Couch Potato beginner!


Im totally new to running but have been avidly watching the olympics and have got the bug in rather a big way to start running hopefully! Ive got my first running session with a local running club next week which im looking forward to.


I guess my question is how do i start to run and get fit from having no past expereince at running at all and from being a total couch potato for years. I think also im a bit worried that the other people in my little group at running (apparantly they split us up into small groups due to ability/distance etc) that im not going to get even 100 yards down the road before im worn out and have to stop!

Any advice would be great.

Thanks guys


  • Have faith in yourself, you will find it difficult at first but if you can stick at it, it will get easier in time.

     Why not put your trainers on now and get those first-run nerves out of the way before you meet with your running group? At least then you will have more of an idea what you are capable of.

    The olympics are very inspiring but they do make it look easy. Be prepared for the hard work and the rewards will come in time. Good luck!


  • Thanks for the reply. The running club i intend to lk at joining have advised to me to get out and have a few very brisk walks to start with to get my stamina up so ill be giving this a go. I do hope i can get on with it though and stick at it.

  • I was in your position in March. Ran non stop for 2 hours today image

    Basically you just keep plodding along there are lots of couch to 5 k programs, the NHS one is great one, look on the nhs website search for couch to 5k.

    Basically you just do what you are doing and just stretch it out.  Plod along walk 200m run 20m walk 200m run 20m etc.. then just keep building it up.  It works.  Walk with a bit of running and over a couple of weeks, you have more running in it.  Then the world is your oyster.

    If you are serious about it get yourself a decent pair of trainers, your feet are so important and look after them.  Go to a sweatshop store or other store and make sure you have room in your trainers, might need an extra size to normal trainers when you get running more your feet swell so need some room.

    Good luck. it's great fun just plod along and it comes image


  • To add to booktrunk's excellent advice, when you're getting your new trainers, go to a specialist running shop so they can test your gait and decide the 'type' of trainers you need.  That's right, there aren't just 'running shoes', there are cushioned, stability and motion control - as well as some I might never have heard of - each designed for a different 'type' of foot. image


    -Booktrunk, that's great going! 

  • Thanks RoadRunner image

  • My maximum was 1hr 30 minutes, around nine miles - that was before a knee issue curtailed my progress and now I have to build up my conditioning again: at the moment, I can't even do 5k without a one minute walkbreak in the middle, which is very frustrating given the progress I'd made before.

    Which leads me on to more advice to the OP: If your body is telling you to cut it short and go home, listen to it - regardless of how 'in the zone' you might be and regardless of targets.  I didn't, and paid the price of a lengthy lay-off.

  • Booktrunk - thanks very much for the advice. I really wouldnt have thought bout the trainers needing to be a size bigger than what i normally wear.  Im going to go with the ones i already have though at the min and see how i get on. If i do get into it and do well ill lk at buying some proper ones. Ill also check out the NHS website.

    Would you suggest maybe joining a gym aswell if i stick to it and do well ?

  • do it you will find it hard..but thats normal..


    take it easy and build SLOWLY!!!

    good luck you will not regret it!

  • Road Runner - Can i not walk into a sports store such as JD Sports abnd get running shoes ?

    Also what do u you mean by gait ?

  • Rachel: 

    A gym is all down to confidence etc... image so if you feel happy around others and think you will use it enough then go for it.

    I've actually joined one near work but it's one of these 24x7 gyms so only £15 per month and you use a pin code to get it, not as personal as a posher gym, but it does the job of getting me in front of the equipment.

  • use what you have and if they are comfy then ptob be can do a wed foot print to just see what type of foot you have.


    do you have flat feet or high/normal arches?


    good luck!!


  • think i have normal arches. Does this make a difference ?

  • Rachel Berkin Watson wrote (see)

    Road Runner - Can i not walk into a sports store such as JD Sports abnd get running shoes ?

    Also what do u you mean by gait ?

    Sorry, I should've explained that. image  Gait is how you run - how your feet hit the floor, whether there's pronation/over pronation etc.  From what I remember, stability shoes work best with 'normal' feet.

    You can definitely go into JB Sports or similar and get your shoes - but it's very unlikely they'll have any facilities to test your gait.  Shortly after I first started, I went to the Nike store in Central London - they have a specialist running department.  I had to run on a treadmill and they filmed it.  Going by that, they recommended stability shoes - so I was all ready to buy them at their price of £80, but it turned out they didn't have my size in stock.  So to Sports Direct I went, where I found 'em for £60. image  

    I have seen documentaries questioning whether all these different shoe 'types' are necessary, but all I can say is this:  When I first started out - before I'd gone to the Nike store - I went running in any old pair of trainers and always returned home with aching ankles, feet, legs - pretty much everything.  Upon buying some proper running shoes, those issues disappeared - I noticed the difference on my very first run with them. image

    Depending on how you feel about such things, you can of course go into a running store, have your gait analysed and then leave without buying anything - but that's taking the Michael a bit.image  Now I know the shoe type I need, I always get 'em from Sports Direct because of their amazing prices. image

  • Oh very technial filming you running.

    We have a sports direct in Derby though where im from so ill have a look in there as for gait being checked. Dont think im going to find anywhere in Derby thats going to do that or even know what it is! I live in rather a backwards thinking city you see lol. Im thinking maybe Decathlon might have a better idea though bout that and we have one of those quite near to us. Its worth remembering they do make a difference though.

  • With a name like Decathlon, I'm sure they'll know what they're on about. image  Remember with Sports Direct, it's often the case that you'll get an even better price online - but you do have to spend over a certain amount otherwise it's £3.99 delivery.

    Yep, it was a bit techie - and there were other people around as well - some people might find it a bit embarrassing to do that in the presence of other people, but you're gonna run into them out there eventually, so...

    Personally, I found the whole thing a bit of a laugh - felt like I was in training or something. image

  • I think geting the shoe right is more importaint when you start,after that you fitness and running style can make a masive difference,and ive found later on that you can get away with almost any shoe that is comfy.

    But with your feet you shouldnt have the problems i have trying to get shoes that even fit,i have wide flat feet.

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