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Couch to 5K
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Beginner, now running 5k (Long read loll....disclaimer)

Hey, first of all I'd like to say a great big hello to everyone.

For a month or so, I have been browsing healthunlocked after signing up. May I just say how inspirations you all are. This is one of most supportive forums I have come across and its a pleasure to be a part of!

About a month ago, when I signed up I commenced the 9 week couch25k programme via my android app. I had put it off for many a year and thought I'd get by. I don't even know what clicked but I became extremely conscious of my health - I was the type to have a lot of takeaway food and eat delicious home cooked fatty Pakistani food. The first thing I realised was as much running I want to do, the ultimate goal of a better fitness does not go without making significant adjustments to ones diet.

That said, for a few days I began a healthier diet and intended to go out for my Week 1 Run 1...........

Basically, I flopped and remained a couch potato.....

For a three days I had my gear ready and my heart was telling me to go for the first session.....

And then, all of a sudden, I dropped whatever I was doing on the that morning and achieved some satisfaction by completing the my first jog/walk! I was seriously overjoyed as I got past the toughest hurdle - which is physically getting out there and trying it.

Now, one month later I haven't looked back and have built on this. I must add, I read the forums on a daily basis and have drawn great inspiration from you all. Your support and advice to anonymous surfers like me cannot be understated in any way! I particularly enjoyed read Aftabs posts as having read his profile/posts I felt somewhat similar to him in terms of weight and dietary issues. I got in contact with him privately and he sent me some extremely useful info so a personal thanks to him.

Anyways, fast forward 3 weeks. I ended up doing 4 sessions each week and got up to Week 3 Run 3 - it was extremely challenging yet so rewarding. I never felt like quitting because I thought about my end goal - weight loss and better health & fitness. So, I achieved great satisfaction and was delighted I could run (really jogging) 5 mins when I was struggling with 1 min jogging in the first week. I realised, small steps make a huge difference in the long run (pardon the pun).

Anyways, about 10 days ago, I had a bad day at work and got home pretty late and needed to clear my head. So, I decided to try the 5k......I completed it in about 35 minutes and when I stopped I almost felt as if I was flying and the momentum just carried me further a little lol. I think in hindsight, jumping from week 3 to the full 5k may not have been the brightest idea as the programme calls for a more measured and structured approach.

However, I have now run 5k on 5 occasions in the last 10 days! Im so delighted and feel fantastic. I have certainly learned a few things during the last month or so and if I could take the to share this I would greatly appreciate it.

1. Shoes - I picked out an unused pair of Asics trainers from my cupboard that I bought 3 years ago. They were OK when I first started but then began having some issues with my knees, pain under the kneecaps and on the inside too. I kinda put off visiting a running shop as I thought shoes would be costly. Have a gait analysis done for two reasons - self educate yourself about how your body and feet/legs work so you have an understanding of the pressures placed on your body. Secondly, it will be most helpful when choosing a running shoe. The pain in my knees has now almost but disappeared and I put this down to the footwear which provides me the support.

2. Calorie counting - if you seriously want to improve your fitness and health, and want to lose weight them its very important to understand what you are consuming. Plenty of folk of have written about this topic but I find my running programme and calorie counting go hand in hand. A healthier diet is paramount to your success.

3. Nike+ overestimates your distances lolllll

4. Be positive. There will be ups and downs in your journey, but have a positive outlook. I always have a benchmark from where I was say a month ago, a week ago or a year ago. One month ago I was struggling to jog one minute......now my diet has changed and I have run 5k on five occasions! Everything is achievable if you have the patience, a little drive and a ton of commitment.

And finally, thanks for read for reading this essay. Unbeknownst to all of you, you have provided me great insight, support and guidance and wish you all the success.

Regards, Mohson

8 Replies

Hi Mohson. It's great to hear the progress you have made. Be careful not to push yourself too much because you could pick up a niggle. Has the calorie counting led to some weight loss? Also I hope my little guide was helpful. Now that you have reached 5km I'd advise joining your local Parkrun because that will help you further improve and hopefully continue running.


Well done Mohson (sorry I pinched you name from Aftabs' reply). I'm sure there are many out there reading your post & getting as much inspiration as you had from the other posts on the site. Couldn't agree with you more - This is a very encouraging forum. It's certainly kept me going.


Fantastic blog... You should feel really good about your your achievements...and clearly many more to come!!! Well done


Great summary Mohson.

Wish you continued success.



Great post and very well done! I agree that calorie counting and exercise go hand in hand!


Well done. Don't push yourself too hard though.


Well, 'slow and steady' doesn't fit you, does it?! Congratulations on making significant changes in your life - it's so good to read stories like this. I'd agree with Aftabs and Eebahgum - take care not to overdo things in your enthusiasm, as you'd be so disappointed if you had to stop for several weeks with an injury. It's not a race! :)


Thank You to all of you for your positive responses. Now that I know I am capable of running 5K, I will certainly take it easy and appreciate your advice - I'm ultra enthusiastic about running now, and like other people, I simply cant wait for my next run. I read your replies during work which made my day even better so thanks!!

To be honest Aftab, the diet regime has helped. I lost the first four kilos (which is mainly water weight) and I'm currently between 90-91kg for the last 3 weeks. However, I'm not deterred as the weight loss is a gradual process. Your guide was extremely useful, particularly the links to the various websites to calculate BMI/BMR etc. I didnt realise Chappatti's contained so much calories!! Im certainly considering taking part in some Park Run events which will be fun.

Now that I have posted, I'll aim to support others - much like you have all done with me. I feel extremely privileged to part of such a positive forum. My father once told me if you surround yourself with positive people, you too will become positive. Never a truer word spoken!!


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