Struggling with week 1

I'm 46 and always hated PE at school so shied away from any sort of exercise. Now I feel it's time to be active and look after myself before its too late. Just had one session which I managed to finish but to be honest really struggled with. My question is this, is it quite normal to repeat week one a couple of times until your body and mind adjusts to the shock of exercise ?


Featured Content

Join the NHS Couch to 5K community

Couch to 5K has been designed to get you off the couch and running 5km in just 9 weeks

Start today!

Featured by HealthUnlocked

12 Replies

  • I'm only on week 2, and I found week 1 tough as well. But as you repeat the run 3 times before you move onto week 2 you should be okay. But if you feel like you need to repeat a week before moving on then go for it - it's all about building your confidence after all!

  • If it helps it took me several attempts to even get to week 1 (I broke it down even further just 2 weeks of 30 seconds running and then 2 weeks of 45 seconds if I remember correctly)

  • I found it a shock to the system too! Struggled from the very beginning. I am the same age as you and had never done any running. I am out walking the dog every day but running is a completely different matter. I didn't repeat any weeks till about week 4 as I felt I couldn't manage any further. It does get easier, trust me but you have to do what feels right for you. The programme does work but some of us need a little extra time to finish it. Good luck! Don't give up!

  • I have not found a single run easy since I started the programme. So far I have completed all the runs first time round, but never once have I felt ready to go on to the next week (although I have). My body has surprised me time and time again with what it can do. Yours will too!

    Of course you can repeat the runs as many times as you want, and you should if your body is telling you it isn't ready. I just wanted to say that even if you don't feel 100% confident (which is more about your mind than your body) it is ok to progress to the next week. I always go out telling myself to "just give it a try". It takes the pressure right off and I usually end up persevering until the end.

    The first 4 weeks are of the programme are also good in that each week's run is repeated three times. This gives you time to get acclimatised and makes it easier to tell yourself "If I've done it once I can do it again!"

    Good luck with the programme, it's not easy (at least not for me!) but the sense of accomplishment is addictive :)

  • I think we all struggled with week 1 - I know I did and yet last night I ran for 28 mins non stop - I never thought i'd be able to do that back in April when I started! The important thing is that you finished the first run and when you come to do it again hopefully you'll find it a little easier. The good thing about C25K is that it builds you up gradually and it allows you to do the program at your own pace. If you need to repeat runs then do it but I promise everytime you move onto a new week you'll surprise yourself. Good luck :)

  • WELL DONE FOR STARTING! You've got over the hardest part - getting out the door. It is not unusual to repeat runs and deep down you knew this was not intended to be easy. Your body is not used to this amount of exercise and will take a little while to settle into it. But you've made a start and that is brilliant. Keep coming back to this blog site and you will get lots of inspiration from this lovely community!

  • Week 1 absolutely killed me - like you, I hated exercise at school and felt in my 40s it was time to start something. Each run in W1 hurt my legs so much, I was coming home and soaking in the bath and one night I couldn't sleep my legs hurt so much! I went onto W2 and now at the end of W7 my legs don't hurt at all any more. It just takes a little time to get used to using a new set of muscles that haven't been used in this way for a long time, but have faith in yourself and the plan, it really does work. Having said that, if your body is telling you to repeat a week then do it, there's nothing to say you shouldn't, but if it's your mind telling you to repeat a week then ignore it! Have faith in the plan, you can definitely do it :)

  • I started at 49.5 years old and was physically ill after a few of my first runs. The entire program was a struggle for me. After C25K graduation, I went on to train/achieve a 10K and also participated in the 5x50 challenge. KNOW you can do this!!! Gayle

  • It took me 50 runs to graduate, not 27, because I repeated runs and whole weeks until I felt 'comfortable' (please note - not that these runs were easy, but I managed them without stopping!). Does it matter how long it takes? You're doing this for your fitness, so each run is helping towards that. Well done for getting out there, and honestly, it gets easier. The programme is designed to build you up - after all, if you could do it all straight away, you'd probably not be looking at this level of programme! I'm 50 later this year, 4 stone overweight, have always hated exercise and struggle a bit with asthma - but I am so proud of completing this programme and - more importantly - carrying on so that a run two or three times a week is now normal for me. Don't give up, and repeat any run you want to. You can do this!

  • Ditto - what they all said, LOL.

    Week run was horrible but also elating as I managed to complete each run, and like others I would only move on to the next week as I successfully complete the previous. But the shocking thing is that I have completed each one with no repeats so far. And I wouldn't say they are easy or comfortable, just completed.

    I'm another one taking this up in my 40s, I'm another one with asthma. Like others I suffered painful legs after week 1 run 2 (that one nearly killed me) so I do a series of stretches when I get back and haven't had any trouble since.

    So the best bit, for me, is knowing I'm not a ridiculous freak, I'm just like a lot of other people here and if they can do it, I can do it, and if I can do it, you can do it, and if we can do it, anyone can do it.

    I've learnt that a lot of the problem is in the mind, the legs are better at coping than you think even if they do feel a bit wobbly at the end ;-)

  • Thanks guys, went today saying to myself, "you know what, even if you only do half the runs, it will be better than nothing, at least you're trying". Guess what, I managed the whole way through, struggled a bit and needed a wee power nap this afternoon, but so pleased with myself.

  • well done, that's really great, keep going, you can do it. :)

You may also like...