What c25k has done for me

I originally graduated in September 2012, but due initially to injuries, a new job and then the change in season, my running was not quite as regular as I had hoped. In mid-September 2013 I got back into the habit of running three times per week, but didn't feel I was making much progress and was nowhere near running 5K. A month later I decided to go through the whole c25k programme again from the beginning, starting off a little faster than my original tortoise-like pace. I worked my way back up to running for 30 minutes and then running 5K. It was hard work, especially for my lungs, but I persevered.

Now, as we approach spring 2014, I can say that I have run at least 3 times a week all through the winter (bar a couple of occasions when I was really unwell), regularly run 5K, have run 8K a couple of times, and various distances in between, and my pace has gradually improved. Back in 2012, it took me 50 minutes of hard, gruelling running on the treadmill to do my first ever 5K. Just over a week ago I did my 'personal best' 5K in 37:22 outdoors, which I believe is something like 25% faster. :-O Yesterday, I covered 8K in 1:03:49.

I have lost 33lbs since I first started running (still plenty more to lose!) and in February, between running and walking, I burned over 10,000 calories. Calories that I would be 'wearing' if I hadn't got off the couch! ;-) When I first started c25k it was a struggle to run for a whole minute. Now I can run for over an hour, faster than I did for that first minute!

If you are wondering if you can do this couch to 5k thing, the answer is yes! If you are struggling with a particular week and feel like you are getting nowhere, know that every run is making you stronger, even the ones that seem 'bad'. One day you will turn a corner and realise just how far you have come. You are doing the best thing in the world for yourself and no-one else can do it for you. Keep at it and keep smiling. :-)

23 Replies

  • Brilliant - well done! Gives hope to all of us who have yet to graduate. I'm only at Wk3 but starting to get shin niggles. Really hoping it doesn't stop me dead in my tracks.

  • Have you got the right shoes? They can make all the difference. I started off with proper running shoes and was lucky enough not to suffer any shin pain, but my son had problems when he ran with me a few times (in 'ordinary' trainers). There's also some exercises you can do which are supposed to help (try searching for shin splints or shin exercises).

    Well done for getting started and don't get put off (but don't be tempted to 'run through' pain either). Find the right exercises/shoes for you and remember that rest days are a crucial part of the programme. Happy running. :-)

  • Yep, well, allegedly as I got my feet tested at a proper running shop. Maybe it's just my body getting used to the increasing distance and shoes - not sure. It only starts to ache about 5 hours after I've run, not during it.

  • I've got into the habit of having baths rather than showers after my runs, as my legs ache a bit now I'm running further. It seems to work for me, and gives me an excuse to listen to a bit more of my audiobook too. ;-)

  • Sadly we ditched out bath when we had our bathroom gutted last year - had a nice walk-in shower instead. Guess I'll have to start going to the sauna at the gym a bit more :-)

  • I wouldn't worry too much about shin splints, provided you're wearing proper shoes. I had absolutely chronic ones when I first started, but somewhere around week 3/4 they just disappeared. Just listen to your body, go a bit easy when they flare up, and they'll go away as your muscles strengthen.

  • Yes -- I also had them when I started this programme (although I did not have them before that ) However - they also do seem to have gone away.

  • I suffered from shin pain for years... running has improved it (and bear in mind this was initially running in walking boots) I do find hard surfaces disagree with me though.

  • Great post legion what a journey we have have had since 2012, I've had lots of ups and downs but still get out 2 or 3 times a week. Pat :-)

  • Great to hear from you, Pat. :-) It has been a real journey and experience, but I wouldn't change any of it.

  • Great post and well done on such amazing progress. Very inspiring, thanks.

  • Thank you for this lovely positive post! I know it will encourage many newbies to realise they too are only human and have the same worries but it is within their own remit to make a huge difference to their well being. Some times it is not easy to keep up the momentum and get out when we 'should', but this post is proof positive that the programme works - so hang in there all you newbies and soon you too will start to feel the benefits!


  • Smashing reading your post Legion, you have like quite a few of us had ups and downs and by that I don't mean the hills!! Its hard to do the program a second time, fighting back but the time and energy is well spent. I thank my lucky stars just about every day that I found NHS C25K and gathered the courage to give it a try, I have never regretted it and never will for may reasons but one of the most important is I have made so many lovely new friends on here and of course the obvious one, I'm a lot fitter and happier. Keep on running Legion, its nice to see you back were you belong :)

  • Wonderful inspiring post :-) we do need to remember that every run is a positive even if it doesn't turn out as expected. Thank you for sharing your running journey x

  • Great post, a great advert for c25k and it really is a life changer!

  • Great post. So inspiring. It's great to hear about how your speed has gone up and the distances gone further. The weight loss is fantastic. You have forgotten to mention your great work keeping us all on track with jantastic. A load of achievements, to be really proud of.

  • Sally slingshot you are an inspiration. You go girl !

  • Congratulations. It is so good to read such long term success stories. Keep it up.

  • Thanks for posting, and yes don't forget being our jantastic coordinator! So many positives in your post but the best thing of all is that you have gained and maintained a healthier you. :-)

  • Great post matey; very inspiring and a great journey we can all relate to at whatever stage we are at.

  • How motivating and inspiring it was to read your post!!!!

  • Just a quick update to say that I ran 10K yesterday, for the first time, and enjoyed it. :-) This from someone who thought she wouldn't make it past Week 1 Run 1. ;-) Happy running folks!

  • Well done Legion on all fronts. 10k! Look at you go. Well done on the weight loss too. Your story is an inspiration to others. Go Legion.

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