I haven’t written an update on my progress with the Watch to 5K program for over a month now. After being bitten by exhaustion from pushing too hard on Week 4, I had not felt like continuing. Or maybe I should say that I wanted to continue, but the motivation had taken a bruising. Knowing that I was headed back to Britain at the beginning of April for my mother’s 90th birthday, I thought that being abroad might spur enthusiasm, especially as my mother has a huge park on her doorstep.

No such luck.

I now find myself in Portugal. My wife was starting with a fitness coach here on Tuesday and I decided to use that happening to put my running shoes back on. I went back to the start of Week 3 of the program. Not a complete restart, but I also did not want to dive back into that difficult Week 4.

Running felt easier here. I don’t know why? Had I learnt from my earlier lessons? Was it running in less familiar surroundings, and not feeling as though I had to prove anything? Certainly before I had been working on the unstated rule that each run had to be a faster and/or further run. I was racing against myself. This time I did not push myself. I just ran at what felt like a smooth, consistent pace.

The result of that?

I felt better at the end. I was not exhausted, but felt as though I had got some running practice in. The distance that I covered was less than when I was running back home, but I was good with that. I am trying to telling myself quality over quantity.

The challenge now?

To keep this up with the hay fever season upon us. Time outside can quickly turn difficult at best, managing itchy eyes and tickling nose. If I am running this can be over quickly, or if I’m lucky, little happens.

I’ll be watching this space!