What was your 'trigger' to start the C25K?

Hi All :)

I've just read a post from Joanne37 and it got me thinking about why people decide to start the c25k or decide to just get fitter. What was it that made you get up one day and say to yourself 'this will be the day I start looking after myself'? What was the 'trigger'?

I'd be interested in hearing about your 'trigger'. To start things off, this was mine..........

For me, it was when my two daughters had visited a medium.......bear with me ;)

They visited this person approximately a year ago and they were told at the time that their father (me) was going to sustain an injury to their foot. I broke my toe being chased by my then, two year old grandson, who was chasing me with a toy snake ;) I wasn't wearing any shoes and I kicked a wooden door frame which resulted in my toe pointing in a totally different direction to what it should have been!

About 6 weeks ago my two daughters visited this person again and they were told someone called Paul (I'm called Paul) was going to be visiting the hospital regarding an issue with their chest and that they needed to stop stressing about things and start looking after themselves and eating more healthily. THE SAME DAY that they were seeing this medium, I was taken by a work colleague to hospital because I was experiencing bad chest pains, sweating and feeling nauseous whilst at work! After having a full check up I was relieved to hear that it wasn't any issue with my heart but chest muscle spasms possibly caused by stress!

I'm not necessarily a believer in all of this (I do, however, tend to have an open mind) but a few days after this incident, and with the words of the medium still ringing in my ears, I decided it was time I started looking after myself better and my journey on the C25K began :)

So, what was your 'trigger'?

60 Replies

  • I started dieting and exercising just after new year in a bid to lose weight for my wedding next year, Ideally I'd like to lose 7 stone before May next year. I accidentally found the c25k plan one evening around the middle of February and started the next day, since new year I've lost around 2 stone and dropped 2-3 sizes. I'm not sure how much of this is down to running but mentally its changed my life completely - I suffered really badly with anxiety issues that practically kept me a prisoner in my own home so taking those first baby steps out the door was a massive thing for me to do. Since starting the plan I've consistently run three times a week and my confidence just keeps on growing, I'm happier than I've ever been and find stressful situations a lot easier to handle since I started.

    Good luck on your journey :)

  • Mine was my grand daughter being diagnosed with cancer and her utter grace in dealing with it. It coincided with a 5k run my daughter in law was doing and I thought I can do this for Jess, and damn it, do it well, so I started C25K on April 16th, hardly able to lift my foot off the ground let alone run and here I am 6 weeks later having "run" 30 mins non stop this morning. Very hard to believe this is me , this am was contemplating buying an outfir for a christening, then thinking nah , I need running stuff ! That's amazing, I am 67 years old and never wanted running stuff in my life !

  • Heartwarming GrannyJ. I do hope your granddaughter will conquer 'that thing' and get well. I lost my dear sister 2 years ago and would like eventually to take part in a charity run in her name and raise some money for cancer research or similar. Keep running!

  • I gave up smoking on 13th August 2013 and replaced cigarettes with food - not a good idea! LOL :|

    By the time Christmas came I knew I needed to lose weight but decided after a check up at the docs that the 4 extra kilos could wait until after Christmas. I most certainly wasn't going to start there and then and spoil what is supposed to be a happy time of year.

    After Christmas, I just kept putting the starting date off every day - tomorrow, next week, week after. Then I got a call from the docs to go for my annual health check and to my absolute horror, I found that the 4 extra kilos had multiplied times three plus one and I was now carting round an extra 13 kilos or if you prefer 2 stone or just a little over 28 pounds.

    As someone who, many years ago, was nearly 9 stone overweight, my thoughts turned to did I really and truthfully want to be that heavy again? The answer was obviously no I didn't but how do I stop it from happening?

    All those years ago, the answer was simple - I replaced one portion of food with one cigarette and obviously because the weight was "racking up" I was doing the reverse this time around and having more food instead of a cigarette or cigarettes.

    I started dieting and became very conscious of just how much I was actually eating but found myself so very tempted to smoke rather than eat and knew that I just could not have "one" as that "one" would lead me straight back to a couple of packs a day.

    Boredom was my problem because I wasn't smoking, housework, ironing and generally everything I do was taking less time because I wasn't continually breaking off and smoking so what could I do?

    I don't know quite how it happened but Couch to 5K was somehow planted in my brain and the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of doing it. Gawd knows, even at school, if I could get out of any and all types of PE, then I would so what drew me to this I honestly have no idea.

    I started out "on the cheap" (see my previous posts) but not any more - I have a new addiction and one that I would never have believed I would enjoy so much but I do, honestly and truthfully, I do, I do! :D

    I still find it very hard to believe that back on the 12th April, I was puffing and panting like the clappers after the starting brisk 5 minute walk never mind the 1 minute of running and here I am, doing W8R2 tomorrow.

    This has definitely and positively given me a new lease of life and it's wonderful - definitely not the most elegant and positively not the fastest but I can run and I can keep going for 28 minutes in one go!!!!!! :) :| :D

  • It's not uncommon for people to replace one form of addiction with another -- my friend who was a reformed alcoholic told me all about that. Fortunately you have now found a better addiction to replace the smoking :)

  • My trigger was one day when I had to meet a colleague at an RHS garden to organise a bee day and when I was walking up a short gentle hill I found I was struggling to catch my breath and talk at the same time. At the time my life was on total overload and I felt it was a bit out of control (it probably was!) I'd already heard about C25K and was trying to get some friends to come along. They were dithering about it so I decided to just get on with it.

    It's the best thing I ever did. My weight has gone down a little, my blood sugar control is good and I just feel so much better in myself. Positive, more confident, calm, much less stressed etc. I just wish there was a way for newbies to experience those improved feelings because it would really spur them on!

  • Great question, Paul, nice one! :-) I drive for a living which, obviously, involves a large amount of sitting down. And eating chocolate. I like chocolate. (Okay, that's my own doing and not part of the job description!) I'd put a bit of weight on in the last few years. That, alcohol, chicken skin and pork crackling didn't help. (Not all in one go, that'd be some breakfast!)

    I used to run when I was about eighteen, but not seriously like this and I was considering getting back into it. I know I needed to get fit, at any rate. Then, one day in March, watching three of my, quite large and very out of condition workmates, getting hugely out of breath and crimson red during a bit of light manual handling (I was sat watching on the forklift; important job, tha knows!) and it shocked me into action. There was still some room between me and the steering wheel of the lorry: I wanted to keep it that way! I really can't remember how I found C25K but I'm so glad I did. I just wish I'd found it years ago!

  • wow....thats an interesting trigger!! Mine was that I wanted to find out about a weight loss thing ( myfitnesspal) on NHS choices as a friend told me about it ( I wanted to lose weight). I was on the website and came accross Laura's video about taking up running, so I just thought, ' well if she says anyone can do it, then that includes me'!! So I went out that day and that was it, I was in love!!!! :)

  • Wow. Great posts everyone :) I find it genuinely interesting reading about peoples reasons for starting. Varied reasons, or triggers, but ultimately all the same goal. Fantastic. :)

  • Hi Paul,

    For me it was my best friend Tracy, who was already on c25k and i went and watched her do Parkrun with her family in Dec'13 (her husband and kids run too), then i knew i just wanted to give this a go! :) I wasn't mega unfit, have always walked and cycled a bit, but after losing 2 stone in 2012, after a rough year in 2011 suffering with stress and depression in a big way, i knew i wanted to de- stress more and have a focus! Managed to complete the programme in the 9 weeks, felt really proud! :) Really want to achieve the magic 10k by the end of the year, its slow progress but hopefully i will get there! thinking about entering a 10k race in October near my birthday! :)

  • Hello Paul, enjoying following your progress, I think I first accessed the forum when you started the C25K ! For me the trigger was just seeing someone running on a road near me and thinking that I wouldn't want to go to my grave never having tried running and realised I was fast running out of time to do anything about it. I downloaded the podcasts during and idle moment in the Christmas holidays but didn't do anything about it for ages. One day in March I was just walking to the sandwich shop to get some lunch in my lunch break and just thought 'I'll give that podcast a go' with no forethought or planning. So it was that I found myself stumbling about in the local woods with totally unsuitable shoes and my work clothes on. I was horrified by how hard it was to run for 60 seconds as I didn't consider myself to be especially unfit and it was the realisation that I was much less fit than I thought that made me stick with the programme. I have set such a good example that my daughter has joined me and she is thrilled to be able to run 5k.

  • My inspiration was my friend, Chadders, seeing the progress she was making in the running and also her weight loss. I thought about it for a while and then decided I would give it a go, never dreaming I would get this far. I will dedicate my final run in week 9 to my friend for her support and friendship.

  • Mine was seeing a photo of me at a party. I looked huge and unhealthy. That and the realisation I wasn't getting any thinner. I couldn't keep up with my little three year old daughter. Tired all the time. Decided that C25K was the best and easiest way to fit exercise into my normal routine with my family life.

  • Thanks again everyone for posting. Really enjoying reading these :) What amazes me reading the above posts is that it can be the simplest of things that have triggered people to start on their fitness programmes. Literally just seeing another runner pass by is all it takes :) Amazing.

  • Post cardiac surgery rehab. Walking, exercise bike and skating made me feel so good. And I slept better at night. Did a 5K walk and ran in to my child hood friend. She gave me a hug and told me to keep it up. She won the 5K RUN in her age division (52years). That did it!

  • 5 years ago during a routine medical I was "told off" for answering a question about how much exercise I did by saying I went up and down a lot of stairs every day. Last year I was scheduled to have the same medical and decided I'd better have something more convincing for my answer. Haven't looked back since :)

  • For me it was the double whammy of realising that almost all my older female relatives had suffered broken bones and, more importantly, deciding that if I didn't get fit now, just exactly when was I going to get round to it! I didn't have any weight to lose but I had no energy and was resigned to being the short, unfit, asthmatic one on family walking holidays.

    What a difference 9 weeks makes!! I can't do anything about my height but I can more than keep up with fit hub and very fit daughters. RESULT!

  • Mine was a bit like Henpen. I got the download to 'just listen to' to see what all the fuss was about... A friend had waxed lyrical about starting it and how she now felt younger and had more energy. So listening in full rainy day dog walking gear (wellies, brolly, cagoules, carrying full doggy doo doo bags) I started jogging / crashing around in the woods in the hillside, for the 60 secs and managed it til the end of the podcast! Am completely hooked now and may celebrate graduation with a run in the same outfit... Hmmm.

  • My reason for starting the program was wanting to loose weight as well as getting fit.

    I'd got to 75kg (and only 5'5") and spent last summer with high blood pressure and bad acid reflux. This together with a bad family history of heart attacks (mum and grandma both died at 57) and attending too many funerals in the last year of people far too young, spurred me on to join a gym for the winter then get out running in April.

    It's working, as I'm down to 55kg and fitter than I have been for years. The added bonus is that I can get into the £1000+ worth of custom made corsets that last fit 8 years ago.

  • Wow well done! I'm same height as you and now on almost 95kg! Even getting back down to 75kg would make me happy right now!

    It's posts like these that make me realise that if others have done it, then I can do it too! It's a real encouragement :)

  • I have always wanted to run and admired all those I saw out and about running like gazelles. I tried a couple of times in the past and I wanted to be able to run for miles straight away. Because I couldn't, I gave up after a few minutes! When I upgraded my phone I stumbled across the C25K app and thought 'yeh yeh, I bet you can't get me running it isn't possible, tried that, it won't work'

    I needed to get a bit more active so I started it as a challenge to the NHS really. Well that was in January and I can honestly say that I am a changed person. I am fitter, more confident, happier, less stressed- the list goes on. I have also found new friends-virtual friends on here who are so supportive and inspiring, and friends at Parkrun. I never ever thought that I would do this, it is amazing. x

  • I have to say that this is the most friendly and helpful online community I know. Everyone is so supportive of each other, a pleasant change from most forums :)

  • I agree, the forum has kept me going through various stages of injury and low motivation - always inspiring and supportive.

  • I had upped my activity levels generally as self-care for depression, was walking a lot and then thought why not get faster? Looked on t'internet, found this and loaded the podcast on my mp3 player, told no one, just skulked out of the house one day, didn't even have running gear just an old paint splodged pair of trainers used for decorating. I differed from many of the inspiring people on here in that I had no weight to lose, so hey how hard could it be?.... It was hard :-) but strangely fun, I returned puffing panting and lay on the couch my heart thumping - at that moment I was gripped with determination, I could NOT let myself be that unfit. The couch would not have me - I would run for 30 minutes non-stop, whatever it took.

    That was nearly 2 years ago, I'm still loving it and even have proper running gear these days. ;-)

  • For me I decided on retirement to take better care of myself having got increasingly overweight ever since having children some 26 years ago. Work was demanding, involving lots of travel and nights away with eating out and buffet lunches and I made no time for exercise apart from swimming at weekends. I brought up our two lovely children alongside my career which was tough but rewarding. In my last 6 months at work I was trying to spend a lot of time with my dying Mum whom I lost a couple of months before leaving work. I felt pretty washed up.

    Once I retired I decided it was time for myself and I now had the time to reinvent my whole routine. After the first three months I decided to tackle my weight and joined Slimming World. Over the next year I joyfully shed 3 stone and began to feel so much better. I was swimming a couple of times a week, a mile each time.

    Some of the girls at Slimming World started talking about C25K. I don't even remember thinking consciously about starting. I've never been sporty and have never run anywhere before. Somehow I found myself out on the local football ground doing the first few runs. I didn't even tell my husband because I wasn't at all sure I would be able to do it.

    Fast forward 8 months and I am totally addicted! I try to run 3 times every week and have built up to 7.5k now. I feel fit and relaxed. I've reached my target weight. On rest days I'm walking, swimming and cycling and have taken up Tai Chi and Pilates to help the running. Found you lot out there too!

    Isn't life great!

  • My trigger to start running - simple to keep on being able to walk. Running was free I had no money to go to the gym or swimming.

    My back especially but also the rest of joints had gotten so bad that I ended up in horrendous back spasms and hardly able to walk and barely able to climb stairs, in fact years ago a physio actually advised me to avoid stairs where possible cause yes my knees are bad. But I put a lot of hard work and effort into getting mobile again and I learnt that the only way my defective skeleton is going to stay uptight was by strengthening muscles and keeping them strong - simply moving to keep moving, which is hard when you also have ME which throws exercise intolerance at you.

    When I have to spend a few days in bed it scares me how quickly things start to decondition, but I keep working at it.

    I can run and I can do stairs, ok so my knees are always going to move about and sound horrible and I'm not about to run up stairs anytime ever and I still have trouble coming down them sometimes but the point is I can now climb stairs without a death grip on the banister.

    Why NHS couch to 5k. I started out on my own, I lacked proper progression. I was very much boom and bust. I looked at various programmes. I stumbled across this one and the fact it was podcasts appealed, no self timing, but also on paper the progression looked very manageable. I lurked around on the forum and felt encouraged. I gave it a go and the rest is history.

  • That is so good - and especially when so many people comment that running is bad for your joints!!

  • Great question and a fascinating read!

    I separated from my husband this year and decided that although lots of things were beyond my control, I could control my health and weight. My sister runs marathons and my brother has just recently taken up running...So I googled running for beginners and it led me here! My family are incredibly supportive and behind me on every run. I think I have shocked them as I love to start things but rarely finish them, yet here I am

    6 weeks in...running for 20 mins constantly and nearly a stone lighter! Go C25K!!

  • For me it was realising how out of shape I am at just 22! At school/ college I was doing dance GCSE as well as Cheerleading in my spare time, so was always active. I then got pregnant at 18, had baby at 19, and was just really letting myself go. I then got pregnant again at 21 and was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes which leaves you with a higher risk of developing Type 2 later on in life.

    I have started this programme about 3 times now, never getting past week 2 (although I repeat every week about 2-3 times).

    I really do want to lose weight and get back into shape, So will be starting again in the next few days as well as doing some 30 day fitness challenges (Will be doing sit ups, quats and press ups) and will also be improving on my "diet".

    I'm not just doing it for myself, but also for my boys! Right now I'm always tired and exhausted and just can't keep up with them. And they deserve a mum that can run around and play with them. And also i'd rather take care of my health now then waiting until it's too late. I'm now almost 15 stone which is the heaviest I have been, and need to loose around 5 stone to get to a healthy weight!

  • At this stage in life, even if you just keep restarting and never quite getting to the end, you are still maintaining some level of stamina and fitness, as well as being an excellent role model. You are still doing good things for yourself, though it doesnt seem effective at the moment.

    So hang in there, even if you keep on like this for ages you are still, as they say, faster than someone sitting in the couch. And you are helping yourself succeed more easily whenever time and tide finally let you.

  • Just caught up on the posts and there are some truly amazing stories in there. I didn't realise the extent some people struggle on a daily basis with their every day lives. To read how they then take on and complete the c25k is truly inspirational. A big well done to you all.

  • I've always dabbled with trying to stay fit in one way or another (never a gym bunny type though) but when a total body class left me with chronic neck pain I gave up exercising and resorted to sitting on the couch every night, in pain and tired (I was 29 at the time, still young!) 9 months later, numerous doctors appointments, an MRI, lots of physio and weight gain I felt well enough to give something a go which didn't involve the upper body much and I remembered a girl at work had started a running programme via an app which built you up gradually, sadly she never got to the end (gave up) but I thought it was worth a go to make me feel better again (I'll always remember getting on my bike half way through those 9 months before C25K during my holiday and almost dying from exhaustion from a few miles on a bike, that's when I realised how bad my fitness had gotten and it made me sad). I'm pleased to say my injury is now 80-90% recovered 18months on, not sure if I'll ever be able to do upper body exercise but you know what, running I think is enough and I'm grateful :) I also think like spoonie, id of given up if I'd done it myself as I'd of done too much too fast and failed, this programme sets the right pace.

  • Mine was a combination of having taken the week off work to sit and solidly watch the athletics at the Olympics which I loved every moment of, but felt increasingly appalled at myself that I did no exercise and had never run in my life. Then saw an advert in a local mag for a Parkrun and thought wouldn't that be an amazing achievement. Had read about c25k but only ever seen written tables to time yourself. Whilst looking for one on line found this and now I've done a Parkrun - and I got to run in the Olympic stadium. I am still very impressed with that - tho' not made much further progress.

  • Hi Paul

    Great question. My reasons aren't particularly exciting but for me it was that I have never been able to run any distance at all for some reason and I wanted to run the whole of the Race for Life this year instead of mostly walking it and to lose weight. I'm relatively fit(ish) for my age, I ski, go to gym regularly etc but cannot run for more than a couple of minutes. Or should I say couldn't because the other day I ran for 20 mins non stop! I'm hoping C25K helps me over this hurdle. So far, so good.

  • In my case it was the day the ceiling at the swimming pool fell in.

    I had joined WeightWatchers in 2012 and was very slowly losing weight. Complementing the sensible eating I was swimming a couple of times a week. About a year later, when the gym had to close for repairs I decided I couldn't afford another gym so decided to investgate this C25K discussed on the WW forum.

    I downloaded the itunes app and from June last year to October did weeks one to three and then pressed the reset button. Then I found Laura. Decided then to get to week five. Got to week five and decided I might as well finish.

    I am 57. Hadn't run since 1973. I have done one parkrun, am doing Race for Life next Sunday, have registered for the Birmingham Colour Run in August and have helped a work colleague start the programme. I am certainly less stressed.

    And I love running in bright colours!,

  • I was on a cruiseship to Papua New Guinea pacificdawntopng.blogspot.c... eating and drinking as one does on a cruiseship - and I overheard a woman of my vintage say " Oh!! I couldn't POSSIBLY walk 3 kilometres!!!" and I wondered if I could???

  • My husband had some trouble with his heart. I decided to get mine fit to compensate for his being buggered! (Yes, it doesn't really make logical sense, but it does make emotional sense in a way, yes?)

  • Hi Paul! Wow, you've really 'triggered' (ha ha) loads or responses! I'm a clerk at a Weight Watchers meeting in Worcs. last year the Leader starting waxing lyrical about something called Couch 25K. She was really buzzing and in a drip by drip effect, I started to become intrigued. By Christmas I had downloaded the podcasts (at this time still thinking NAH, I won't be able to do this). ANYWAY, Feb 9th was day 1 and April 23rd(Shakespeare's birthday) was the day I graduated. I will happily bang on to anyone who will listen about this magical running bug!!

  • Thanks again everyone for continuing to post your stories. I'm loving reading them and yes, it does seem I have 'triggered' something here ;) I hope everyone is enjoying reading these stories as much as I am. Great stuff :)

  • Very interesting reading - such a good question. Well, I hardly feel qualified to say anything being only 1 week in. But my trigger was similar to that of many on here, with the added letter from my doc telling me to give up alcohol (due to raised mcv levels) for 3 months. Not the best letter I've ever received....plus my mum survived a heart attack 2 yrs ago, and high blood pressure a familiar story in my family, although mine is now tip top..anyway, I thought I'd swap the Sauvignon blanc with Laura. I'm still incredibly unfit although I walk for a living. I seem to have no cardiac stamina, but I am determined to succeed with my slow bouncy walk, shin splints and red sweaty face. Looking forward to the day when I can run for long enough to join a running club, of which there are many near me...

  • The realisation that getting into school at 7.30, leaving at 5, eating tea and then working till 10 was not sustainable was part of the trigger for me (though we did satisfy Ofsted!). Couple to that my mother-in-law enduring a nervous breakdown - and realising that what she was expressing was simply an exaggerated form of the anxiety I kept under lock and key - made me recognise that I needed to do something if health and sanity were to be secured. So whilst actually looking up on the internet about CBT as a possible help for my mother-in-law, I bumped into the NHS site and started to explore it. What a treasure trove!! I found the C25K and the healthy eating bits and thought - right, here goes! Additionally, I had read an article about New Year's resolutions which suggested that 12 months was far to long to commit to - and that mini resolutions of 12 weeks were more doable and realistic. Twelve weeks I thought is a term so I could do this. And I did and continue to do!! I too - as others have mentioned- have far better mental health and a sustainable perspective on the work life balance that is so elusive in teaching. Having lost a stone and a half, having more energy and sleeping well, I cannot praise the C25K- and nhs site - highly enough. And of course, again as mentioned, the encouragement and dialogue of these posts!

    Anyone wavering or faltering? - stick with it!!

  • Hi Paul

    My trigger....well the button popping on my 38 waist (i never thought I'd see 38waist, much less the other side of it)

    I used do lots of gym and cycling years ago but family life put paid to all that and I just kept telling myself, I can start anytime.....then one day pop!

    I'd looked at different apps and thought about running instead of going back to cycling,as I had always wanted to try it......but not from 16 stone.

    I found the " run for pink" c25k and downloaded that...I've used this forum for help and support since i started back in Feb this year.I've had one major setback, but I'm back on track now (fingers crossed)

  • Hi Paul,

    In February, my 7 years old grandson asked me to sponsor him for walking a mile, running a mile and swimming 4 length of the pool.

    If he can do it, so will I, I foolishly said.

    I thought of myself as reasonably fit (HaHaHa!!!!)

    Well, I walk my dog everyday at a brisk pace for at least an hour, so I had no qualm there.

    I used to swim for an hour and half non stop twice a week until they closed my then local pool ten years ago. Even so I think I could still manage a few lengths with no problem.

    That left the running.

    OK. So I tried it to see how bad it was. I did not go very far!

    As we live on top of a big hill, my first "program" was to run downhill, a bit further everyday till I could run a mile! After 3 days, snow started to melt in the day and turn to ice at night (I live in Sweden). For the next few weeks my attempted runs were hit and miss with 20 metres patches here and there between the ice.

    By then we were getting into April and I was getting nowhere fast, plus grandson coming to visit end of may! (my mental deadline to emulate him!)

    I googled how to start running and couch to 5k was one of the first site I came across.

    As they say, the rest is history as I have just finished week 6.... and managed to keep up with my grandson last week! And for the record, according to mapometer last run was 3.25km in 25 minutes!

    Mission accomplished.... but I will keep running, at least until next winter!

  • Hi Paul,

    a full length mirror in a hotel bathroom - yikes! Overweight and very flabby. Also my 10 and 8 year old daughters wanted to enter Race for Life in June. I am now on w8r2 and loving it. Still overweight, but looking pretty toned and beginning to get complements. Hobbled home once in tears around w2 when my legs stopped working, cried all the way home once after a stupid hurtful remark from a stranger, but apart from that have found everybody to be so supportive and encouraging. I have never posted anything here before, but read it every day, and find it so very inspiring - and my 7 year old son telling me that he was so proud of me!

  • Hi Paul - great question! I'm only part way through (week 5) but hopefully getting there! For me it was part of a lifestyle change. My father died unexpectedly 6 months ago, and it sort of focused me on what I wanted in my life. The truth was that I spent all my hours working, ate what I liked, did no exercise and was in denial about my health. I basically come from a family where all my relatives have had high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes, some of them at pretty young ages. So my genetics are against me in that regard. So I reduced my working hours and started to be more conscious about what I ate and portion sizes. However I actually hate exercise - hours of exercises in a gym bore me and I've never been remotely sporty. So I thought what can I do that will give me the exercise I want but take up the minimum amount of time, and C25K sprung into my head after a good friend of mine told me about it. So far I'm enjoying it, and find I have lots more energy as a result. Haven't lost any weight (although for me it was primarily about cardiovascular fitness rather than weight loss), but at least I can run for a bus without feeling like I want to pass out!

  • I got to 50 and was feeling sluggish and old but still making excuses to myself about not doing any exercise. Then, last October I went with some friends to watch the Leicester Marathon. I was amazed to see that the runners were all ages, shapes and sizes and I realised how pathetic all my excuses were! I felt totally inspired and came home and started looking on the internet for advice on how to start running from scratch. I found the C25K programme, watched Laura's video and started the next day. I haven't looked back since. I feel fitter, healthier and my clothes fit again :-)

  • Thank you for the continued posts everyone. I can't get enough :) I'm loving every one of them. Actually, I'm wondering if the reason I'm loving reading these so much is maybe that I'm just nosey :) Even so, keep them coming ;)

  • A different approach here: I just waned to run! Nothing more, nothing less! :-) It was not a case of waking up thinking I wanted to get fit/lose weight as I've always been fit and active, spending my leisure time hillwalking, cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, and walking as part of my job.

    One day before the Olympics I saw an article about running. I can't remember the article at all, but I was impressed by the accompanying photograph which showed a woman running (seemingly) effortlessly through the woods. I wanted to do that. I wanted to be her. So I went out to our local woods and tried. I somehow know I should be running walk:run intervals. so I tried that and found it hard. Very hard. I tried again the next day and it was no easier. Bear in mind, I was trying to run in hiking shoes and in sweat trousers since I didn't have any gym-type shorts. Also, I didn't wish anyone to see me so I was running UP into our local wood, which I still find hard.

    I moaned about this on Facebook and one of my contacts said "It sounds like you're doing Couch to 5K". I'd never heard of this and to be honest was a bit put out by the 'couch' bit! I certainly wasn't coming from the couch! ;-)

    Anyway, I searched for C25K and found this programme and tried it the next day. On my first two attempts, prior to C25K. I'd overstretched my stride and spent Week 1 of C25K running with the pain of groin strain!! But I loved it and immediately knew why all those runners I'd seen over the years when taking my marathon-running, hill-running son to events, did it!

  • There wasn't so much a trigger as being affectionately "nagged" into it by a friend.....she was doing the couch to 5k as a way to help her lose weight for her wedding and she was raving about it and "suggested" ;-) I try it too. So one day when I couldn't take it anymore I started......it changed my life....after you get over all the out of breathness and feeling like either your legs are going to drop off or your lungs explode or both at the same time......you realise that you love it and soon it becomes part of you and when you don't run you feel all fidgety, wrong and like something is missing. Running has caused a chain reaction in my life because I run, I now monitor what I eat, I don't drink alcohol apart from every now and again, I've lost weight, I was probably only this fit when I was 17 and more than anything it is helping me cope with the aftermath of depression - it keeps that black dog firmly locked in its cage and as a result I'm happier and so is everyone around me too.....so when I say it has changed my life it has changed it literally in the best possible way.....and all from one nagging friend :-)

  • Tattoojunkie, that could have been written for me (except for the nagging friend). I know exactly where you are coming from :)

  • :-)

  • In my case, it was because walking worked.

    I have belonged to a gym for years. Going 3x a week for months, then less to not at all for months. But never saw any real results, i guess at best it was maintaining status quo.

    But then we moved to Glasgow, and many bad eating triggers were gone plus i simply had to walk each day. There was no escaping the mile round trip 2x a day school run, and most days other errands added a mile. Plus any day the weather was the least bit pleasant, i would just take off exploring. True, those walks often came with a coffee and pastry break oe indulgent lunch. Or both. But still, i was spending massive amounts of time walking.

    By the Christmas holidays, i knew my stamina was improving. Certain hills were not as trying. Taking the stairs to the street from the schoolyard didnt leave me embarrasingly puffed out (for a very long time, i insisted we use the ramp.) one day we were late and my son dashed ahead and we ended up walk/running and i was astonished at it being possible.

    My scale hadnt been shipped, nor had i bought a new one, but at a doctor appointment I got on the scale. It only showed stone and kg, but my quick math had me shocked as i was pretty sure that was a lot lower pounds than expected. The doctor double checked my math and i had lost 19 lbs!

    Over the next week or so, i figured that if hours of slow walking was good, then running would be more efficient, though i thought i couldnt run yet. Except maybe i could, as we had that one morning. I also began tracking my distance and i was regularly covering 3 miles. I think i came to the NHS website looking for weight loss programs, but stumbled onto the C25K. Did the math and discovered 3 miles = 5k, so i knew the distance itself wasnt all that far. So that's when it all came together in my head. I set a start date of the beginning of Feb, got some shoes and also followed up another idea i had been mulling over and got a personal trainer.

    I have only lost a few more pounds, but my body shape changed quite suddenly between the run/walking and the weightlifting. It turns out i cant convert from walking to running all that easily, and i ended up on a frustration break that i am having a hard time returning from. Maybe i was just burnt out from the personal training AND the walking in February/March. I am sure the training helped prevent injury, but then again, every night something ached and fitness was taking up ALL my time.

    I i am still walking, and running 2x most weeks. We have gotten a family running habit on the weekend too. Our son mostly runs with me and Laura (so far, we just keep repeating week 1) but he often outruns me and circles back. Small boys do not understand running at a sliw pace! My husband does his own 'skip rope then run' intervals workout, falling behind on his skipping time, then running/sprinting to catch up. We usually end at the playground where the boy, who has gotten a bit whingey and 'too tired' towards the end of the podcast, suddenly re-energizes and climbs all the things.

    Our goal is to be a Park Run family.

  • Great post, Nilzed and it sounds like you are using the c25k in a way that suits your needs. Good luck with the family Park Run. I'm hoping to compete in my first one at the end of my c25k :)

  • I've always taken some form of exercise, in the past I've danced (ballet and belly, not at the same time though!), horse riding, pilates, yoga, walking, though my passion is swimming. I live half the year in a place without a swimming pool and really miss it, and needed to find something else to do. A friend of mine started doing C25K and writing a brilliant blog about it. Then I found out that another friend who is carrying some extra weight had done it too, and thought why not me? I've never been able to run, that's always galled me, so I decided to give it a go. What can happen, apart from I'm no good at it or can't finish the programme I thought? Then I found this blog and realised it actually IS achievable, you lot have done/are doing it, so I know that's true...also running can be done anywhere, you don't need a gym or pool so that's good for me too!

    Just finished week 4 looking forward (with just a little trepidation) to next week.

  • Quite like the sound of a combined ballet and belly dancing ;)

  • He he, looking to combine them both with K25K...

  • Sounds even better ;)

  • I have been swimming regularly for a year and I have enjoyed exercise as a stress reliever though the amount I was doing was probably not having much of an effect on my physique etc. Anyway I decided to get laser eye surgery. You cannot swim for four weeks but you can run after a week. I did not want to stop exercising so thought I would give the c25k a whirl. I have love love loved it! I used to actually take the mick out of my running friend as I did not see the point..however I do now. I have profusely apologised - a lot! I have now pretty much dropped the swimming and I will be starting Week Seven tomorrow. I ran for 25 minutes last night! I am very very very slow but stamina is more important to me at the moment.

  • Sounds like you have stumbled upon a new form excersise that you are really enjoying ;) Good luck with w7.

  • What a great question! I'm enjoying reading all of the comments.

    For most of my life, I've been unhappy with the way I look. I'm by no means fat, but my BMI does suggest that I'm overweight. Sometimes I'm more overweight than other times. Sometimes I'll diet and other times I won't. Sometimes I'll do exercises to tone up, like pilates, but other times I won't and proclaim that I hate exercise anyway. I'm happier with the way I am now because I have a marvelous boyfriend. Anyway, that same marvelous boyfriend moved to Hong Kong at the end of November. I'm following him out there later this year.

    Hong Kong is mountainous. I visited for 3 weeks last summer and found some of the hills difficult to manage. I also found it a little difficult to buy clothes. As a UK size 12 I'm not exactly massive, but my body is shaped very differently to the average Hong Konger! I knew that running would help me to tone up at the very least, and combined with an improved diet would help me to lose weight (and hopefully keep it off!).

    I live 200 miles away from my family, I live at least 25 miles away from my work colleagues, and my uni friends are scattered all across the UK with their own jobs and lives. I knew that with my boyfriend leaving the country I'd be incredibly lonely and would need something to occupy my time. I looked into getting a gym membership, but found the thought of having to pay for something, and get sweaty in front of others really intimidating.

    My cousin often posts that she's going out for a park run, and it occurred to me that running is cheap, and always available. So I decided to pick up Couch25K, and here I am on Week 5. An unexpected side-effect is the alleviating of my depression/anxiety - I am slowly coming off my tablets, having been on them since May 2015, which is a huge achievement.

    Tl;dr - I want to lose weight, tone up, be able to walk around Hong Kong easily, be able to buy clothes more easily, and have something to keep me busy on lonely evenings after work and at the weekend.

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