Couch to 5K

Back to 30 minutes

A few weeks after graduating in March, I suffered a severe return the mental health problems that have dogged my adult life. The result was that I didn't run for 9 weeks.

So, two weeks ago I decided that it was time I got off my arse (which was beginning to form a close and meaningful relationship with my sofa) and get back out there.

I'm amazed that after only 5 runs, today I ran for 30 minutes non-stop for the first time since March.

During my episode of unhingedness, I lost my appetite and lost 9kg. I'm still counted at overweight, but I was surprised at the difference that dragging around 11% less body can make!

I'm still incredibly slow, only having covered 2.25 miles in 30 minutes, but I don't really care at this point. I'm just glad to be back :-)

13 Replies

Huge respect to you for getting yourself out there after a bad spell of mental health problems. The primary reason I started running was for my mental health - I desperately need to lose weight and get fit too but that is secondary. It can be such a tough thing to get yourself out there and doing something when you feel so low. People on here have told me not to worry about speed, but getting out and running is the thing that counts. Great to know you have got out there again, I hope you continue with your running and benefit from it.


Sian, good for you, I start and stop all the time. I managed the programme last year and did a run for life but now I just start at about week 5 depending on how I feel and how long it's been and see how I go.

I had a knee injury as I think my knees do not agree with 12 stone crashing down on them so I cycled to keep up the fitness. Though running you keep much fitter. Now my knee is better and I have finished the 15 mile bikeathon I am back to running for two reasons. It's quicker as I have a busy life and it stops stress in its tracks and know matter what the magnitude of my worry (pretty massive at the moment) it helps me stay strong and gets rid of those toxins.

Right off for my little jog, I'm not a speedy too but if its fine for me then that's ok, it's better than doing nothing.

Stay well x


Hats off to you Sian, I had an unexpected and quite shocking bout of anxiety and depression last year. My doctor kept telling how much physical exercise would aid my recovery, but for several weeks just getting myself out of bed in the morning and completing the basic functions of everyday life took so much effort, I couldn't even think about doing anything else.

As soon as I started to feel a little better, I started the couch 2 5k plan and have never looked back - the benefits to my mental health have been amazing, so much so that I am now off my medication. If I have the odd day when I get a little 'wobble' I always know that a good run will help to restore some of the equilibrium :-)


Thank you for your comments and encouragement.

It is so frightening to feel that you are rapidly losing your grip on reality, to doubt everything that you were once so certain of in life. Despite knowing that "This too shall pass", when in the grip of the nightmare, you firmly believe that this will be the time when it doesn't pass. That's when life's exit door starts to look so appealing.

But, of course, as usual, it did pass, reality returned and so did my ability to run for 30 minutes without having to stop.


Well done, Sian - back up to 30 minutes is great after your enforced break. I'd prefer to think that your 2.25 miles in 30 minutes isn't *incredibly* slow, as that's probably about what I manage :D , but hey, it doesn't matter - you are back out there and running again - wonderful! And although the reason for it was sad, losing 9kg must have made a big difference - so a positive result on one aspect, at least! Happy running,



Well done you,what an achievement,l know were you are coming from.l got that l couldn't leave the house,but was put on the weight management course buy n.h.s absolutely love the course,met new people with a lot of same emotions.and lost 3and half stone since January.l have gone from not looking at myself feeling worthless,to putting on a bit of lippy everyday,and back to being me,which I haven't been for about 7 step is run with Laura,can't a good run which is always forward take your life forward and try not to look back,apart from seeing how far you have come,well done,


I appreciate you telling your story and am glad that you have got back out there and found that resuming it hasn't been as hard as you thought . I suppose that if it happens again (and I hope it doesn't), you'll have the experience of this positive outcome to help you back. I admire your impetus and openness. Good luck.


That's great news Sian. Speed doesn't matter, it just getting put there and having a go. 2.25 seems perfectly respectable to me. Keep at it and keep well!

Viki x


Well done, I admire your determination ! I also firmly agree that running is hugely beneficial for your mental health - it has done wonders for me. Stay strong !


Well done for coming out the other side and getting moving again. I was diagnosed with depression last year and counselling helped to lift the fog, but by far the biggest change for me has been completing the C25K. This achievement has built my confidence and self esteem but its great to know that if I stumble on the way it's possible to get it back again. Thank you.


Hi Tready, I have severe panic disorder, and have had it for the last 24 years. I'm mostly stable but every now and again, without warning, I'm struck a debilitating fear.

I'm really glad that your fog has lifted. If by some horrible misfortune you should be struck again, just keep telling yourself that "This too shall pass". Good luck with your running x


Welcome back x


Well done x


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