After a few years of watching me leave the house alone, Cécile has caught the running bug!

Having not run before, she’s not progressing straight to ultras (that will come with time, I’m sure) but instead tarting with the famed Couch to 5K (C25K) program. C25K is well-known for introducing people to running in an accessible way. As much as I love the Lyon Running Club runs, they aren’t the sort of thing that someone who does not run regularly will find fun, and nor are they really intended for true beginners. C25K, on the other hand, makes a point of taking things slow so that a new runner eases into the sport, learns how to manage their pace, breathing, footfall, and cadence, and takes their time reaching out to the 5K mark about two months after starting out.

Each of the C25K sessions are laid out in advance with three sessions per week taking beginners from the couch (not running) to their eventual 5K. This week we got started with Week 1 Day 1 (W1D1) on Tuesday evening, and tonight we did the Week 1 Day 2 (W1D2) session. Week 1 Day 3 will wait for the weekend, and Jamie can come along and try it out, too!


W1D1 consisted of a 5 minute brisk walk for a warmup, and then eight sets of 60 seconds running and 90 seconds walking. We did this down on the banks of the Saone and it was good fun. Cécile’s iPhone had the C25K app running and it told us when to start running and walking, and when to stop. This is good for motivation and good for getting the timing right – there’s no “OK, this is about a minute” thinking, it’s all exact.


W1D2 is the same run (warm up, run, walk) but we headed out a little later this time. It was a little colder but not totally uncomfortably so – I just added a pair of gloves and I was fine. We started out the warm up on the bridge across the Rhone then dropped down onto the berges. It was up the river for four of the sets, then back again with another river crossing and a final push into the city center – and we’re done.

It’s been a long time since I started running but watching Cécile get started is humbling. I am so proud of her making the effort and even though it is new, pushing through to finish the set – she’s tougher than she appears.

Distance: 5.3km (2.7km + 2.6km)

Elevation: 18m (9m + 9m)

Time: 53:52 (27:48 + 26:04)

Strava + Strava


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