C25k complete! With a few last-day "... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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C25k complete! With a few last-day "heart nerves"


Bit of a cross-post from the Couch to 5K forum, hope y'all will forgive me for not typing it all out afresh. But the old heart-worry demons were back today for the first time in months and - through sheer bloody-mindedness and a little luck at the end - I beat them back to where they belong :D

That was a tough one!

As I was starting to get ready, so many demons started whispering in my ear...

"Your knee was niggling after the last, will it hold out?"

"You over-did it with that 7km walk yesterday"

And the big one for me, which I honestly thought I'd heard the last of....

"What if THIS is the one that pushes your heart too far???"

Managed to fight them off enough to get out the door but, even during the warm-up my HR was a few beats higher than normal, I was feeling tense, and the excitement I'd felt after the last run was gone with the (pleasantly breezy) wind!

My rhythm was fine (the music makes sure of that) but breathing was all over the place and the ONLY thought I kept having was "you won't make it today" - I just couldn't shake the fear that a full 30 minutes running (even though I'd done it twice this week already) would somehow be bad for my heart.

My shoulders were up around my ears and, no matter how I tried to relax them, it was like some evil puppet-master was yanking them back up on strings! Up the hill to the half-way, looking about 10 feet in front because I knew if I looked ahead it'd be just too far, and I hadn't remembered my GTN spray today!

Heading back down and Laura (the "coach" on the app) called the 20 minute point. I still hadn't settled and there was no way I could fight myself like this for half as long again. Then, almost at the point of giving up, someone was running towards me. We passed with a cheerful nod and smile (probably looked more like a snarl to him, but there ya go :P ) and suddenly there was no way I could stop.

Got to the 30 minutes at 4.3km (it's the time, not the distance that counts). No chance at all of doing the extra 700m, but I'd beaten the demons back into their boxes and I'd done it!!!

With a little help from a mystery runner who, about now, is probably telling someone about the odd person who growled at him out on the dunes today :D

53 Replies

Well done 🤛💪👋🏃‍♂️

Thank you :)

I knew my fitness was up to it after the past 18 months, it was those mental doubts that needed (hopefully) putting to rest for good!

What heart condition do you have if you don’t mind me asking as I could do with some courage like you


Had a heart attack in Nov 2018, with one stent fitted. They also found mild to moderate disease in a few other arteries but not enough to stent at the time, plus one that had previously blocked but been covered by collateral circulation so I didn't notice.

Was lucky that any damage was small, so have worked like crazy on building fitness up. Gym and walking - LOTS of walking - before the lockdown, and slowly learning to recognise any twinges for the "not heart" causes they were. That was by far the hardest part!

Wow, well done again.

You’ve definitely inspired me

Take care


Just had a quick check of your earlier posts, and it looks like your condition is being "watched" rather than actively treated.

There doesn't seem to be any real risk in moderate exercise, but starting to run 5k's would probably not be a good idea just in case! I undoubtedly found that the mental benefits of discovering that "I still can" were well worth the increasingly less frequent worries about whether "I should".

One of my first walks after the stent was about a 2km loop close to home and I vividly remember standing at the top of a hill half-way round, looking over at the village, and almost panicking at how far I was "if something happened". Obviously, nothing did and I found the only way I could beat those worries was to gradually go further, each time reminding myself that it was "only half a k", or whatever, further than I'd already been doing without issues.

Gradually that message filtered through to my inner caveman (my label for that bit of your subconscious that tells you to be afraid even though you know logically that it's silly) so he's mostly silent now. In fact, today is the first time I've really heard from him in about 6 months, and I managed to shut him up again :)

I know, I do use the trampoline but find myself out of breath especially having an underactive thyroid aswell. I try my best

Take care


You v rearly done well and you v helped a lot of people on this site with their questions and yes I think we all recognise

The times we think back

I think we should set up a good healthy

eating plan on this site bounce ideas around

I must admit, my eating could still be better (although it's far better than it was!) but I excuse (kid?) myself that I'm burning anything I eat off too quickly for it to settle where it shouldn't ;)

Well done!!

You deserve a tin of rice pudding now :)


I was good today. Rice (really needed the carbs) with prawns, tomatoes and sweetcorn.

(And a Magnum but shhhhh.... :P )

Oh no!! 🤓

TRST in reply to L5621

Trouble is, we all have different thoughts about what's heart healthy ...

fergusthegreat in reply to L5621

That's been tried before and shut down. I don't think people like advice being given based on opinions with no evidence to back it up.

TRST in reply to fergusthegreat

I agree with you fergusthegreat

I was reading today that diet/weight etc is not all down to what's genetic. Identical twins can thrive on completely different diets. Pretty complicated and very unique to each individual.

The article is here if anyone's interested


MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to TRST

I have posted this research article from Prof Tim Spector's team at Kings and his long term Twin study before the author of the study you posted.

It's all about the importance of our gut flora, biome which is influenced right from the moment we are born by environmental factors.


There is no size fits all. However moderation in all things following a diet and life style that has through time shown to be beneficial will do for me.

Well done!

Thank you :) Now I just need to keep it up voluntarily!

Brilliant! Very well done. Great achievement beating your fear. 👏👏👏👏🏆🍺🍀

Thank you :)

Well done

I managed from one Lamppost to the next the other day and that was me finished .

Mind you I never could run even as a child

I've never enjoyed it but I seem to be starting to now for some reason!


A huge well done both physically and mentally! I’m still on the treadmill but jogging 27 minutes now at 7.5k/hour! I find the treadmill so much easier as road running as no elevations but I told myself once running 30 minutes on treadmill will make a start out on the road! I can comfortably walk 5k on the road but need to step up the pace out there but like you say those voices really get into my head!

Well done again, it’s a big achievement xx

Thanks :) If you're doing 27 min running on the treadmill then you're pretty much there physically.

When the gyms closed my absolute maximum on there was about 15 mins, or maybe 5 at a push outdoors, so you're ageah of where I was in April :)


Thats a huge hurdle cleared, from now on it's much easier without the psychological barriers.

On my 1st 5k my HR was ~15bpm higher than on my 2nd run 3 days later, can only of been the psycho factor like you described, especially in the last 10mins when HR gets higher because of the determination to finish it.


Thanks :) It was weird having the same old doubts jumping out after this time - I guess they never totally go away but you can learn to beat them back where they belong!

Congratulations, well done. 👍🏻😃👍🏻 🏆🏆

Thanks :)

That's brilliant. Well done :)

Thank you :) not even got too many aches this morning!

Love that

A massive congratulations and i must say I've turned green with envy. Medically I'm very much like you; one HA, two stents and two further blockages not bad enough yet to stent. However I'm disabled and was refused even rehab. My spine has pretty much given up the ghost and just walking from one room to the next traps nerves so I'm in agony. Just to be able to walk to the end of the street would be wonderful let alone do what you just achieved.well done, well done, well done.

That must be a real pain (no pun intended!)

My partner has a whole medical dictionary of mobility problems and it's hard sometimes getting on with this while she's knocked for six with pain by a 5 minute walk to the river.

Luckily, she understands that this is to try and give myself the best chance of sticking around and (even luckier!) she's in favour of that!

Precisely. Don't ever feel guilty that you can and she can't. She will wish she could but that only makes your achievement even greater. I do other things within my ability to try to keep myself fit, not least of which has been diet.

Thanks for that. Obviously, Sian tells me the same but hearing it from someone else is reassuring that she really means it :)

Nice one. If Inspiration isn't your middle name, it should be!! xxx

Thanks :)

It's sometimes a little hard to tell if I'm at risk of sounding like I'm boasting or rubbing those who haven't been so lucky the wrong way but I hope my posts overall encourage people new to all this to give it their best :)

You've certainly encouraged me, within the limited boundaries of what I can achieve. I love reading your posts because as someone said earlier, inspiration ought to be your middle name :)

Thanks, that really does mean a lot :)

I totally agree with the others! Those voices are very loud sometimes and your posts help me to tell them to ‘SHUSH’ - that’s the polite way to put it 😉

As TRST says, you just offer encouragement and that's an amazing thing to give to others. Thanks again and keep up the good work xxxx

Thank you :) I plan to keep pushing until I can't go any further - next stop is that 13:30 1.5 mile.

After that, I'm thinking Tokyo 2021 but may have to delay that to the next one :P

Wow!! xxx

Are you enjoying the heat bit too much .

I'm using my dumbells 1kg each day

Now 20 each arm and iv been feeling the muscles as they working .

I'll start standing next week as might exercise more muscle

Well done. I am really pleased for you, not only for yourself but the lift you give others on this site. Like yourself, I am ex Army, HA and one stent. But never really getting motivated enough to do what you do. I will stick with my5 mile cycle ride and a 2 mile daily walk. Good luck and best wishes. Once again, well done.

Thanks :) To be honest, if I had a bike I doubt I would've done much except cycling - from a purely health pov it's probably just as good, and a Lot less boring!

Well done. Great and inspirational effort. Strange that the anxiety occurred at w9r3 which I guess shows the mental side of things. In reality, there are likely to be many “non hearty” people who are more at risk of an HA than you but the thought just isn’t in their heads.

I remember reading a post by Sunny2Day where she mentions her “worry worm.” I think the worm is embedded in all of us who know we have a heart related condition (probably for all serious illnesses and diseases as well). It’ll always be there but learning how to accept and manage it is a key part of treatment and recovery.

Well done again. Onwards and upwards.

Thanks, and yes - it surprised me when it surfaced again this late.

My partner's grandmother (now in her 80s) had a quad bypass in the early 80s and the first thing she said after mine was that the worry never really goes, you just find ways to ignore it or beat it when it surfaces.

Hi Mrs found a couple of new unused dumbells at home .

1kg each so I tried them actually was easy I did 10 each arm and ill build weekly ill stay on 10 then increase in a week I think they feel lighter than a 2 litre bottle of water

Congratulations on your runs again

1kg is a good starting point - plenty to put your muscles under some tension without risking tearing anything.

Remember to do the reps slowly - too many people try to "pump them out" like some Rocky film but it's the time holding them that makes the difference so slowly up, slowly down does more good than swinging them like a maniac!

Silly question is it better to stand using dumbells iv been sitting


Standing will engage your core (stomach, back and side) muscles to keep you stable, so gives slightly more of an "overall" workout but both are much the same for your arms and shoulders.

So, at least to start with, do whichever feels more comfortable.

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