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Couch to 5K
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Is this the right program for me?

Hi all.

Im a 35 year old male who quit smoking after 17 years on the 19th of Nov. Im 68 lbs overweight and remeber the last time when i was fit as a 13 year old. I wasnt doing any exersice at all. Earlier this year i was blessed with a beautiful baby girl and also the reason why i decided to start looking at my health. Ive started walking with my wife, pushing the stroller for about 2,5km daily. This we started only this week. I find it moderate and it also get my heart rate pretty fast into the fat burning zone. After a while i have to increase my speed to keep it there especially on the downhill. Imwould really like to lose some weight and get myself into the shape that im suppose to be. I have this mental block of me never being slim or fit but decided to change that. I need something to replace the smoking habbit before i go back to it and i think exersice might just be the thing. Only problem is that with my weight, im to scared of damaging joints or to get heart problems if i start running. Or is this just my way of looking for excuses like i always use to? Will this be the right place to start?

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Hi Philippta

This is absolutely the program for you!

Old, young, fat, thin, fit, unfit.....everyone can do it.

You can download the podcasts from iTunes, or find a written week by week explanation on the website.

Just follow the program, and listen to Laura( that will make sense when you download) giving 30 minutes 3 x a week.

You won't believe the difference it makes.

We have people with asthma, arthritis, back problems, dodgy knees etc all doing it.

Just give it a try, and keep posting and asking questions on this site......congratulations on your new family, and for wanting to change your health.

You've done the hardest thing ( quitting smoking )....

Good luck !

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Well done on giving up smoking. Fantastic achievement. This is a brilliant programme for anyone and you will get fabulous support from this community. Some of the stories are inspiring and keep you going. Create a mental picture of WHEN you will be slim and fit. That will keep you going. Enjoy the journey!

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Philip, you have decided to change all by yourself, so I am sure you will have the motivation to complete C25k. I won't comment on the weight issues because there are many others on this forum with personal experience who can better advise you, but I will say that this plan, in conjunction with this forum does work and has converted thousands of us unfit mortals into runners, who actually love this form of exercise. At times it can be tough, but post here and you will get all the support you need and you WILL become a runner too. Good luck.


Fanatsic that you are ready to take those first important steps. If you are in any doubt, talk to your doctor, you might also find talking to them will give you that I can't back out now feeling. Take it slow and steady listen to what your body is telling you rather than your mind. Looking forward to going on this journey with you.


Couch25k will be fine for you. I would say also that walking in general is a really good, easy and cheap way to lose weight. Walk everywhere. Leave the car at home as often as you can. I've given up fags and booze and lost 52 lbs in weight. I could move so much more easily after that so I took up running, starting with Couch. It's brilliant. You just do as Laura tells you and you can't go wrong. Eat less, and move more is the mantra. You can do it!


Motivation doesn't come much better than doing C25K to be around for your children and to be a good role model for them. You've obviously already got the right mindset - you've started with absolutely the right thing of giving up smoking (a month smoke free already, and at what can be a tough time of year) and of increasing your activity in a way that fits your life. C25K has the merit of being free (although lots of us are quite capable of spending a lot of money!) and flexible and it can be done whilst looking after small children (some great stories here about parents running round and round parks with pushchairs) but doesn't take a lot of time out of the rest of your life if not.

A couple of things to think about: C25K works best if you just do it, so for now, you can pretty much ignore the heart rate thing. It won't lose you weight all by itself but it will give you a tool for losing weight, if that makes sense?

I was worried about my joints too, so I decided I was not going to run on roads and pavements and in nearly 2 years of running I almost never have. It is worth getting decent running shoes which may involve spending a fair bit... but may not. I started C25K in lightweight walking boots on forest rides and paths as I didn't possess *any* trainers and have rewarded myself for persistence with shoes and then other items. If you do decide to commit some money to it, I'd really recommend going somewhere that will take the shoes back if you don't like them in practice. The worst effect on my joints was from the most expensive and properly fitted pair of shoes - but I could take them back to Sweatshop covered in mud and swap them.


I'd say this is the perfect plan for you. Might be worth you getting yourself checked over by your GP before you start. Congratulations on acquiring a daughter.


Hi! Well done on giving up the cigarettes and planning on getting fit for your new family. I began C25K in Oct 2012 at 18st 10lbs just after joining Weight Watchers; I now follow MyFitnessPal and have it linked to Runkeeper so my calories earned transfer across automatically; and that makes me think a lot more about what I put in my mouth! I have now lost 3 stone 9lbs, changed my shape hugely (which was the running firming long lost muscles up; not the dieting so much) and recommend C25K to everyone I meet. I still have about 2 stones to lose, and will achieve that in 2014, and hopefully will continue to bring my 5km times down to get to that elusive 30 minute mark! :-)

I have got my adult children involved (after they have seen my changing fitness levels and weight loss), they are graduates of the programme and have all joined their local gym too, my younger daughter has lost about 3 stones so far ( with about 5 still to go) and her hubby has lost well over 2 stones so far... The elder daughter has got much fitter but is not as dedicated with her eating as yet, but hopes to lose some weight along the way! We take my 4 year old grandson to parkrun with us, he has so far been pushed in a cycling buggy, but now has his own barcode and next time will walk/run himself with my younger daughter as she is not running too fast (but is out there doing it which is great!)

Get them podcasts downloaded, put baby in her buggy and get out as a family and enjoy! Don't put pressure on yourself to hit targets too early; just moving more and keeping trying will help you achieve, and the sense of pride in that is inspiring! Good luck (and sorry this was long!) :-)


Lovely post poppy :-)


Take it from this 74 year old soon to be 75, this is a wonderful programme and lots of advice on this forum. Check with your GP, do what Laura says and you will be fine. Use the year 2014 to get fit. Pat :-)


Hi I will reflect everything above. See your GP if concerned, don't think about too hard about the programme and go for it before you talk yourself out of it. I lost 2.5 stones Aug to June with Slimming World, started C25K in June and lost another lbs but dropped 2 dress sizes. I am a slow jogger so going for a time rather than distance is better as I slowed right down if I found it tough going. This forum is brilliant for motivation. I never thought I would be running 5kms 3 times a week and love it good luck and go for it, you and your daughter deserve it. X


You won't loose the weight by exercise alone but it certainly helps shape & the difference it makes to your spirit is unbelievable & that helps your motivation to stick to a diet. I know all the right things to eat but lack the willpower so joined slimming world & found this useful. As for the running I set out one evening for a walk in my trainers & took my MP3 player with me just to listen to week 1 (had been doing a bit first with my kitchen timer) and I just couldn't resist Laura. There was no going back after that. The forum folk & the wonderful feeling of achievement kept me going. Get checked out if your worried & then go for it, slowly & steadily. Good luck.


First of all well done for quitting smoking but this program is for EVERYBODY literally, although there are 3 runs a week you can repeat a week for as long as you need to before moving onto the next! I myself am overweight and never dreamed I a million years that I would be able to run for 20 mins! I believe I even scoffed at the idea to my husband very loudly! Then when it came to it even when I doing my warm up walk I was like "nah" but I started running anyway nice and steady pace and then after 5 mins I was like "oh my god!", 10 mins and I started doubting I'd done it! By 15 I was like "I actually think I can do this" then by the time the 20 came I stopped running and then stopped and looked back to make sure I hadn't dreamed it......I got home my husband was there and he said "well?" And I just burst into tears! I was soooo happy! He then started laughing at me for crying! But I'll tell you what it was such a major accomplishment! The program works so please give it a go, go at your own pace and you'll be surprised what you can achieve!


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