Couch to 5K

Completed day 1 of week 1 today!

Hi all, I completed day 1 of week 1 and survived JUST!

I need to loose 4 stone at least and I'm very UN fit and suffer from Plantar Fasiitis like a lot on here, so I'm pleased I took those first steps, I have a question though, on about my 5th run time I got a huge very painful stitch, I was wondering if anyone else suffered this and how you dealt with it?? All advice gratefully received!

12 Replies

Well done on completing your first run. I found the running parts of week 1 hard and got very out of breath but have just recently completed run 3 of week 9. In some of the podcasts Laura talks about stitches. She talks about slowing down, breathing and drinking water before your run.


Thank you for you for your reply, the podcast doesn't work sometimes on my phone, might borrow my Daughters and see if it works better, I just used the timer on my phone today lol.


Well done on starting the running plan you will not regret it. I found the first run very hard, in fact I though I was going to either throw up or faint........I had to have a little lay down on one of the park benches to recover. Not all of us finish the plan within the 9 weeks, lots of us take longer.....I had to repeat week 6 three don't worry if you have to repeat's all about slow and steady.....building on strength and stamina. This forum is a great source of support and information, so keeping posting and reading. I graduated this week ie being able to run continuously for 30 minutes, and for the first time today i ran 5km in 35 like many many others I'm proof that you can do it too. Good luck and happy running.


well done for starting - I think most of us found week 1 hard and wondered how we would progress, but we did. I am on week 8 (although my weeks are sometimes 8 or 9 days). I found the podcasts useful as Laura is encouraging and distracts you (music choice not great though) and as Rosemarypatricia says slow down, breathe deep and make sure you have water before you start.

If you have plantar fasciitis make sure you have good running shoes and take an extra rest day if you need to.

Good luck, the programme is great and you can do it!


Congratulations on starting the programme! Here's wishing you lots of success and some weight loss too - though in honesty, you will probably need to follow a revised eating plan simultaneously, as running alone might not shed pounds.

Be very careful with your PF too, you don't want to increase the problems. When I started, also overweight, I soon realised that the two most important items required for comfort were good quality running shoes, and a firm sports bra. To start I used track pants and a t-shirt but soon progressed to running kit! Over the weeks my shape improved and I became learner, but didn't lose weight - just looked and felt heaps better!

I don't have a smart phone, I used an oldish, cheapish, MP3 player and took the podcasts directly from the NHS website - worked perfectly - I gasped loads too through those first runs but cheerful, encouraging Laura and her quirky music kept me going and got me through ... All that was a year and a half ago - still running!

Running stitches seem to occur if you've food or drink in your tummy at the outset of running! Try 'running on empty' ie at least a few hours after a meal. A glass of water and a banana seems to help with cramps and stitch - some folk take those before and others afterwards - you will soon find out what suits you.

Good luck, and post back here with you progress - the gang here is wonderfully supportive xx


Hey well done on starting! Im still at the build up stage lol I can see myself doing it but not actually there yet lots of health issues going on. Good for you and good luck on your amazing journey!!!


Hi there! Congratulations on doing the first run. Personally I felt like I was going to die after a minute and couldn't see how I would graduate but we all do in the end. :-) Take it slow- plod rather than run and if you feel a stitch coming on slow down. Also push your stomach out when you exhale and it will nip it in the bud. Empty stomach is a must for me too.

Good shoes are a must, so please don't skimp here. Remember that the beginning weeks are to strengthen your muscles, so take the rest days xx


I am so pleased that you have started runing. You have done the hard bit by getting out of the front door and starting.

Stitch is a pain ~ lityerally!! It can be caused by eating or drinking too much/too close to running. Most say not to eat for at least an hour before running, but the good-old runners friend of a banana shouldn't hurt. It can also be triggered by your breathing. Try tummy and not chest breathing. Most of us tend to move our rib cage to breath, but we should be using our tummy to move the old diaphragm. This can really help, but feels really strange.

I cannot overstress how important the correct shoes are. NOTHING else in running is as important; with the exception of a decent bra!! Pop along to a running shop (Sweatshop/Go Outdoors etc) and get a gait analysis done. These are free and you are NOT committed to buying from them. Once you know the type of shoe you need, you can buy last seasons models in other shops quite cheaply. You WILL end up in the likes of Sweatshop at some point, so they will get your trade when you really get the running bug.

Lastly, enjoy runing, take care AND KEEP US POSTED!


If you get stitch, do as laura tells you, not sure what week, but she says stretch up as if you're trying to peer over a hedge. slumping or bending forward when you get tired can bring it on. So, run tall. laura says that quite often on your runs so listen to her, she'll see you right

I got stitch the other week, and I googled for a solution. An answer came up which said "exhale on your left foot"

That made me titter.

Good luck and happy running


Thank you all so much for your welcomes and warm replys!!

I have good Solomon running shoes and a sports bra lol I will treat myself to the rest as time goes on if I make it!!

I plan on doing core strengthening on days off from running and or a mix of yoga and Pilates, will see how that goes. I'm very impressed with how everyone gets on with the couch25k it seems achieveable this way. Well done everyone and taking that first step is a big moment but we'll worth it!

I am lucky to have woods near by my house with plenty of footpaths and tracks that are very quiet so don't feel like anybody can see me, that's a big help. Hope everyone has a great weekend.


Welcome to the family, it does get easier as time hypes, keep sharing here because this support will help on those tough days


Well done for taking the first step, congratulation for having an excellent courage to start the programme, water, breathing and stretches are probably your solution. Not too much water though.


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