My C25K 1 year anniversary!

My C25K 1 year anniversary!

Hi all!

I started C25K on 07/04/2013, so today is the last day of my first year of running. I like my stats so I will start off with a few of them:

Weight @ Nov 2012 – 94kgs

Weight @ Apr 2013 – 75kgs

Weight @ Apr 2014 – 68kgs (see the photo for before and after comparisons)

1st 5km time – 27:26 (25/05/2013)

5km PB - 21:45 (29/03/2014)

10km PB – 50:27 (06/10/2013)

HM 21.1km PB – 1:57:10 (13/10/2013)

Most run in one month – 147km (March 2014)

Total distance run since starting C25K – 857km

Total time run since starting C25K – 80 hours 40 minutes

My last run was the previous Sunday when I ran a half marathon distance in 2:07:40, it was the day after my 5km PB of 21:45 so it was a tough run because my legs were feeling heavy.

I haven’t been able to run since because I have picked up a virus which triggered my asthma. My aim was to run 23km today to make it both my longest run ever and also to increase my total distance ran to 900km in a year. It wasn’t possible however so I will have to make do with what I think has been a very good year anyway!

My journey began in November 2012 when I decided to weigh myself for the first time in ages and calculated my BMI. I was in the obese category and wasn’t happy. I hadn’t been doing any exercise for 10 years since leaving college and going to work and I wanted to make some changes. I started to go to the gym and calorie counted to lose weight.

I found the C25K programme in December 2012 but at that stage I didn’t have the confidence to begin it. I was still at the beginning of my weight loss and wanted to lose more weight before starting. I began with fast walks and built up to walking for 1 hour. By the time I got there I had lost enough weight and felt like I could begin.

I remember my first run, I downloaded the C25K podcast but I wanted to listen to my own podcasts when running so I listened to Laura the day before to note any hints and tips. I then downloaded a C25K app to tell me when to run and walk. I tracked the run using Nike+ running app and went to my local park. I was very self-conscious and kept thinking people must be looking at me trundling along. However after the first run I realised no-one pays any attention and I just focussed on myself.

I discovered this website when I was half way through C25K and didn’t post until I got to week 7. The encouragement I have received on this site has been amazing and I wouldn’t have managed the distances and speeds without the hints and tips from everyone here.

After graduating I built up to 10km within 3 weeks. That is probably quicker than is recommended but I was on a roll so I ran 7km in the first week, 8km in the second and 10km in the third week.

I discovered Parkrun a few weeks later and have been going regularly since. I took a month’s break in July 2013 because it was the Islamic month of Ramadan when Muslims fast during daylight. So it wasn’t feasible to run when I couldn’t eat or drink for 17 hours! I knew I had the running bug during that month because I got itchy feet! I also decided during that month that I wanted to run a half marathon and when I started running again I began a HM training programme which led to running a HM in October. During the winter I kept running but the distances were less due to the weather and being busy at work. In the last month I have built up to HM distances again so I feel like I am well set for the summer.

The combination of losing weight and finding C25K has truly been life changing for me. My health has improved beyond any dreams I had and I have found a hobby that I love.

My challenges are now to maintain my weight loss (which I have been able to do since August 2013) and to improve all of my PBs. I read on runners world that runners keep improving in their first 7 years, so I still have 6 years of improvements to look forward to!

So for anyone thinking of starting C25K or are at the beginning of the journey stick to it, because for me it got me off the couch I had been sitting on for 10 years and got me running.

Sorry for the long post and happy running!

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36 Replies

  • Wow Aftabs you look amazing. What a transformation. That's a very uplifting post and should encourage any doubters out there about the success of the programme.

    I've lost a lot of weight too, and continue to do so. Losing the weight gave me a spring in my step that I'd not had for years. So I started running and now I can't stop, despite being 56 and having never run before

    It's great isn't it. I haven't developed as quick as you though! LOL

  • Thanks! I felt the same as the weight came off, you just feel like you have a little more self confidence. Also even though the comparison from last year to now is stark I have been able to do it all by taking small and regular steps. So it's possible if you have patience :-)

  • May you continue to inspire us with your meticulous training and awesome runs, Aftab. You are a brilliant example of what we can all do with a bit of dedication, C25k and this forum. Good luck with your future running.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • Thanks, you are far too kind.

  • Wow! Your story is inspiring. Well done. A really interesting account of your "journey"

  • Thank you!

  • Hi Aftabs, I love reading your posts and have done since the first time you came on here, I knew you would become one of C25K's huge success stories and now I see it in writing. You are a credit to yourself, your family must be so very proud of you. I just wish there was an extra badge HU would bring out to be awarded to those that reach such a high standard of achievement within the first year, I'm sure it would encourage and motivate many more to move on and further their running achievements. You and Panther Girl are the best, well done and happy running to you too :)

  • Thanks Oldgirl for all the advice you have given to me and for making this such a great community.

  • Amazing story, thank you for putting up such an inspirational post. Keep up the good work and let us know how it goes.

  • Thanks and I'll keep blogging!

  • What an amazing journey you've made, in so many ways. Totally inspiring! Here's to many many more years of good health and speedy running!

  • Thank you!

  • Wow - what a great post. I've only been running for a short while, just staring to see the weight coming off. Well done you must be so proud.

  • Thanks. When I wanted to get into shape I read about the 101 (actually more like 1 million and 1) methods to lose weight. What worked for me was the simplest method, eat less and exercise more.

  • I always look forward to reading your posts. You have been a great inspiration over the last year. Your journey has been truly inspiring. I love the fact that you always share your enthusiasm with everyone. Happy running and may your journey continue to keep going for strength to strength.

  • Thank for the kind words!

  • Hi Aftabs,

    Happy C25K birthday ;-)

    You've certainly been an inspiration for me, I look forward to your posts and if. I haven't been online for a couple of weeks look back at your posting history. Maybe I'm a stalker....

    I have the Great North Run at my 1 year point and am hoping for a similar post. Considering that 1 minute was a struggle last September for me is proof of the power of C25K.

    I recall you aiming for a 22min parkrun a few months ago - well done on beating this, it's a great achievement.

    Looking forward to next years post - what do you have planned? Tough mudder, marathon?

  • The Great North Run will be a great way to round off your first year, good luck with that!

    I was very pleased with the 5km PB and it happened because I wasn't getting overly worried about by time. I just tried to stick with the faster runners.

    I will apply for the 2015 London Marathon, although my wife thinks running 26 miles is mad. I am not sure about tough mudder, the half marathon event I did in September was very close to a tough mudder event and I didn't much enjoy that! I blogged about that if you haven't read that.

    I will look at what 10km and HM events there are in London and Essex from not to the end of June and might sign up for a few.

  • Brilliant story.

    I am at that self concious stage at the moment, thinking people are watching me drag myself on these short runs and laughing.

    You are a great example to us all.

    Well done

  • Thanks! The day I realised that there is no need to be self conscious was when I ran for about 10 miles last September on a hot day. This was before I started to wear sweatband on my forehead, so I kept wiping away the sweat but after a while I stopped doing it. When I got home and looked at myself in the mirror, it looked like someone had put war paint on my pace! I had thick white lines where my sweat had evaporated and salt was left. I knew I had no reason to be self conscious from then on if no-one said anything when I looked as weird as that!

  • i am week 9 and still feel self conscious!!! lol My Husband laughs at me and says why worry about what other people think at least you are trying. In fact he says i am very trying at times!!!!!!!! ha ha

    Sometimes when i have been outside running people have given me encouraging comments and so far i have not encountered anything negative so try not to worry runner56 and just go for it.

  • I second that! Just keep on running.

  • Brilliant post, thank you.

  • Thanks!

  • Bionic man, you are a legend!! An amazing journey......totally inspirational...happy 1 year anniversary...

  • Thank you for all of your supportive comments too! Also my sweatbands have become my signature mark at Parkrun and I owe that to your advice.

  • What an achievement Aftabs, well done. A lovely inspiring read. x

  • Thank you!

  • You look great aftabs -so damned healthy! Well done you and what a great story.

  • Thanks Dan!

  • Amazing year Aftabs, serious respect to you! 21 mins for a 5k, wow!!!! Never mind all the other mind blowing stats! I really wish NHS choices would put your story on the front page to inspire people and advertise c25k a bit better. Happy running anniversary and all the best for the next one - looking forward to your updates and inspiration :)


  • Thanks NewbieRunner! It's not 21 mins yet, I need to shave off 45 seconds yet, but I hope to do it this year.

    C25K is a great program and deserves all the publicity it can get. Currently my wife and a friend at work are doing it after I convinced them. Also my Dad completed it last summer and even ran parkrun with me twice.

  • What a fantastic year and such an achievement, loving the stats, they motivate so well, seeing the steady but sure progression. If you think what you've achieved running wise in the last twelve months think what's capable in the next twelve.

    Whatever you decide is the next big challenge keep blogging because it is so inspiring to read. ENJOY

  • Thanks Phil, your posts inspired me when I was beginning so if I could do that for anyone else that would be great.

  • Awesome, inspirational and hugely uplifting! Many, many congratulations on achieving such a massive change in your life. Keep going! X

  • Thanks!

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