Skipping week one of C25K - yay or nay?

I have decided to give the c25k challenge a go and completed my first run last night. To be honest, I found it a little too easy despite a pesky headwind and some small hills to contend with. I ran quite briskly for each of the 60 second intervals and found the 90 second walks to be a little too long. Don't get me wrong, I got out of puff and broke bit of a sweat, but I was far from tired after completing the session and feel physically fine today, so I thought it might be an idea to skip the first week, go straight into the 2nd and complete the programme from there.

Admittedly I am new to running, however am generally quite active and play squash & go swimming once weekly in addition to taking lengthy walks with my dog on a daily basis. This said, I don't want to do myself an injury and was therefore wondering what the general consensus is on skipping the first week of the programme in accordance with personal fitness? I suppose that ultimately my body will tell me whether it's a good idea (or not!), but it would be great to gain an outside perspective from some more experienced c25k'ers.

Just for the record; I am 29 years old with no medical conditions.

Thanks in advance :)


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7 Replies

  • Up to you but its only two more runs and you will be able to look back and say you completed the whole program if you don't skip week 1.

  • In my humble opinion, start at a point where you are mentally engaged. For me and most other starters it was Wk1r-3, but if you are already a little bored or are not working enough at this level then move to wk2.

    Based upon your current activity level another 30 secs isn't going to hurt. If it does, you know what to do....

    My 2 cents...


  • The 3 runs each week will help build up your leg muscles for longer runs, will also prepare your lungs for more strenuous use. The program is 3 x 9 weeks so I would stick with it at least you will know you have done the preparation work for the next week. For those that feel they are not ready to move on there is no harm in repeating runs it will pay off in the long run (no pun intended) Good luck with the programme.

  • There are loads of different ways into running and if another way suits you better, do it (and loads of other forms of exercise too - depends what you were looking for when you decided to try running). But if you want to do the NHS C25K, do the NHS C25K. You may be expecting running to be a different experience from what it is (most of us will say that there are psychological changes... yes, for the unfiit it is most often about believing we can do it... but for others, something different has to happen and it is more about a kind of acceptance. You are not alone in this - all over the forum you can see posts with a kind of bargaining going on: do I have to listen to the music? why can't I go two days in succession? fussing about speed and so on.

  • Sounds like you've got a good fitness base so the first weeks will not be hard on that front, but there are other things going on in between runs too, not just the general cardiovascular fitness and big muscles. Muscles in feet, ankles and lower leg are changing too. I'd stick to the programme and give all your muscles time to adapt to running. The rest days are crucial too. At absolute worst it'll take a few days longer to complete, which will be nothing really in the end if you get to where you want to be.

    PS: actually with other sports, you may find for some you don't need the days rest if they're using different muscles that you have already developed (eg swimming), but certainly for squash I'd be scheduling runs around that so there's still a day and a half's break between things.

  • Thanks for the replies everyone. I have decided to carry on with the first week to give myself the best chance of completing the programme. I only have one run left by now anyway and I'm actually looking forward to it! :)

  • I was big on crosstraining ans swimming when I started and would walk for hours. I found running used very different muscles and was glad I followed the program as I floundered a bit later in the program. In my opinion (and I really am no expert) your only going to learn to run once so take the time you will beat yourself up later if you have any hiccups. It's not that much time to take.

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