Couch to 5K
52,544 members84,602 posts

Starting c25k part way through advice

Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice about starting c25k.

With the summer coming (hopefully!), it's time to cancel the gym membership and get outdoors. I'll be going boating so will be running, mainly on towpaths, with a few boat friendly exercises such as planking & sit-ups thrown in (as well as all the working locks!)

Currently I'm going to the gym 3-5 days a week, and doing 10 mins cross trainer (at 10-11 km/h), 10 mins rowing and 10 mins treadmill (1 min walk (5.7km/h), 4 x 90 sec run (9.5km/h) 30sec walk, 1 min run).

Question is, is it still worth starting c25k from the beginning, or could I try jumping in part way through to suit where I already am? If so where would those of you who've done it suggest?

Thanks in advance for your help.


7 Replies

I always say it's best to think of the c25k as a guide, others will disagree.

You could start at the beginning, and do the first three runs as weeks ie week 1 run 1, followed by week 2 run 1 (instead of week 1 run 2) and see how you feel


Thank you crox.

That was my thinking, but just wanted someone to agree with me :)

Just got to go and buy the shoes now, then no excuse.



Because you have run/exercised for the main part on the inside ... The great outdoors can knock you off your feet... may I suggest you start at least close to the beginning if not at the beginning let's say week 2 or 3 and do it outside to see how you feel, if you find that too difficult then you can always go to the very beginning and start from there. As you will want to run outdoors do c25k outdoors... There is a difference.

1 like

There are loads of different ways into running and other C25Ks but if you want to do the NHS C25K and especially to get the most out of this forum, I'd suggest just 'doing the NHS C25K'. There are benefits you can't get from being in the gym (not to mention challenges perhaps if the gym is your environment). Most (not all) people, even if they are very fit in other activities seem find they have to de-couple themselves to a degree from thinking about speed and distance and just do it, at least for a while. Worth bearing in mind that if you run every other day, which is perfectly within the programme, it will take you less than time than 9 weeks to graduate. (That said, I find the Week 1 session the toughest of the lot...)

I wouldn't want Mo Farah to come on here and put 'Graduate' after his name even though he can demonstrably run for 30 minutes continuously. Unless he did the programme.


Hi Frances and welcome to the forum and running. Your already fit and active unlike many who set out on this journey, you will be used to listening to your body too. My suggestion would be do each week but see how the first run goes, if its very easy move on, if its just OK do a second and if you struggle then all 3 runs. I wouldn't expect you to need to do all three of any of the early weeks to be honest. The time to take it more gradual will be when you reach the continuous running periods. Your workouts in the gym are similar to mine which I do on non running days and they are designed to raise the heart beat and build stamina which you won't lack. Good luck with the program and so long as you listen to your body you should be fine.


This sounds like very wise advice!


Thanks for all the advice.

Think I'll start from the beginning as suggested and see how I get on.

I'm going to stay in the gym till the end of the month as it's paid for, and it will give me time to get out to buy some off road shoes, then I'll start this.

I'll let you know how I get on.


You may also like...