Couch to 5K
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Re-starting C25K.....anyone re-done the programme?

So I did the whole C25K programme last year for the Race for Life. I completed the run in 22 mins and countinued to run for a while afterward.

Sadly - I have seriously lapsed and going to re-start the C25K programme with some newbies (friend & sister).

Anyone re-started at the beginning? Is it as tough as before or does your fitness come back?

Really love to hear your comments and advise.


13 Replies

I'm on my second go now. Got to week 7 last year before winter put me off.

So far I'm on week 6. I've loved it just as much this time round and I'm determined to finish it and run right into next year.

I wouldnt go as far as saying I have found it easier this time, but I think I'm much more mentally prepared. I know my body is capable and I know the runs are doable.

Knowing I've already done them has given me greater confidence when tackling them.

I think the same goes for fitness too. Mine has come back quickly but I think because I know I can do it already, theres a lot less pressure on me and my runs are more relaxing.

I've also changed where I run this year. Last year I stuck to the same route all the time and had my first fail in week 7 when I changed it. This year I've ran in loads of different places and I've found it's done wonders for my motivation. Seeing different scenery has kept it feeling new and fresh too. And now I'm not so wary of new routes.

I'm enjoying it as much if not more this time round. I'm mega excited to see my graduate badge next to my name and nothing is going to stop me now! :)


Hi there.

I just started again after a long gap after 5x50. This was supposed to make exercise part of life, but instead made my 3 times a week running a thing of the past. I switched to the bike and completed the 5x50 with the second highest mileage of the c25k team...., but then was fed up with exercise and stopped.

I am to run in the Köln marathon relay in about 2 weeks and started again to run.

Of course I thought I could still do it as before, so I hoped on my treadmill and used my standard programme to start off with just over 5k in 30 mins.

Big mistake as I hit what I guess people call the wall at about 20 mins. I

My HR was at 182 and I needed to go to bed to recover. I truly felt terrible.

After this I posted for some help and the suggestion from the ether was to start at week 7 and do the 8 mins times 3 run. I was all set to do this, but I miss selected and got the 25 min run instead. I actually managed that and then ran for 30 mins two days later and now I am running 45 mins continuously (about 1 week later)

What I have done is dropped my speed and am running well within my HR comfort zone (currently a slow 8km/hr run and a rather fast 7km/hr walk for the 5 mins at the start and end). Indeed on the 30 min run I dropped the speed to ensure I could stay inside HR 175. The last run was below 162, so my cardio is improving rapidly and I am up to 7.4km distance.

Bottom line. Second time around, the mental barrier is not there. You are more aware of your body and how hard to push and know the metrics.

I chart my HR and can see very clearly, like I could with the first time, that I am on track. I panicked initially, but now I know I will be able to run the 8 km leg or even a 12 km leg of this in two weeks. I have total self believe as I have concurred the 5km easily again, but this time I am going for long and then I will work on speed afterwards. I think you will have no problems. Most of this is mental and you know you can do it. You have done it already!!

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Hi Sarah-A

I'm just about to do wk9r3 tom and I'm a re-starter. I done this about 2 years ago got to week 8 and stopped because of a sore back. My husband agreed to do it with me this time and start right back at wk1 (he was at wk3) you fall back into the routine again pretty quickly I would say. My fitness level was shocking couldn't catch a breath at all and prob over analyised everything but I stuck with it. Strangely I found wk 2 the worst I had to stop and walk a few steps!

It has helped a lot that my husband and I go out together (all be it with him so far in front at the start, not so much now) , its a great motivator knowing someone is relying on you to go out and have a run. Its a mentality thing also once you get your head around it and your trainers on you just get on with it.

Good Luck you know you can do it and the hardest part is getting yourself out the door!


This is my second go and this time I have learnt to pace myself properly and not go off too quickly. I started back again at week 4 and for me, this was perfect. At the end of each run, I wasn't exhausted and felt I was mentally prepared for the next stage. It also helps knowing I've done this programme once before, so yes, I can run for 30 mins! for me getting over the mental challenge has been the biggest help and slowing my pace. Am enjoying my running even more than I did first time around. Go for it - you can do it and won't regret it.


Thanks guys - you have really motivated me. Our first run together is tonight and I really hope my new running buddy's will fall in love with running as much as I did. (Hoping my love for it comes back too! :) )

I ran with a friend last time and it really does help with motivation - you are right, although she didn't carry on with the running after the programme (and our race for life run) and in the winter it was so dark my husband was not happy about me running out alone, so sadly I lapsed.

Well done to you all for getting back into it. I guess that it half the battle being mentally prepared.

Good Luck for your marathon Shinjin - I hope to be able to run one of those ( day- lol)

I am really interested in a heart rate monitor - is it off putting having the belt on whilst running? Is there an 'ideal' heart rate to reach/ or run at? Can you recommend one?

Thanks again - so excited about tonight! :)


Hi. I restarted. But there were complications as my asthma resurfaced - I think this was a bad summer for breathing problems. In the end I found just the anticipation of Laura's voice was enough to tighten my chest! So I only got up to W5 or so.

A couple of weeks ago I had my drugs adjusted, which has helped. But I felt my asthma anxiety was making it difficult to follow the programme. Conditioned reactions and all that.

Since then I've been - jogging, I wouldn't call it running - without the podcast. I go out regularly, I do 3 miles, running and walking, I go slow and keep relaxed. Once I've done it a few times (I've done it 4 times so far) I might just complete W9 with Laura, as I'm pretty sure I've done 30 mins at a jog without walking. And I wouldn't mind a badge.

Oh, I forgot to say, you might not need to go through the weeks. You could try starting halfway through - go slow and see what happens with W4 or 5. I know my fitness is greatly increased from the last time - just that my asthma and nerves prevented me realising it. I mean, I don't even get physically tired this time round. Just had a whole lot of trouble breathing - and it was intensely frustrating as I felt I wasn't even getting a workout. Which, thank goodness, is better now.


Hi Brownfox,

Sorry to hear you been having breathing difficulties. I really liked hearing Laura's voice as it kind of spurred me on at the tough times. Although the music on the NHS podcasts became really irritaing. Have you tried other podcasts? I liked 'pod runner'. Free to download from their website just pure music and there is just a tone (like a train station ping, ping,ping) telling you to slow down/start running. Perhaps this would still be a cause for your conditioned anxiety though..?

Good luck with your running and for w9 (with Laura)- and well done for pursevering despite your medical problems.


Just to update....

Our first run went really well! So proud of my sister and friend - I know they found it tough (I certainly did the last time I did C25K).

I found that my fitness wasn't as bad as I thought and I found it quite easy - I even sprinted the last interval of running.

Totally fallen in love (again) and chomping at the bit for our next run tonight. My new running buddy's seem pretty motivated too - so looking forward to our 'running club' tonight. :)

I'm thinking of maybe signing us up for the local 'Santa 5K' for charity in December for a goal to aim towards.... I know last time having the Race for Life as a goal really kept me on track.


Isn't it funny how starting again is just as exciting as first time around?! Maybe more so, because this time you don't have the huge mental barrier of thinking you can't do it, because you have already proved to yourself before that you can. ;-) I like the idea of signing up for a Santa run. If it all goes smoothly I will complete the plan by early December so I'll have a look around and see if there's one I can do.

I treated myself to a Garmin Forerunner 310XT when I completed the program last year and I always run with it now. I love checking out my stats! I'm looking forward to seeing how my heart rate and recovery improves over time as I start again from week 1. :-)


Yes Legion- you're right! I think 'knowing' that we can do it really helps.

I have just bought a Garmin 210, I used it for the first time last night - but couldn't get the heart rate monitor to work until I got home and then re-wet it(?) also, when I went to save my run stats - I erased them -Arggh! So annoying.

I am a huge sucker for stats (and love to see my improvement & beat my pb etc) so can't wait for my next run.....just got to get clued up on the instructions :)

We should be (re)finishing the C25K programme togther as we are due to complete the first week in Dec. :)


I know there'll be differences between models, but I think the Garmin stores your stats so you should be able to get them back and re-upload. I imagine there's a max number of runs it can store but you should be okay this time. ;-) I do love stats, lol! It's really nice when you get to see you've achieved a new PB. Not that I'm trying to race myself or anyone else. My PBs are more about distance covered. :-)

I was lucky enough to complete in 9 weeks last time, but I will have some extra challenges this time round. For one, I'm currently suffering with plantar fasciitis, so that may stop me getting too far. Also, I'll be working full-time again in a few weeks time, whereas I had plenty of time on my hands (and no excuses!) last time. But assuming things do go to plan then it will be great to re-graduate together. :-D

Do you have any rewards planned for your graduation? I started using mfp again yesterday and am tracking my diet very carefully once more (more stats!!). If I work at both the exercise and diet then I'm hoping to reward myself by being able to fit in a dress (for Christmas) that's been hanging in my wardrobe waiting for me way too long. :-/


I probably need to read through the Garmin instructions properly (not 2 seconds before I head out the door-lol) And get myself sorted on the garmin-connect - sounds really cool (for us stats lovers!)

Ouch plantar fasciitis! Hope it eases up soon, and doesn't hold you up (nothing worse when you are all geared up - but cannot get out for a run!).

A new dress is good motivation - i've not got a goal or reward planned.....yet! Last time I had the race4life to aim towards, which is why I though my new running-buddies may like to try out the 'Santa Run'. Plus there is nothing like the adrenaline or exhilaration of a big race/run. (Especially if people/charity are counting on you). Is there a Santa Run near you? Our's is for "Wish Upon a Star".

I love to see how far I have gone too - last time I almost got to 10K.....but not quite grrrr! This time I am determined - and hope to to the race4life 10K next summer! Fingers crossed my running 'team' stick it out with me


I haven't found a run near me yet, although there was one last year (but maybe not big enough for them to run it again). There is one in Birmingham/Walsall (for Acorn's children's hospices) at about the right time though so I'll keep an eye on that. I'm sure it would be fun to run with others and I love dressing up. ;-)


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