Couch to 5K

Week 1 Day 1 difficulty

Hi everyone,

I'm new to running and thought the couch to 5k would be a great starting point. Did anyone else have difficulty completing all 8 minutes of running when they started? I could honestly manage the first 2 but walked the rest of the podcast. My plan is to stay on week 1 until I am managing the 8 minutes x 3 then go to week 2. I knew I was overweight and unfit but quite taken a back as to how out if shape I am. Advice greatly appreciated, I'm not too disheartened as at least I've done some exercise which I haven't been doing before and I have to start somewhere.

8 Replies

Well done for starting and committing to the programme - you are already doing better than the majority of the population! :-)

I think most people are surprised by how little fitness they have on run 1 week 1 - I am not overweight and thought of myself reasonably active before I started but found myself willing each 60 seconds to be over. The very best thing about running is how quickly you improve - it really is exponential. In a month or so, you'll be running for 10 minutes, in another month 25 could be running 5 miles by the end of the year!

You sound like you are focused on achieving this - go for it!


Hi Honorsmum,

Thank you, that's very reassuring. I will stick in and see where it takes me. It's nice to know that I should see progress quickly, that should add to my motivation to stretch myself. I'll see how I go next session.


Hi Well done on starting the program. When I started several graduates told me that "slow and steady" is the way to progress. It's not about speed it's about gaining stamina. Perhaps you are running too fast? Speed comes later. It worked for me. I'm well over 60 and I finished the program though only ran 3k in my graduation run - and I was so pleased with that.


Slowly and steadily is the key. I'm one week ahead of you and I promise you it is achievable. Listen to Laura. Remember your brisk walk is only one gear down from your jogging pace. It isn't a sprint! Go at your own pace and all will be fine.


I found Week 1 very hard!! Lots of friends have also told me the same, but the important thing is that you push yourself as much as possible to get to completing the whole podcast. I ended up doing Week 1 5 times before moving on; the very thought of me running for longer than 1 minute scared me and I can't believe how far I've come! You can do it - Laura is with you every step and she really does add that encouragement!


I found Week 1 very tough as well, but have progressed now to Week 6 from a very unfit start - so it is achievable!

As others have said, keep it very slow & steady, just a very light jog. Your aim is to build up stamina at this stage, not speed.

Well done on getting off that couch & getting started. Keep at it & you will be surprised how much progress you make.

Good luck with your next run!


Thanks everyone, that's great. I intend to stick at it. Will see how I get on next time. I shall watch my speed although I wasn't aware i was running fast it might have been too much too soon. Will have a look for some advice on running techniques too.


Hi insc123 you getting on..just done wk 1 Run 1 and struggled a bit ....did 5 of the runs .....was relieved to see other's finding it tougher than anticipated ...would be great to hear how you've got on ...did you get any useful running tips


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