Week 3 - TERRIFIED: Hi all So after reading... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Hi all

So after reading lots of blog posts and feeling very in awe of the graduates and everyone's determination I thought i would share my story. I am a 29 year old VERY unfit lass and 3 weeks ago I thought something must be done! I like the outdoors - walks only but despair at anything more hardcore! I struggle with confidence issues a lot and am insecure so really hoping this mission will improve that.

I have completed weeks 1 and 2 and feel really out of my comfort zone. I have found that stretching after helps with pain although my knee twinges but I struggle on all the runs if I am honest. I have managed to complete each and every one first time which is encouraging but this is through sheer stubborness i think and the only thing keeping me going is that it is 90 seconds. The thought of running for 3 straight minutes is really scary and just feels impossible! I am dying at the end of each run and cant be going too fast as i am just jogging really? Did anyone else feel like that?!

I think joining this and hearing other peoples opinions will really help but for just now can I say well done everyone! I think we should be proud of ourselves no matter where we are in the programme...


14 Replies

Hi, I completely and utterly get where you are coming from! I just did W2R2 this morning. I was feeling so down this morning because I'm still not finding it easier, the runs havent become easier and I'm pretty scared about running 3 minutes next week. |I'm not too bad at the recovery bit my my legs turn to lead pretty much every time one or two runs in. Hopefully lots of other people who have been here before will also respond so you have a balanced answer and I dont add to your woes! Perhaps I should take on board the positives things I'm about to say..... I can only say that I'm really slow too. We have to see that its not a race and that we have to trust Laura. I think the firm belief is she knows what she is doing. Going from 90seconds to 3 mins seems scary but then a week ago 60 seconds was too much for me! I feel like im not going that fast and so it shouldnt hurt as much as it does but if you are like me, i havent put my body through this much in years so it was bound to happen. There will come a day soon for both of us where it will start to get easier. This advice is for me and you:) - stretch before and afterwards, have something to eat and drink before if you can, take lots of rest and keep coming on here if you are feeling down. Keep on with this. It will change us both for the better. Jo.x

Hi Sarah - my god, this is so similar to my story I could've written it myself!!!

I did weeks 1 and 2 twice, because I was SO unfit it wanted to build up a bit of stamina before I got to the harder runs. Today was supposed to be the final run of week 2 (second time round) but for some reason my ipod had deleted the week 2 podcast and so i was kinda forced into starting week 3 on the spot.

I tried to avoid thinking about it all last week because I knew if i let myself dwell on it, I would talk myself out of it. But when I tried it this morning, I was surprised at how...ok...it was.

Don't get me wrong, i'm not saying it was easy, but I was able to keep going for the 3 minutes (which didn't feel as long as I thought it would) and even though by the end I was begging Laura to hurry up and tell me to slow down, I did it.

My advice is, don't build it up too much because your mind will convince you it's impossible, when it isn't. And think how fab you'll feel after you conquer the three minutes! Maybe plan to do it first thing in the morning, so you have less opportunity to worry before doing it. It works for me - sometimes I fall out of bed, into my trainers and i'm halfway round the circuit before I even realise I'm doing it!

Keep in touch and let me know how you get on with it. It's nice to hear from someone at the same stage as me...


I haven't got much to add on top of what the ladies have said. But I will just re-say the important bits. Forgive the caps. IT DOES GET EASIER. I felt awful around week 2/3 and I couldn't imagine doing 5 mins. (week 4) But I did all the workouts like she said, and you do build up your fitness.

I am 31, and I get out of breath walking up a flight of stairs, and I thought I was going to die on the last 1.5min runs of my first few weeks. But that good work goes into your body and makes you stronger when it re-builds (or something like that). The discomfort you feel now is laying solid foundations. Promise.

Plus there's no shame in repeating a week or a workout if you really don't think you can progress. Also, your mind likes to tell you that you can't possibly do 3 mins (twice 90 sec) or in my case 5 mins (more than half as much again as 3 mins). But actually, when you get down to it, it stops getting any harder. You sort of hit a point where you are out of breath, you are feeling tired, but you're not dying. I was so unused to being that out of breath that it made me anxious to be like it. But actually, it's fine to stay at that point, jog along like you could do it forever and you won't expire. Now of course if you feel really unwell you should stop or slow down. But as the time gets longer you get more comfortable with it. Don't be afraid of jogging too slow either, you can always speed up later.

I hope some of that makes sense. Do all the workouts, and you will get there. Don't let the brain put you off. Just see how you get on, you may well surprise yourself.

Best of luck!


PS look up the knee exercises on the C25k main page. I haven't practised them regularly enough, but it makes sense to keep your knees strong if you've got a niggly knee like I have.

greenlegsGraduate in reply to lizfish

Very good advice here! Trust your body to keep going - don't let the gremlins in your mind (or monkey on your shoulder - whatever image helps you!) sabotage your legs. Your legs can do it. :)

And how slow? As slow as it takes. My slow running in the early weeks was slower than my brisk walking. Honest! But it got me through the programme - and today... I ran 10k!! Me, who was always last in any races ever. :D


I know it's been said, but it's so true: trust in the programme and you will find that you will be surprised at the extra your body manages each time. I found the early stages hardest and at 46 with it being at least 10 years since I'd done any proper exercise thought that the whole programme would be a struggle. I'm on wk 7 now and looking back at how I struggled with 90 secs have been really enjoying the feeling of completing 25 mins. Still takes effort of course, but hasn't been as uncomfortable as the early weeks. Just go for it! :)


The only thing I can add to the above is to have faith in Laura & trust the program - yes it is tough going in the first few weeks because you are using muscles which have not been used like this - I've just done W3R3 so I know what you mean about the step up from 90 seconds to 3 mins....

... but its honestly not that bad really

The 3 mins goes in next to no time - you know that you can make it to 90 seconds right? well after the first 90 seconds is up Laura tells you that your half way through - and gives you a good running tip ... then only 60 seconds left and and then your done - huge well done on getting through it and recovery walk is a massive 3 minutes too ...... then your back to 90 seconds which you already know you can do ....

... put your ear buds in - lace up your trainers and just do it .... you WILL feel amazing after.

Good luck

Well done Sal you're doing really well. On the speed front, it really is possible to run more slowly than you walk - I know, I do it regularly! :-)

Don't worry about going fast, or even how quickly you are jogging just start slowly, you can always speed up a bit when you get nearer to the end of the interval.

As has been said trust the programme it really is well thought out. It is as much a mental challenge as a physical one - and we all suffer from the gremlins whispering negative words into our ears from time to time - just tell them to clear off as you're too busy to listen to them.

Good luck to everyone else starting a new week - you can do it! Go Team Couch25k :-)

greenlegsGraduate in reply to AnnieW55

And all of that too! :)

Hi Sarah,

I was worried about starting week 3 also. I was suppose to head out Sat and start my week 3 but i had a lie in and then we had plans with a friend so I didn't go for my run :( but I wasn't hard on myself because it gave me the motivation to get up and do it yesterday morning :).

I have over a 5 minute walk to my local park and so I start my warm up within 5 mins of the park. When I reached the park today I was straight into my first run of 90 seconds (same as week 2) got through that and the walk then Laura said it was time for the 3 minute run. I started it and wow the time did go quick and when Laura says you're half way its great and i was feeling it but then she said only another 60 seconds to go and all you can think is I can do that and I finished it. I though the 3 minute walk was a bit long but needed. I did my next 90 seconds as usual and when the second 3 minute run came I did think i can do this, as I've already done it. I was flagging near the end but I just thought I need to keep going and moving and I did lessen the pace to equal that of a sail when Laura came on and said those magic words of time to slow down :D.

Its okay to be apprehensive but do not allow it to stop you from achieving what you want. I go quite slow when jogging/running but I'm okay with it because I see others in my park going for the same slow pace and it helps me feel less self conscious. The stretches with help especially after the run I find so keep them up and also make sure to take the rest days in between as this really does help. I due to do r 2 of week 3 tomorrow so here's hoping to completing 3 minute runs :)

Please let us know how you get on.


Hi Everyone!!

Thank you so so much for all your advice! I really appreciate it and it is brilliant to hear when people complete the runs ok! I totally think it is 80% mental and 20% physical. Anyway am due to go and run tonight so fingers crossed! Will let you all know how I get on and again it is so ace to hear everyone elses story/woes! x


Hi Everyone!!

Thank you so so much for all your advice! I really appreciate it and it is brilliant to hear when people complete the runs ok! I totally think it is 80% mental and 20% physical. Anyway am due to go and run tonight so fingers crossed! Will let you all know how I get on and again it is so ace to hear everyone elses story/woes! x

These post really helped me - thank you :) I finished week 2 today and was unsure about starting week 3 on Wednesday thinking I might do an extra week 2 run to build on my stamina a bit. However now i'm thinking I must just go for it - a few weeks ago I didn't think I could run more than 60 secs and now I can! Its time to ignore my brain and to listen to my body - I can do this! :)


Thanks so much everyone I think your comments totally helped!!! :-D I did it!! To be honest it was my favourite run yet. I just took it slow and thought better to keep going slowly than not at all. I liked her comment about head bouncing! Thanks again you guys really helped encourage me and because you had felt the same at some point it helped!! Xx


you did it - well done & keep going

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