Struggling!: Somebody please tell me this will... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Somebody please tell me this will get easier!

I'm a 21 year old female, and thought running would be the perfect way to get healthier and tone up for a summer holiday. Although I am quite slim, I never normally excersize so thought the Couch to 5k App would be a brilliant way to get me started!

However, after my first run ended in me only being able to do 6 out of the 8 minutes of running (I'm using an Iphone app which i think is the same as the NHS podcast) I knew I had a bit of work to do.

I have now been on 4 run's and I am only just being able to finish the 8th minute, very out of breath and with very shakey legs. I'm concerned and frustrated though as I should be moving onto week 2 now but just feel like I'm not getting anywhere!

9 Replies

Hi Sarah - welcome to the C25k family!

I don't know that it actually gets any easier as you're always pushing yourself BUT the sense of achievement when you get through a difficult run or have an especially good run is wonderful!

My guess is that you're trying to go too fast - the C25k motto is 'slow and steady'. It really is important that in the early stages you go slowly, as your body needs time to adjust and strengthen.

So, next time, start off at your normal pace then SLOW DOWN even if you think you're already going slow. If you can't complete a run, don't let it get you down - any run is a good run and it's certainly faster than sitting on the sofa! Also, small steps are far better than long strides - keep your feet in line with your body, land mid-foot and don't bounce up and down too much, keep it light.

Before you know it, it will begin to fall into place and you'll settle into your own rhythm. There's loads of advice on this site and others, and everyone here is very supportive. Don't get frustrated, just keep at it and you'll be amazed at progress you'll make! :-)

Thank you for the reply! I know that running too fast is a big problem of mine which I need to focus on. My next run is Sunday morning, so I will take your advise and focus on running at a slower pace and hopefully I will see a difference!

Having read a few other blogs here, it's comforting to know I can get the advice needed from those who are trying to achieve the same thing and not from searching over the internet for hours and not finding what I need!

Hi Sarah

I don't have anything to add as Dottie has said it all (it really is possible to run more slowly than you walk - and is the right way to start).

Just wanted to say welcome.

Thanks Annie

I think the problem is when I begin to struggle I speed up as though that will make it go quicker but it really doesnt ha!

Don't get too disheartened, you've made a great start and you've got to the 8 minute mark which is an achievement in itself. I would echo the other posters and say slow down to see if that helps? Sometimes I run so slowly that I swear I see snails overtaking me, but I tell myself I am building my stamina :)


Welcome Sarah. :-)

Don't fret it will get better, you just have to find the right pace for you. Speed is not important yet that will come later. Take it as slow as you need too, and I know sometimes it is hard to go slow, I had that very same problem in the earlier runs. Just keep going, you will get there promise. :-)

Good luck and keep blogging.


Same as all the others! Slow and steady rules!

Just about everyone finds the first week really tough, so don't let that bother you too much. Baby steps will get you there in the end. :)


Hi Sarah,

Another welcome shout out from me, and another vote for the 'slow is best' advice. Very many of us were convinced we were actually running slower than we were walking in the first few weeks, and we probably were. But it doesn't matter. Speed comes later.

Well done for persevering!! You say you haven't made any progress, but you'd just said that you have made it through a week 1 run, so that is great progress in itself!! Completing Week 1 after never running at all before is the biggest single step on the whole programme, and a lot of people find they need a few attempts at it. It doesn't matter. The beauty of this programme is that you can take it at wehatever pace suits you. Some people (very few!!) manage to complete it in 9 weeks. Most of us need quite a bit longer, but we all get there in the end.

Also, well done for finding us here!! Everyone on this fab forum knows exactly what you're going through, and they'll get you through anything!! :-) Good luck, and keep it up! :-D

Hi Sarah it will get easier! I started 3 weeks ago but had to slow down and repeat week 1 when i moved to week 2 i was ready and completed it no problem sure i puffed and panted and gasped a bit but continued on listening to Laura. Looking forward to my next week2r2 tomorrow. I have been inspired by some of the people who blog here. I am 46 and nearly 15 stone so as i have never run or enjoyed running if i can do it then anyone really can so take the advice given here as these are people who have done what we are trying to do now!!!!

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