Couch to 5K support thread


I'm brand new to this forum (and running in general!) so I hope this is the right place to post!

I've just started the couch to 5k programme, just done week 2 day 2. I'm feeling good about it so far, but I'm really struggling with motivation - most of my friends are either really really keen runners or don't run at all so I don't have anyone I can train with at my level. I'm hoping there might be a few others lurking on the forums and we can share how things are going as we make our first slow steps to becoming real runners.....

My backstory: I've never been fit at all - hated sport at school, never been very active. I'm not overweight (I'm 5'7 and about 147lbs) but it frustrates me that I can barely even run for a bus at the moment. There was one summer two years ago when I started running and made it to about 5k, but once it got cold I stopped running and never started again. The one thing I do remember about that summer is how good running was for relieving stress, and as I've just been through a nasty breakup I felt now was the time to start getting out of the house, doing some exercise and pulling myself together.

My aim is to finish C25K in early January and then to be able to run a 10k (slowly!!) in March 2013.....think I can make it??

I'd love to hear your stories and how you're getting on with being a beginner, and maybe we can help motivate each other a bit as we go....



  • Hi there,

    I'm 31, female, 5 foot 5 and 196lb. I'm also on the C25K around week 4. I would like to be able to run either a 10k or half marathon at the end of May depending on how well I get on with the C25K and beyond. I'm enjoying running but my calfs and ankles hate it. I don't get out of breath but suffer aches and pains while running.

    Hope to hear more from you.

  • Hi Auranya! So impressed that you're thinking of a half marathon - I'd love to get there eventually, but probably not until 2014....... Fortunately (though it's still early days) I haven't had any pain though I get out of breath even in the 90 second runs I'm doing at the moment...the only way is up though, I hope!

    Good luck with your efforts!

  • Well done on starting and welcome!

    Have you asked any of your regular runner friends if they'll run with you? I'm not putting c25k down as you have to start somewhere, but it's only  ~20 minutes at the start up ~30 minutes three times a week(never did it?), all of which should be at a slow pace. If I knew a friend wanted to start running i'd happilly do this on top of of my training as (really I can't overemphasize enough that i'm not taking the micky) the c25k isn't going to be very strenuous to a regular, more like going for an energetic walk.

    What i'm trying to say is don't be put off asking your friends if they'll run with you because you're in awe of what they do and think they wouldn't "stoop" back down as you may be surprised, they may even not be that far ahead of you and want some "easy" weeks. You might also find you can badger a non runner into coming with you too!

  • You've already taken the hardest steps and started, hopefully the following will help.

    Have you looked into a Run England group or your local running club?  I know it sounds daunting to a new runner (it did to me anyway!) but many clubs now have beginners or run/walk groups (min has a walking group).  My club has been really supportive and in a year I have gone from 10km being a daunting challenge to running a marathon.  As "lardarse" says your running friends might like to support you as well, there are many ways you can make running with people of differing abilities work.

    I hope you enjoy your running and achieve you goals. 

  • Hi Elizabeth and lardarse (I feel bad calling you that!)

    Thanks for your suggestions! Maybe I'll look into a running club - it never even occurred to me to look as I've always assumed they're for hardcore runners. Or coercing my friends - someone has just suggested starting a lunchtime running group at work, which would probably be quite fun though I'm not sure how I feel about facing the afternoon all sweaty....

    Very naughty and missed my run today because it was raining image fingers crossed it will brighten up tomorrow (or I toughen up, I'm not sure I can use the "it was raining" excuse ALL winter!)

    Loving how nice everyone is in these forums! Thanks for all your advice image

  • Salutations to all on the C25K - you have made a fantastic decision to undertake this plan.  I'm living proof that it works.image

  • celeste wrote (see)

    Very naughty and missed my run today because it was raining image fingers crossed it will brighten up tomorrow (or I toughen up, I'm not sure I can use the "it was raining" excuse ALL winter!)

    Loving how nice everyone is in these forums! Thanks for all your advice image

    It's going to get worse - wait until it's -2 outside.image

  • Fortunately it was neither raining nor -2 this morning so I finished week 2! Success. RoadRunner, when did you do C25K? How much do you run now?

  • "Motivation" . Thats a tough thing to get when you do not have a running buddy. Or when the weather does not support you. When I started running , I was running with a group which was on intermediate stage, so always ahead of me doesnt matter how much I try to pace with them . I left that running group and started running alone. I mainly run on the river side and parks and being a male , always follow fit girls who are running around. You can now laugh on this weird motivation but at least thats what kept me going for a recent 10K. image

    "Weather" . You are going to hate it when it is rainy , snowing or windy. But what I found that it is only first 5mins which are tough but when you get going and start sweating a bit, nothing matters. You body warms up and then just lose yourself to the finish line. Just cover your body with hand gloves and head covers.

  • celeste wrote (see)

    Fortunately it was neither raining nor -2 this morning so I finished week 2! Success. RoadRunner, when did you do C25K? How much do you run now?

    I did the C25K probably around a year and a half ago.  Since then, I've hit nine miles (around 15k), but then a knee niggle set me back a bit. 

    I worked back up to around 8k and knee started playing up again, so I got a knee support.  Knee niggle went away, to be replaced by a sore achillies. image  Some have said that it could've been caused by the slightly adjusted movement due to the knee support, so I've dropped back to 5k again.  Went out there yesterday, achillies was completely fine so will start to build up again in a couple of weeks - hopefully I'll be able to return to 15k and beyond without any further setbacks. image

    So keep at that C25k, even if you have to repeat a week every now and then.  About going out in the rain, if it's just light rain it's actually quite nice.  Have fun and well done on completing week 2! image

  • Hi, Im on week 4 of the couch25k plan (well sort of) I hired a treadmill 4 weeks ago now and I've been going on it 3 times a week following this: 

    When I say sort of, Im still rubbish at running, I can only go for five minutes at 4.7mph which is probably classed as jogging. Its really frustrating - but four weeks ago I couldnt do any of that. I'm about 5 8 and 11 1/2 stone. I really want to be able to run a 5k in about 30 minutes. My friend who runs is already up to speed and we are going a run together on sunday - I'll be holding her back though. It will be my first time outside too.  I thought i'd join this chat because it was the most recent post on couch25k and I'm also brand new to running Celeste.

  • I think "running" is overrated - my friend and I are currently at the "half-arsed shuffle" stage, but I have high hopes that I'll be jogging/running fairly soon! Good call on hiring a treadmill though, that's commitment. Hope your run on Sunday goes well! I very nearly fell off the wagon this week but have just about pulled it back - still got to do week 3 day 3, but feeling good image

  • I find that in this cold weather, what would be 'fast jogging', or even 'running' in the summer becomes the 'half arsed shuffle'. image

  • I totally agree on calling it the half arsed shuffle! Trying to focus on endurance not speed. Its a 9 week hire, so I dread when it gets taken off of me in the new year. Ill be off the wagon next week though as I go on holiday for 4 days. I think youll be catching up with me! 

  • Gosh this motivation business is tiring! I spent a good half hour in bed this morning trying to bully myself into going for my run, and ended up being late for work! On the plus side, it's amazing how things change in a few weeks - when I started I never thought I'd be able to run for 5 minutes, and now I can do it - twice - in one workout! Well done Celeste! Can't quite believe that in just over a week I'm expected to half-arsed shuffle for 20 minutes though, that's going to be the real killer... Hope you have a great holiday Jambellz!

  • Hi Celeste, keep up the good work! I started running about 18 months ago, I am 39, have lost 3 stone, would like to loose another half stone ideally.

    I did my fist half marathon in may in just over 2 hours, did Chester marathon a couple of months ago and have already booked in to do it next year.

    I couldn't imagine not running now! If you get the bug, that's it!

    Good luck and enjoy your self!
  • Garrrrr I just can't seem to finish week 4!! it's been so icy, wet and windy that i either give up due to slipperyness or I find that the wind tires me out too much... any advice for coping when you really feel you're going backwards?!

    My other question is how much does nutrition matter at this early early stage? I'm assuming not very much. I find I'm not eating anywhere near as much as I used to, mostly due to celebrating the fact that I'm no longer eating like a hungry boy, but is that likely to be affecting my ability to jog these small distances? (Well, relatively small - to me they feel like marathons!!)

  • I would suggest that you eat sensibly and you should be ok.

    With regards to running when its icy, maybe try to find a didderent surface to run on, maybe grass or a footpath, oh and enjoy the challenge of running in the bad weather. I actually enjoy those tougher runs......
  • Don't worry about it, Celeste, it'll come in time.  I was having exactly the same problem with week 4 of the Hundred pushups plan: I had to repeat it three times or so.  Finally done with it this week. image

  • Back from my holiday and went for my first run last night - was really worried a week off would affect me, but i've still got the running bug. With christmas coming up though my diet is out the window - theres already a continuous supply of cake in work image 

  • Be strong! Just don't go mad on the booze, you will struggle to run with a hang over.
  • Hi Celeste - well done for starting the C25K programme. I started it in May 2011 and in November the same year ran my local half marathon. Unfortunately I've been plagued with a knee injury and haven't been able to run for about 4 months now but I'm keeping everything crossed that I'll be able to start the C25K again next year.

    Hi RoadRunner76! Hope your achilles problem isn't anything nasty, glad to hear you managed to beat your knee problem image

  • Hi NF - I doubt very much if the Achillies issue is anything major - when it comes on, it's a very slight soreness - definitely nothing that makes me think something's about to go 'ping'.  It's been almost non existent recently: the only time its come on was when I pushed the limit a bit and went 10k for the first time in over a year the other day and unlike before, it pretty much went away when I went home and had a nice long soak.image

    The knee issue is almost non existent now, I get the odd 'notification' from it every now and then but nothing major: no stiffness or anything like that.  It was always going to be that knee that would give trouble, as it had been not quite right for many years before I started running.  Perhaps I should've been using a knee support from the very start?  There's been barely a whisper from the other knee - which has never been problematic outside of running either.

    Congrats to everyone who's decided to embark upon the C25k, regardless of whether you've just started or are rehabbing after injury. image  As the man said 'Keep On Running'.image

  • I did couch to 5k about 18 months ago (as an asthmatic non runner doing it on my own) and I haven't looked back. I did my first 10k after about 6 months and in 2012 did 3 of those and my first HM in October.

    As someone who runs on their own I know how hard it is to go out sometimes- my tips would be to go first thing if you can as you are less likely to have something crop up. If you have to go after work have your running stuff out and make it a challenge to get out the house again asap- if the weather is horrid make sure you have a treat when you get home e.g. the promise of a long hot bath or a glass of wine- some of my best runs have been in awful weather because it makes you extra smug.

    Do you have been parkrun near you? Once you are at 5k it's a great way to monitor your progress and get involved in a running community.
  • How do you motivate yourself to get up and do it first thing - I can't bring myself to get out of bed !
  • Remember folks, you are not on your own, there will always be loads of support on here! And I reckon thatyou could also find a runnong partner locally, I would always go for a run witj a newbie if asked.....
  • Evening all! New here. I was trying to find a newbies thread and I reckon this is it.

    Just downloaded the c25k app onto my phone and looking toward to getting out the door on January 3rd for my first run!
  • Hi runningbella, welcome aboard!
  • Thank you! Looking around for inspiration, with a few days still before I get going. Really looking forward to it now!
  • Set your self goals and a few rewards along the way.....

    It depends on what you want to achieve, a new pair of shorys when you run a mile in less than 10 minutes, new socks when you can run for 30 minutes, pair of trainers when you loose a stone, that sort of thing.....
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