How long until I see results?

Hey everyone image

I've started running this week. So far I've done two days of the Couch to 5k and loving it! Finding it kinda difficult, because I've never done running before, but still enjoying it!

I was wondering how long it may be until I see results in both my fitness and my body? Obviously it won't be instant, I know this! But should I expect to notice in weeks, months etc?

Bit of info, I'm a 23 year old female, 5'5 tall, weigh about 9.5 stone. I intend to run 3 times a week following the couch to 5 k plan, and also a cycle or swim session on weekends. I'd like to lose just a few pounds, less than 10 probably. Not "losing weight" really, just want to firm up a bit!

I'm also doing the 5k race for life in July and hoping to be able to run the whole thing!


  • I used the couch to 5k to get into running for the same reasons as you...I remember the first 3 weeks were tough but after that  and it doesn't seem like as much a jump in difficulty each week. It also gets a lot easier and more enjoyable with less stopping and starting image

    If youre combining it with other exercise on weekends it shouldnt be long at all until you see and feel the results! Give it maybe a month, less if your eating healthily. July is plenty of time to train up for your race, and if you stick to the 5k plan you'll easily be able to run the whole thing!

  • I'm following the same plan, albeit quite loosely. I'm in my 7th week, I found the first 2 or 3 weeks a struggle and didn't feel any improvement. However during that third week I did one longer run that wasn't on the plan just to see how I coped and after 1.5 miles I just felt a bit of a second wind and managed to complete 5k but with 3-4 walking breaks. It was overdoing it to be strict but I had no adverse symptoms from doing so. From then on I tweaked the plan and basically increased the running element by about a minute every second run and recently I decreased the walking interval to just 1 minute. Yesterday I did my run as 3 x 9 min runs and 1 mins walking. Today I got my new trainers and being anxious to try them out I went for another run. Normally I'd run every second day. Anyway I decided to just do 1 interval of running for as long as comfortable and I managed a 21:43 / 2.47 mile in one go which I was incredibly pleased and surprised with. I did it as a test of how far I've come in 7 weeks, the early weeks I could run no more than 4/5 minutes without walking for a minute or two. On my next run I'll go back on plan and run 10-12 min intervals with 1 min walks so I can continue to build my fitness gradually. Today was literally a test.

    In my opinion, and I'm no expert at this, in 3 weeks or so you may feel a marked difference. I certainly did and for the next few runs I actually overdid it. I'm now expecting to be able to run 30 mins in 2 weeks or so which I already know for my average speed is over 5K.

    I'm 36, haven't exercised in 15 years or so and I'm average weight and spot on BMI. You have youth on your side, if I can do it then you certainly can.

    Stick with it, tweak it a little if you feel you need to and I'm certain you'll do that 5k run in one go. Good luck.

  • As far as feeling a difference in running not being so hard, usually 3-4 weeks.  Seeing a difference in your body, 6ish weeks.  Losing weight takes longer because right now, you are burning only a few hundred calories per run.  From that, it would take you three weeks or so to burn off a single pound with your current running alone.  Please don't let that discourage you.  As you progress in c25k, you will be running more and will burn more calories and then after you finish the program, you might add a day or two per week or will increase your distance on each run, so will burn more. 

    I'm a bit lighter than you - about 10-11 pounds - and find that the sweet spot for firming up and keeping weight off is right around 20 miles/week.

  • As a generalisation, they say 4 weeks for you to start noticing the difference, 8 weeks for your family and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to begin to see the change.
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