New to the couch to 5k program


I've just started the program after a selection of health issues over the last few years which on top of everything else have seen me put on a fair bit of weight.

I'm not really confident about doing this outdoors so have been using the treadmill in the gym. It seems to be a bit tricky getting the speed up and then down to fit the instructions but I think I'm getting there.

I've just completed the 3 runs in week 1 which were pretty tough. But at least I got there.

I guess my main concern is about what is a reasonable speed. At the moment I'm setting the treadmill to 6.5kph for the brisk walk and 7.5kph for the jogging sections. I can cope with those speeds and they are also not so far apart that I lose a lot of time adjusting the speed.

I'd love to hear from any other people using treadmills to see how they are getting on and what speeds they are using.



16 Replies

  • Hi john. As long as the time you are jogging you are moving faster than walking, No prob. Speed comes later. My preference is to run outside.

  • Run naturally outside and see what transpires. If you do what Laura says each run then you'll progress through them until graduation on week 9. You don't have to worry about times, speeds, pace or any of that. You just have to concentrate on finishing

    If you take each run as it comes then you'll be fine outside. Vary your route to make life interesting. Happy running

  • Thanks Grace and misswobble

    My concern about running outside is really about becoming a target for the local yobs. I used to regularly get stuff (eggs, half eaten burgers and so on) thrown out of cars at me when I walked to and from the station. And I wasn't as old or as big as I am now.

    If the good weather keeps up then I may risk it on the days when I work from home. Hopefully the yobs won't be prowling the streets looking for targets at lunchtime!

  • I can't believe the depths to which some people sink.

    How about early mornings? I much prefer running as soon as I get up (after a drink of water). It's a great way to start the day, and with the distances involved in C25K many people manage without needing to eat and then allow time for it to digest first.

    I've never tried the treadmill so would advocate outside for anyone if it was safe, but if you're ok with running on a treadmill then stick with it. The great thing is that you've started the programme - so I hope you enjoy it and feel the benefits.

  • That's pretty low - I'd be tempted to throw it back at them or perhaps return the food to it's owner using the vehicle's exhaust. But I'm obviously not suggesting you try that....;)

    Treadmill or outside, don't let this put you off.

    If you find a run challenging, try slowing your pace a little, take one or two deeper breaths during the run, have a distraction to take your mind off any thoughts of giving up and remember the satisfaction you get from completing a run.

    Stay determined and all the best for continuing through to graduation.

  • Oh dear what a nuisance. Still they are yobs. That's their problem. I get stuff shouted out of car windows but so do all the other female runners, but the shouters are stupid thicko's so you have to make allowances. LOL

    There must be somewhere peaceful nearby where you can run in peace, a local country park etc. The runs are very short so won't lead you too far from home for the walk back. Or you could take the bus back home if you run out of your area, which might be a good plan to solve the issue of the yobs.

    Let us know how you get on

  • I used the dreadmill once - man! It was so boring, and fiddly with the changes of speed. So I bit the bullet and out I went . No one laughed at me (except myself once when I realised I'd just done the run with my bicycle clip on). It really is so much more pleasant. Please give the outdoors a try. Find somewhere nice to run and off you go . Run John run!

  • If you need to continue on the treadmill, for whatever reason, the one I've been using at the gym (a Life Fitness brand) has a speed interval button so that you program your "jog" and "run" speeds in before you start, then you only need to press the one button after that to swap speeds which makes it less fiddly.

    Now summer is hopefully here I'm about to head outdoors, just hope I'll enjoy it. Don't let the local idiots get you down, they are not worth it.

  • Brilliant work. remember, its not about the speed at the moment, the important thing is building your stamina. everyone runs at different speeds, and that speed has to be right for you and your body, no one else. Week 1 was definitely my toughest week, just getting my body used to running again, 22 odd years after leaving school was tough. just relax in to it and enjoy yourself. you are doing an amazing job already! xxx

  • It must be hard when you live in an area with such 'uncouth louts' sorry if my description is a bit strong but they wouldn't take kindly to a group of older people all setting on them calling them names and throwing stuff at them, its hateful behaviour. Check with your gym staff John there may be a way of setting your dreadmill to intervals, if its a modern machine it probably will. They also say to set the incline to 1-2% to be more like running outside. For me though the gym is the last resort when it comes to running as I just don't like treadmills hence my name for them being dreadmills. If you have a park close by why not try running in it or as someone suggested early morning, chances are the local yobs will still be in bed. Good luck with the program and listen to your body, especially when you have had health issues. You will soon feel the benefits though.

  • Everyone

    Thanks so much for your support and ideas. I'll have a word at the gym and also perhaps try my luck outside.

    I hit week 2 run 1 today. Staggered a bit at how much harder 90 seconds is compared to 60. It doesn't sound much different but everything aches. I suppose the good news it that it is just aches and not pain so nothing damaged.

    All the best


  • Do some gentle stretches after each run John, there are loads for runners just Google Runners stretches and find some that you feel will help the aches. Also drink extra water its good for keeping the body well oiled.

  • i just did week one day one last night, and i do mean NIGHT. i live in a city, and understand not wanting to attract attention. so a friend (who has completed) and i ran together. whatever works! good luck to you! and i hope you feel as awesome as i do! my ankles hurt, but i did it!

  • Its normal to ache but as you lossen up you will soon feel better

  • Thanks Oldgirl and Misswobble

  • Welcome to the programme. You will get plenty of support here and it sounds as though you need it after being targeted by such obnoxious vermin on the streets. If you can get to somewhere decent to have a run outside then great - if not, continue using the treadmill. The important thing is to feel safe and enjoy the programme. It might be worth putting a card on the Gym's noticeboard to find out if anyone else in your area is interested in C25K - if you can go out in a group that would add to the safety aspect of it. Some people have asked for running companions in their area on this forum. My very best wishes to you.

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