Couch to 5K
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Newbie alert

Hi. Everyone

I recently had some life changes, so I'm back at college and there's always an abundance of food fast forward a few months I've out on weight and I'm not as active as I was.

I've started the couch to 5k, I've done two sessions of week1, but I'm seeing people talk about distance covered? Are people using some additional to the app to measure heart rate and distance covered? Is that's good thing to try and use?

Also I'm worried that I'm so out of shape (I get breathless going up stairs) that the app simply won't work for me,

Any thoughts, encouragements would be appreciated


12 Replies

Hi and welcome to the c25k. I think we all had those worries when starting out but believe me, the programme is excellent and it works! It builds you up slowly and if at any time you feel you aren't ready to progress onto the next level, then it's fine to re-do the run or week again until you do feel ready.

Sone people have running watches or apps for their phones that can track your runs and show distance covered and speed etc. This isn't something you need to worry about unless it's what you want from the programme. You don't need anything other than the podcasts to complete it.

Believe in the programme and believe in yourself. And don't forget, there are many people here only too willing to help with advice and encouragement so you're not alone :) Enjoy and good luck ;)


Hello Khillary, welcome to the new, improved, fitter YOU. Gadgets, apps on the phone and collecting data about your run is all fantastic, but really not necessary. In the early days, what is important is making those 3 runs a week, and trying your best to run for the full time that Laura says (60 seconds 8 times in W1).

From reading many posts on this forum over the last month, it seems that the first purchase is a new pair of running shoes. I would prioritise that over some gadget or app, particularly if you start to get leg pains.

Good on you for getting started, we are all here to cheer you along.


Well done for making a start. The hardest bit is getting out of the door for the first time. As others have said, don't worry about apps and measuring the distance you covered. Just aim to complete each run at a pace where you feel comfortable. The programme works - trust Laura to push you just enough to prepare you for the next week.

Wishing you all the best as you start out on this new adventure :)


I think running with just the podcast and Laura is the best plan. Distance is immaterial. Finishing is all that matters

It's good fun so get out there and enjoy it. Couch is designed for every age so you'll be fine. You only walk/run for very short distances to start with. Slow jogging is all that's required. She gives you tips each week rather than tell you everything in week 1 which frees you up just to think about putting one foot in front of the other. It's really that simple

We've all done it! Thousands of us


Very well done and congratulations on deciding to start C25K; it is indeed the most difficult part of it, deciding to do it, then getting out the door and getting on with it! As others have rightly said, don't worry about distance; running is new to you and will take some time to adjust to, so concentrate on getting through the runs rather than on anything else.

I'd recommend just using the podcast, played through your phone's music player, or an MP3 player. There are free sports tracking apps you can use to monitor distance but you can get on with those a bit later on when you're working your way through the plan. There really is no need to worry about distance, just work on completing the runs.

Can you do it? Of course you can - and will! We've all had those "can I possibly do this?" thoughts; they come at all stages of the programme, but trust the plan as it really, really works. I remember my first few steps of running on W1R1, breathlessly clattering around a pitch black local park, wondering what the hell I was doing and if I could get through it without requiring the services of a big yellow vehicle with flashing blue lights, and trained medical professionals. Forward a few weeks and I completed the programme with a great graduation run. I've done it, as have soooooooo very many others here, and so will you, so believe in yourself (you CAN do it!) and trust the programme, and you'll be fine. :-)

Don't look too far ahead into the programme; it's easy to look at later weeks and terrify yourself into thinking "woah, HOW long do I have to run for?!" but the way C25K works, it nicely builds you up to it and it works brilliantly. So no looking too far ahead and scaring yourself, take it one run at a time. Also, if you have a run that's less than great, (we all have them!) it's easy to focus more on the negatives, but even from the baddest of the bad runs, there are more positives to take than negatives, so try to focus on those. After all, you're out there running and not sat at home in your underwear scoffing Mars Bars; any bad run is better than that! :-) It's a learning curve too: every run is a lesson, I always say. I tend to learn something new every time I go out, in one respect or another.

Lastly, all the support, advice and help can be found right here, so feel free to post any questions you might have and also, keep us updated on your progress, and GOOD LUCK! :-)

Oh, and a word of warning, and this is very important: running is addictive and C25K can change your life, for the better, in the most unexpected of ways. What starts out as a way to get fit may turn into a passion and something you truly love. Before you know it you'll be a convert, adoring your runs and signing-up for races. It's a journey and an impressive one at that: enjoy it! :-)


Can't add anything to all this excellent advice except to say don't worry about the later weeks, if you take it slow and steady and follow Laura's instructions, you will succeed. 9 weeks is a guideline not a deadline, so take as much time as you need. Now embrace the adventure and have fun! :)


Can't add to the excellent advice above - just to say welcome and week done for getting out there!


Lots of good advice up there. I you really want to measure how far you've run, there are sites like goodrunguide where you can mark your route on a map and it tells you how far you've gone. This is how I know that I've not yet actually run 5km... but it's not the distance that matters, as everyone says above. Good luck and keep jogging along!


Hello and welcome.

Calling it couch to 5k is a little misleading really it's couch to 30 minutes (Ooops let the cat out of the bag) but thats a bit more of a mouthful and not as catchy.

Trust the program and you will complete it, it really does work. Don't be afraid to repeat runs and take additional rest if you need to, don't be afraid to pop on here and ask daft questions if you need to because in reality there is no such thing as a daft question, if you are thinking it chances are so is someone else. Actually don't just wait for daft questions keep popping on here and let us know how you are going, it's amazing how the support of this community can help to keep you moving forwards.

As for all of us going on about pace and time etc don't worry about that yet, concentrate on getting out there, but as you progress (and you will) stuff like pace info might be interesting to you in which case there are plenty of free apps available to use with a smart phone.


Hi, I am 58,fat and WAS unfit. Yesterday I kept going for 20minutes..I still cannot believe it.I struggled to get out of the house never mind actually do the earlier weeks' runs. There are older, younger fat thin etc but we all want to do it! Keep coming onto the forum..share your highs and your lows, and read others' posts. Its a great source of support and advice. Keep going:-)


Thankyou so much guys, I feel more empowered already

I have a good pair of trainers so I'm going to stop worrying and just start trying to enjoy the process



That's the spirit. In no time at all you will wonder if it was you who was so unfit few weeks ago!

Welcome to the program.


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