Couch to 5K
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Should I? Could I?

Hello - Just signed up about 45 seconds ago! I recently discovered this plan over the weekend after toying with the idea of starting running but not really having a clue where to start.

I am thinking of starting it next week, early in the morning so that nobody will see me keeling over and possibly dying at the side of the road but I'm so worried that I won't be able to do it.

I'm really quite unfit but already, before I've even tried it, I'm convinced it's worthless, despite seeing so many success stories. I just don't like failing and running, well, it seems completely impossible!

I only have normal trainers, not running shoes, and I really don't want to spend money on trainers and then never use them. I'm saving for a holiday in November and every penny counts at this late stage in the game! So this is adding to my 'don't bother' excuses...But then again, running through Central Park would be amazing!

I just don't know what to do, should I try it in my normal trainers to see if I get on? Or is that just asking for injuries? Should I find another activity that's more suitable?

Thanks for your help and advice C25Kers!

Melliebob x

16 Replies

Go for it! It'll be difficult to start with but you'll get the bug and I found it surprising how quickly the improvements started coming - the short distance I wheezed through initially soon became just part of a warm up on the way to a longer run!

As for trainers not sure - I started just with regular trainers and had no problems but it wasn't long before I bought 'proper' trainers instead.

Good luck, you can do it!!!!


You must!

your normal trainers should be fine until you start your long runs.

Just think that you are not alone out there, there are only two kind of people: those who give it a go, and those who don't.

I tried, and I am glad I did

I thought of running for about two years before I actually started, but I filled my weeks with excuses as why this wasn't a good one.

I was unfit, but specially, I never enjoyed running (I would wait for the next bus if needed rather that running for 10 m). Nevertheless I gave the c25k program a go.

W1R1 I thought i would die by the end of the session. By R3, I noticed a real difference. I was tired, but not dying anymore.

The first run on every week has always been a challenge. By the end of the week, runs were not easy, but manageable. I kept running.

I had a 5 week bread due to chicken pox (after completing w6), so I went back to w4 and kept going.

I run in a variety of scenarios, dreadmill (soooo boring for long runs, but OK for the first few weeks), round my place, while work related travelling and during the holidays, and I repeated a few runs in the process

Yesterday, I completed my W9R3!!!! 30 minutes of steady, non stop running. It is still not easy, but I know I can do it.

I do not know exactly when it happened, but I started enjoying my runs, no matter how tired I got, and started looking forward to them.

Just wanted to say, that I am not special at all. We all have gone through similar processes, and the mental blockage is the hardest to get over with.

Just do not worry, take one run at a time. Repeat any if you need, choose your own pace and DO NOT LISTEN to the "Gremlings" inside your head, they are there and will try to stop you from running. You are stronger than you think!!

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YES and YES - definitely!

I'm sure you'll get loads of replies to this all saying similar things. I'm in my fifties, and was very unfit. I'd never found an exercise I could stick to and for years I absolutely thought I couldn't run (goes back to junior school days when I always came last in races)! The thing with this plan is it's not a race and you have no-one to beat except yourself (and those dreaded gremlins). It will be hard but take it slowly and keep reminding yourself that so many other people had done it - it must be possible!

I started last August, graduated in October and I still won't win any races but on Sunday I'm doing the Great North Run. Even now I can't quite believe I'm saying that but believe me, if I can do it anyone can, and it's true what they say - it really is addictive.

Good luck and enjoy Central Park!

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Do, please, give us a run report on this forum, lolb.


Good luck with that - such an iconic run. Great payback for all the hard work. Hope you enjoy it - give Mo a run for his money!!!


Mellieblob, just do it! I can't believe I've just run 28 mins this morning (Wk8 run 1) and as so many others say on here, "If i can do it, anyone can." I'm still using the (newish) trainers I'd bought before I started this. They were really cheap (£12) and are the ones with the outwardly-curved soles that were probably trendy a few years ago.. I have a bad foot with a horrible bunion, and so i wear my custom orthotic innersoles inside the trainers. I've had no problems with injuries so far. If you follow the programme, and take small steps (literally) you'll get on just fine and you'll wonder what all the worry was about in a few weeks. I wear ordinary t shirts & joggers, haven't spent any money on the whole thing, so have nothing to lose except my unfitness. It's not even my MP3 player - have borrowed my daughter's!


There are just so many excuses to stay on the couch! Unless you try you will never succeed - and the first run is just several sets of 60 secs jogging and 90 secs walking so you don't need any special equipment to do that. Try it and see how you get on. You won't regret trying it - but you may regret not trying it. :)

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Do it Melliebob!

I'm hideously unfit, or was when I started, but I'm already feeling the benefits.

I completed the first 5 weeks in my old trainers and have only just bought running shoes as the bug has bitten me :)

You'll never regret giving it a go, but you might regret never trying.


Well, just thought I'd let you know that I completed W1R1 last night! Not too sure how Wednesday will go though! Didn't really plan a route, didn't really plan to go until I went so I used the RunKeeper app to track my distance. 2.13m in a combination of walking and light jogging. Legs ached a bit last night and felt tingly and warm but surprisingly I'm not in pain today! So thanks for your words of encouragement, I shall now progress into the 'Week One' board :) x


I told you that you would. Congratulations on making the effort to start, Melliebob. I am sure that you will never regret doing this training plan. Nearly everybody posting here is either working their way through C25k or has completed it, so there are always people here to offer advice and encouragement based on their own life changing experiences of starting to run.

Good luck with the next run and keep us posted.


Well done! You won't regret it and soon you'll be running along and totally enjoying yourself. I started from scratch after coming back from hols and hurting my achilles by doing too much too soon. Am now back to week 3 and loving it again :-)


Well Done! You did the hardest part, which for me was getting out the front door on the first run. I assume you're using the podcasts with Laura, so don't worry about times and distances, just follow her instructions :) and listen to the advice and support of the folks here. Well done!


Keep going. It's not easy but the programme works. I used my ordinary trainers until I had graduated. Use Central Park as your motivation - you will be so proud of yourself


Great, so glad you gave it a go, I am 67 and no one is more unfit then me, but my grand daughter has cancer and she is fighting with such grace and courage, well if she can I will try, as I run ( well bumble along like a baby elephant really ) I chant keep going, if Jess can you can, on and on, find your own chant and try it, it helps me. My trainers are of the pretty slip on sparkly pink type, my t shirt is my husbands and my leggings an old baggy pair, already thinking I best get proper shoes, and yes I can see it being addictive

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Well done honey and what motivation running through Central Park.. I did the same thing used running on holiday this year as my motivation. My challenge to myself was to complete week nine by the time we left, I finished my last run the night before we left and got to run along the clifftop, it was fantastic to achieve it and I used it as my motivation when the going got tough.. and got to wear my new running gear

It's worth it, youll soon be in the routine and wonder why you never did it before.

As for running shoes, keep an eye out on lidl and aldi, they do running shoes for about £15, sports direct are another good shop that have shoes on offer.

Good luck


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