Couch to 5K
53,127 members85,216 posts

New to running

Just started Couch to 5K this week. I've never run before - unless it was an emergency! Enjoyed runs 1 & 2 but 3rd run today was very difficult - worse than the very first one. Legs seemed heavy straight away and cramp towards the end. Only managed about 3 complete sets of 60 second running! Disappointed in myself and disheartened. Don't want to give up at this early stage. Any ideas or suggestions welcome?


6 Replies

Try not to be disheartened. This is a big task you are giving your body and it will take a few runs for your body to get the hang of what it's all about.

Did you take on plenty of water the day before? If you are dehydrated your muscles cannot keep going. Also perhaps a few jelly beans (or babies) may help you along.

I got cramp at the end of my run today and had to do some calf stretches. Then a lady shot across the car park asking if I was alright! doh. I thanked her for her concern.

Cramp is not pleasant but in my experience it is something that you can drive yourself through. I found that running was less painful than walking with cramp.

Please do not be disappointed in yourself. You have started a huge project and the benefits are many so try to hang in there. Many people are still on the couch but you got out there and did some running. There is no such thing as a bad run. All runs are good!

I hope you don't stop now, that would be such a shame because you've got the hardest part behind you just making the decision to start the programme.

Come back and tell us how you are getting on. It's a great programme and it does work.


1 like

Hi, congratulations on getting on board. We all get runs that make us ache more or sometimes don't manage to complete. I'm stuck on W5 as y calf's are killing me!!! so I'm repeating the runs but I will get there. So will you. Just keep going. Also Make sure you have a drink before you go and one when you get back. Do some stretches too, I find it helps on my tough days. Don't be disappointed. Three weeks from now you may have another tough run and we will say.... Remember W1? look how far you have come!



It took me several weeks to get past week 1 and 7 months to graduate. But I did it, and my runs are now 30 minutes long, from not being able to run 10 seconds. You can do it too. If you have to do week 1 again, just think that each time you get out there, you are getting fitter!


If you are finding the first week a bit too much for you ( I did!) - try a few weeks of this easier 5K programme. Afterwards, you will have far less problem with that first and second weeks


Don't worry about it too much is all I will say. If a run is too tough, or gets the better of you, just try it again next time. Perhaps throw in an extra rest day to allow recovery time. Never ever be disheartened. You went out there, you ran and that is never something to be down about.

I'd say do run 3 again and see how it goes. If you go back in my posts, I suffered terrible cramp in the early weeks and often ended up in tears! Stretch, warm up and cool down well, look after yourself, stay hydrated and make sure you have good support and shoes.

Keep us up to date with how you get on, I will go back and look at what I tried to see if I can help :) You will find some runs go better then others, there are so many variables to why this could be the case, but chances are your next run will be much better :)


Thanks to all of you who replied with words of encouragement & useful tips. Definitely going to keep going. Thanks again


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