Good friends Clare Gabriel and Rachel Tedesco have just graduated from their Couch to 5k programme and are eagerly awaiting their first parkrun.
Clare tells us their story.
We decided to start the C25k programme last June because we both have very active teenagers who, we felt, were leaving us behind!
I’m an ‘older mum’ and whilst physically fit, I felt my aerobic fitness was not where I wanted it to be. I’m a horse rider and was noticing I was running out of puff during any coached sessions I took part in.
Rachel and I agreed to start the programme during lockdown as exercise was allowed and it was a good way for us to meet up.
My sister, Helena, over in Hampshire and her friend started at the same time as us. We really encouraged each other remotely which was amazing. We also all got huge encouragement from the C25k social media group
We found the programme very doable, really noticing how our fitness improved week on week. Rachel took week three out as she hurt her ankle, I did it, but when she came back we redid weeks two and three. We had no qualms about it and I think we benefited in the end.
Rachel and I have done all our runs together. We’ve found some cracking routes to run round our beautiful village of Lower Broadheath. Then on our Friday run we go to the Pitchcroft Race track.
When we run together, we talk about EVERYTHING! Our work, politics, what we’re making for tea, the kids, menopause, nothing is off limits!
We graduated from the C25k programme on 2April, a very Good Friday! The sense of achievement is massive, we have come so far. We can both comfortably run 5k in 30 minutes now and it feels fantastic!
I had my first riding lesson since March 2020 the other day and the difference was off the scale. I rode for the whole hour without running out of steam. Even my coach noticed. Truly it’s amazing.
What we both do love running as much as anything and what makes us proud is we haven’t missed a single run. Rain, snow and even with head torches in January. We’ve just done it! We run at 7.30am then both can go home and get to our desks for our jobs by 9am.
We’ve both benefitted from our improved fitness.
I want to say that running is for everyone. There is a fantastic community of runners out there. It truly doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, just get a decent pair of trainers and you’re off.
There is no need for flashy running clothes. I run in a pair of 10 year old joggers and a running top I bought at the supermarket (and a fleece when it’s cold). My trainers were a bargain as they were reduced massively because they are fuschia pink. So many get so much from running. It’s so easy to do.
Rachel and I are really excited about being able to do a real parkrun once the events are back with us. We can’t wait to see how we do against others.
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