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Couch to 5K
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Completed week 1 and about to start week 2 - feeling nervous!

Hi everyone,

I started the C25K challenge last week after joing my daughter on a 2.5k fun run only to realise how hard running has become for me. I do try to keep fit in other ways, mainly dance based fitness classes, so thought I would manage 2.5k but it completely got the better of me and left me feeling very deflated. Reading the encouraging remarks on this forum and seeing the success people have had with this programme has got me motivated again though :)

I found week 1 challenging but manageable (just), I actually found the runs harder each time rather than easier though and I could feel myself panicking that I wouldn't get through the 7th & 8th runs. I also seem to have developed a bad tummy ache which doesn't ease up between runs; I think is digestional rather than muscular as it is also gurgling and causing me to burp often (eeeuwww). I have read some of the helpful posts on here and realise that any change in routine can upset the digestion initially so I want to stick with it and move on to week 2 but was wondering if anybody had any suggestions on how I could ease this problem or should I just carry on and hope my tummy stops feeling bloated and tender soon?

I'm not sure why I can manage a 1 hour high impact Zumba class but running for 90 seconds is seeming a little overwhelming! I really, really want to do this!!

11 Replies

Good luck with week 2. I think as some of the more experienced runners mention the keys are to go slowly and focus on the moment. The program prepares you for what is ahead. Hang in there :)


Thank you Lavender62, good advice :) perhaps I do need to stop worrying about not being able to acheive the 5k in the time I'd like to and just learn to relax and enjoy the experience a little more!


The key, as Lavender so rightly pointed out, is slow and steady. If you find running slowly is difficult because your cadence ( the number of steps you take per minute) is naturally fast, then just take smaller steps. It's been said lots of times before but, go slow and then go a bit slower!! Pace is completely unimportant during the whole of the c25k programme. It can be worked on later if you want.

As for your stomach problems, what time are you running? It's never a good idea to run soon after eating. Personally I run on empty first thing in the morning, but if that doesn't suit you, then leave at least 2hours between eating and running. That way your stomach will have emptied and you are less likely to get a stitch. Also making sure you are well hydrated will reduce the risk of stitch. If your stomach ache is present all the time and appeared at the same time as you started running, then perhaps a trip to the GP might be a good idea. You could have pulled a muscle or it could be digestive but either way it may help you to relax more if you had a bit of medical advice.

The burping I guess comes from swallowing air as you run. This would, I suppose, give you a bloated feeling too. You may be able to control this by trying to breathe through your nose. Running more slowly so you're less out of breath would definitely help too.

Very best of luck lettiree, I'm sure with a bit of fine tuning, you'll be running like a good 'un in no time :)


Thanks you so much for all your fantastic advice. I did my very first run at 6.30am and my following 2 runs later in the evening (after dinner) I found my first run a lot more comfortable than my 2nd 2 so what you have said makes loads of sense.

I am very tall so I do find that I end up running at a pace that is probably beyond what I'm capable of maintaining and I do feel that I panic about finishing and so gulp air through my mouth so I will definitely concentrate more on slowing things down and breathing more calmly.

Thank you for your help, it's much appreciated.


Your comment about being very tall speaks volumes. My (very fit) 17 year old daughter has terrible trouble running slowly because of those long long legs and has ended up feeling really terrible after short runs on more than one occasion. Someone posted yesterday about how running with a small child in tow forced them to massively reduce their stride length and therefore their pace, and that resulted in them running comfortably for the first time in week 9!!!! :)


I'm pleased to know that how tall I am could be something to consider, I hadn't even thought about it causing problems until you mentioned pace so you have been really helpful!

Great suggestion to run with a child, my 10year old daughter has really wanted to come running with me but up until now I have been going on my own as she does a lot of athletics and has so much more stamina than me. I think I will try running with her though as, like you say, her shorter pace may help me....and I'll try not to get too depressed when she is still doing cartwheels while I'm struggling for breath haha :)

Thanks once again, I feel much more confident, motivated and ready to start week 2 now.


Calm down, relax and enjoy the runs. No need for worry or concern. Slow is marvellous. I can't recommend it highly enough. Eating too soon after dinner (like I do far to often!!!) does cause the burps and indigestion. Try and run "tall". Laura describes it as running alongside a hedge and you want to peer over the top, just stretching up that little bit does help. You can get indigestion if you lean forward. Also running too fast can cause you to stretch your middle too much and give you indigestion and stitch. Try slowing things down and you should find things much easier.

The 5 k thing is just the icing on the cake but you don't need to achieve it for graduation purposes. Just completing run 3 week 9 and running the 30 minutes means you graduate. The distance is immaterial. Forget it and concentrate on running. Do everything Laura tells you and you'll nail it

Have fun out there!


I did it!!!! I'm so happy :) just came back from doing my first week 2 run. Thank you for your advice too misswobble, I really did relax and enjoy it. I took on board everyone's advice, shortened my stride, didn't panic and I really enjoyed it...thanks so much to you all, I am definitely going to just stop stressing and start enjoying...roll on run 2 :)


Oh great stuff! So glad you enjoyed it. It will make you much happier about your next run

Good luck with it


Relax into it, I think a fairly huge part of running is purely mental and believing you can do it, I still in my head think I'm an unfit as I was when I started (which I'm not) and that's a barrier, you can do this,p and doing Zumba you obviously have a good level of fitness but running is a different type,

Keep going, maybe listen to some Zumba esque music as you go it might help you feel more confident or comfortable


Thanks Khillary. I definitely can see your point about mental attitude being a barrier, as soon as I start thinking I can't do it everything gets so much harder. This forum is so good for helping us get over that mental barrier and feel more motivated! Great suggestion about the Zumba music as well, I must admit that I do find myself doing the moves if I hear one of the tracks...a bit embarrassing if one comes on in a public place :) I hope you're enjoying the programme too and that you soon start remembering that you're fitter than when you started out.


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