of his lunch with me!

3:30        Nap time again! I sometimes nap in my pram, but prefer to nap in Mummy’s bed. She is studying and has a lot of books to read, so I snuggle next to her.

annabel karmel sweetcorn fritter talking about family blog5:30        Dinner time. I eat what Mummy and Daddy are eating… tuna pasta (I like a bit of garlic bread too!), lentils, fish fingers, vegetables and a few chips. My new favourite food is Annabel Karmel’s sweetcorn fritters. After dinner, we say our prayers together.

6:30        I play with Daddy. He is so much fun! We build blocks, roll a ball back and forth, go through my activity book, ride on my pink horse. We also do walking practise! I can’t wait to get moving on my own! I usually have a bath in the evening too.

7:30        I have my last milk feed of the day. I have been drinking cow’s milk for a month and I love it! I am usually in my pyjamas at this stage. If I have lots of energy, I play a bit longer and sometimes have an extra drop of milk

8              It’s almost bed time. Recently, Daddy has been reading me bedtime stories. I like to help by turning the pages.

8:45        Off to the land of nod. I dream about the adventures tomorrow will bring!