You may already know, I’ve been in a battle with my menopause middle. Last year when it became clear I couldn’t shift the flab with my usual gym classes I began swimming. Up to that point, I had not swum regularly in decades due to cost. However, now that the children are both in school full time I was able to change my gym membership to off-peak which gave access to the pool. My stamina began to improve, my arms began to tone-up but there was little change to my tummy. Hubby insisted that running was the way forward. I didn’t relent until I saw the result he achieved. I’m not a ‘runner’ but Couch to 5K got me into the groove.


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Worry less run more. Check out my instastories to find out how I got on today. It was my last run for week 8, Couch to 5K

A post shared by Maria Tumolo 🇹🇹🇬🇧 (@msxpat) on

Using the Couch to 5K App


They say that the ‘BBC Get Inspired and Public Health England’s One You campaign will get you off the couch and running in just nine weeks.’ Simply download the app to your mobile, select your ‘coach’ from the celebrity line up; Sarah Millican, Radio DJ Jo Whiley, 13-time Olympic and World Championship gold medallist Michael Johnson and comedian and actor Sanjeev Kohli

Then, off you go. Your chosen coach will guide you through your 3 times weekly run for nine weeks.


My Thoughts

It’s clear that the Couch to 5K programme was well thought out. If could make me run for 30 mins non-stops, it’s just short of being a miracle worker. The weeks’ routine was built up gradually. I was able to see the progress I was making and feel motivated.

My coach of choice was Michael Johnson. Johnson’s tone set me at ease and gave me confidence to carry one.

The Results

I didn’t realise how much weight I had gained until I started shedding them. After the 9 weeks, I had lost inches on my waist and chest.11 weeks later, 11 weeks later and I am closer to be a firm size UK16 again.

Learning how to  run could not have come at a better time. Many countries are in lock-down due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing is strongly encouraged. Running has allowed me to see more of my local parks. I’m improving my fitness and emotionally I feel good. Naturally, Hubby is smug with his ‘I told you so’ but it’s OK. He was right. Albeit, I haven’t completed 5K yet. Most days I do roughly 3.5K  My aim is to build endurance then, think about speed. 


My Top Tips

Finally, things you will need to get started:

  • Fit for purpose running shoes
  • Water
  • Sun Protection (especially if you are running between hours of 11 am and 3pm)
  • Music (optional but the trick is to find tunes what will get you moving)

I didn’t mention running clothes because sometimes you simply need to start. Once you’ve begun you can figure out what works best for you in in terms of apparel and gear. I’m still figuring things out. For example, it took about 6 weeks for me to find music I liked best for running. As it turns out, 80’s pop and 90’s rock are my thing perhaps because they reminds me of my youth.

I’ve also worked out that outdoor running suits me best.  I like the natural  flow of a path rather than the monotony of the treadmill which as it happens is working out better for me under the current restrictions. Remember; be sure to check with your GP before starting any big change to your health regime.

NB: Rest is just as important as exercise. Rest in between runs; meaning rest for a day. When you have built up your strength and endurance you can alter your regime accordingly.


Do you run? Are you considering running for exercise. I would love to hear from you. Comment below and you can follow me on Instagram to see how I get on with my lock-down keep fit regime


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