Couch to 5K
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New and interested!

Hi everyone my name is Kayla, I'm hoping to get started on the NHS weight loss guide soon and would also love to start the couch to 5k, was just wondering if anyone has any tips/advice?

I'm 23 years old, type 2 diabetic tablet controlled and have a fair bit of weight to lose! :(

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks for reading :)

31 Replies

It's converted me from hating running to feeling lost without it in just 2 weeks! I'd say get yourself a pair of good running shoes and plan a route before you go. The podcast doesn't tell you when you're half way so if you're not sure how far to run before coming back make sure you keep count on your first run.


Or just rejoice in the walking exercise at the end. I rarely plan my routes and rarely do the same one twice ('cos that's the way I like it... I run off road too to keep things as gentle as possible on my body)

My main tip facing week one is to try very hard to remember that all we're talking about is a running motion... it doesn't have to be faster than you can walk... if you think you are in danger of having to stop running before Laura tells you, go slower, take smaller steps... I found that what worked for me, because I wasn't able to complete the Week 1 podcast for a while, was that when I couldn't run any more in a run section, that was it, I walked for the rest of the podcast. That way I had a very clear goal each time to improve on - rather than doing any walk a bit, run a bit stuff. Worked my way up from 4 runs to the full 8.

It took about six weeks to crack Week 1... never had to do an extra session of any of the others!

Good luck! NHS C25K really helped me.


Hi GoogleMe thanks for your advice, I'm a bit nervous on getting started but looking forward to it. Unfortunately there's not many off road places in my area so i will probably go out later in the evening when there's not as many people around haha!

Really glad to hear it's been a good help for you, that gives me hope! :)


Thank you for the advice, I've never really done running before but I'm looking forward to getting started!


Slow and steady. That's best advice I was given. I had no idea I could slow down as much as I could but it helped me finish my run so many times. And watch out for that little thing that creeps up on you. Its called addiction to running. I love the buzz it leaves me with for the whole day. Some runs I would swear my head off sometimes not so quietly but always had a lovely feeling afterwards.

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Realfoodieclub thank you for the advice, I've done workout classes before and I hate doing it but feel great afterwards, I'm thinking this may have the same affect! Will definitely be starting slow and steady! :)


Hi Kayla, and welcome to this forum. You are going to meet some real, wonderful people. You'll get amazing encouragement, support and motivation. If you have any questions, you'll get helpful, practical advice. In my 10 weeks here I've gone from worried about running and people seeing me, to a confident, fledgling runner. The hardest part is getting out of the front door on the first day.

Advice? Take it really easy and build up your stamina gradually. Ensure that you have your rest days. Run slowly and don't 'stride'. Post here frequently. Before you know it you'll be trimmer, will have lost a little weight and will love running. Anticipate getting some appropriate running shoes in a few weeks.

Wishing you all the best.

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Hi MarkyD, thank you for your nice comment, I'm feeling how you were nervous and worried about people seeing me at the moment. Thank you for your advice it's very helpful :)


Hey Kayla. ☺

Welcome to the community! It's great that you've decided to take up C25K; it really is a fantastic, life-changing programme and a total credit to the NHS.


Don't get focused on speed or distance. Do the runs, take it steady and concentrate on getting through the runs, rather than on the speed you're doing or the distance you're covering.

Find a time of day that suits you, where you know you'll be able to get your running done. Some prefer early mornings, some evenings - find a time you prefer.

Don't look too far ahead into the programme. Don't, for goodness sake, Sir there on week one and then look at what week five or six contains! C25K is amazing in that it really really works. You'll get through the runs as long as you follow the programme, so try not to worry about future weeks right now. Oh, and if you need to repeat a run/week, then repeat it. ☺

Don't give up! You will get this dreadful nagging voice in your head, telling you to stop running and asking you what the hell you think you're playing at. Ignore it. Even those of us who've graduated the programme get this bloody nagging doubt; tell it to sod off. You CAN do it and you WILL! it won't be easy but truly, it is sooooooooo well worth sticking with it.

It's a learning curve, running. You'll learn all the time. This 'ere forum is exceptional because we all support and encourage each other. Come on here and post about each run. Ask advice, get involved; if you feel it's tough and you wonder if you can do this, we'll be here to tell you that you can.

A warning. This is really important. A huge amount of us here, myself included, could barely run the 60 seconds of week one, yet we stuck with it and are now running addicts. Running IS addictive. Before long, your wardrobe will find itself full of bright running gear. You'll be signing up for races. You'll be talking to people about running; these non-runners will glaze over and then you'll come here to talk to us about it, which of course we'll love. There is a big danger you'll become a running addict wondering why you never took it up before.

Again, welcome to Club C25K; welcome also to a fitter, healthier you!


Hi Miles_Yonder thanks so much for all your advice it's really helpful for me to hear about other peoples experiences before getting started. That nagging voice you mentioned is here already but I'm going to ignore it haha I've wanted to try this for a while but let my nerves get the better of me.

It's great to know there are great people on here that I can come and chat/moan/bug and ask questions to haha and get some motivation and help, feels like I'm no longer alone in this journey!

Thanks again, please keep in touch!



Not a problem! :-)

You won't be bugging us; we're happy to help and are delighted to be part of your running journey. It really is an adventure as well and will change your life in ways you can't imagine and take you to fun and unexpected places. :-) I only found C25K in April and have come a long way in a short space of time; with some dedication and determination, you can too. I couldn't have done it without this forum and the amazing folk here though; it really does help complete things, having people here to talk to about it all.

When are you doing your first run? It's natural to feel self concious at first, but you'll get over it in time. I hated people seeing me out running and now I'm not bothered in the slightest, and wear the brightest gear you can imagine. :D I prefer very early mornings in which to run. I hated early starts until I took up running and I soon realised it's the only time I know for definite I will be able to run as it'll just get put off if I run in the evenings after work. Well, I've gone from hating early mornings to absolutely loving them. I usually run from around 0415 or so. Nice and quiet (mostly!) and nice and cool. (Mostly!)

That nagging voice is totally normal, I assure you. You'll get it all the time, just ignore it. Running is very psychological; tell yourself you can do something and you can. Tell yourself you can't and you won't. One trick I used in the early stages of the programme, and one I still use now, is, when that voices tells me to pack it in, to ask myself if I stop running, what will I do instead, right now? The answer is always go home and do nothing, so I just carry on running. It's worth all the effort you chuck at it and the more you put in, the more you get out, but take care not to overdo it; rest days are as important as the running itself.

It sounds like you have plenty of enthusiasm and that will serve you well; I have a feeling you'll really enjoy running once you get into it. You'll be very achey for a while at first, that's normal too. I remember week four was a particularly achey time for me.

Absolutely any questions you have, get posting!


Thanks Miles_Yonder, it's great to have support from people on here makes me feel determined! :)

I'm planning on starting Monday as I am starting the NHS 12 week eating plan too, I live in a bit of an awkward area not many nice places to run within walking distance if you know what I mean, at the moment I'm thinking I will go late at night when it's darker and quiet, I sometimes go for late night walks so I can use that route for now. It would be great to live by a nice park or something though haha.

I like your trick for the nagging, that's one I may have to steal and tell myself if I stop I will go home and do nothing. I have just downloaded the C25K pod casts on to my phone and I have some running trainers too so no excuses not to start!

How often and far do you run now you've graduated if you don't mind me asking?

Thanks again for all your friendly advice, I really appreciate it! :)


See what an adventure your in for ? :) It truly is an amazing programme, Id say get out there now, don't wait to lose weight, if your very self conscious ( I was ) go when its very quiet, I use to run up and down a back lane or up and down the allotments, anywhere where no one could see me, but I got out there and got addicted. You will soon find yourself looking for Sport Shops etc, when before you never even knew they existed !! Go for it girlie, you will never regret it

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Hi grannyjudes thanks for the advice haha yeah I am very self conscious at the moment so I was thinking of going later at night when there's not too many people to see me attempting to run haha!! :)



I won't get into advice about the programme itself -- but I believe what most of us HAVE to do is to completely incorporate body movement ( gym, running, walking,swimming , etc) and good eating habits into our lives, daily. How do we get so overweight these days ?? Because we eat too much, eat the wrong things and our daily lives are quite sedentary. So we have to move ourselves, not eat so much and eat good food -- EVERY DAY! - and these things have to become the routine habit of who we are and what we do.

I am 67 and I can remember in my earlier years when food and money was not as available as it is today. I know that many young people today would say "but I have no money" -- but compared to my early days , EVERYBODY in modern western society is far richer than we once were - and food ( and alcohol) is absolutely PLENTIFUL -- unfortunately for us all, it is TOO plentiful.


Yeah Bazza I agree, so many temptations in society these days you can't walk down the street without it being shoved in your face. So many bad things tasting good haha. But yes a good balance is what I need most, just to get in to a routine really.


Buy a very good running bra! That and shoes are the two most important items of clothes, especially if like me you are quite large in the chest department!


Hiya helcl yes unfortunately the chest department is a right pain in these situations haha!! But I do have quite a good sports bra that straps them down ;)


Welcome aboard, Kayla and good luck with the programme :)


Thanks Paul2014 :)


I would get stuck into reading the many posts on here about the subject. There are loads of inspirational stories and people in the same situation as yourself, so dive in!


Thanks misswobble, everyone has such positive comments and advice on here, it's great!!


Go for it! At 23 you'll probably find your fitness builds more quickly than you expected, and I'd support what others have said about just trusting the programme. I've gone from being a non-runner to managing an hour without walking and spending time secretly looking up endurance races and wondering how one learns to run up mountains for fun (??!?). And, as a bonus, don't remember ever feeling so good in my skin, which my fiancee loves as well ;).

One bit of advice I would give is NOT to try and start in the middle of the day during this hot weather - running in heat is significantly more difficult. Try early mornings if you're one of those superwomen who can spring out of bed at six and contemplate running (hmm, me neither!), or after 6 in the evening when the sun is softer and the heat less. Running at dusk is beautiful and nice and cool too, but depends where you are and how safe you feel out alone in the dark.

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Hi the_tea_fairy, sounds like this has been very successful for you, well done! :)

Yeah it's been so hot lately it's driving me mad, I was thinking of going in the evening there are not many places to run in the area that I live in. Sounds like this has really boosted your confidence, I could do with some of that my Fiance' is always shouting at me for putting myself down haha!


Welcome Kayla to the C25k Club. I'm 66 y/o and way overweight. I live in the US and I must say that the apps that I have on my iPod through iTunes are no where as good as the podcasts from the NHS. I have made better progress with their podcasts than I ever did with the iTunes apps. Listen to Laura, she knows what she's doing. Her advice is spot on and she will always let you know when you are half-way through the interval. She has a great, soothing voice and I consider her my personal cheerleader. You took the first asked our advice regarding the program...the second step is getting off the couch and get outside or on a treadmill. And, yes, get a proper pair of trainers...they may be expensive but your feet deserve it! :)


Thanks ginbin I am looking forward to getting out there, sounds like you're doing really well with the C25K, that's great! :) I can't wait to get started!!


Hi KaylaRawr and everyone, I'm a newbie here too and have just finished the c25k last week; going out at 8 to 9pm avoiding being seen ( and also to concentrate) . . on keeping going. I use my iPod to listen to Laura and chat back to her briefly when she suggests slowing down, looking ahead, relaxing shoulders so I jog around saying okay, thanks Laura as well as uttering a few other expletives at times:). My new mantra is " shut up legs"! Those muscles can cramp up on me so the strength and stretch exercises are well worth doing.

C25k with Laura has a good video on youtube and that led me onto looking at how to run / jog in good form and develop good breathing while running and youtube has lots of other motivational videos and teaching advice- but this is just some of what has helped me.

I have lost weight and my fridge looks a lot healthier and so do I . Exercising has made me feel healthy and more body confident as well as giving me a new aspect to life - picking up a childhood interest is now going to be my adult hobby !

I haven't done a parkrun yet but ran around our course yesterday before the heavens opened and before I realised it I was running at 7pm with other jiggers and a park full of people doing their thing - it was great; hard work but great and I clocked 29.56 (on my new gps watch)wow! So KaylaRawr that's my little story of c25k and it would be great to hear yours as you inspired me to tell mine. You can do it x


Hi Jaxmc sounds like you've done great and turned things around with the c25k, that's also what I'm hoping to do. I want to enjoy running and exercising and hope my fridge will look at lot more healthy after I do the shopping tomorrow.

Thank you for the tips I will keep them in mind, I will be starting week 1 day 1 tomorrow evening so fingers crossed. I'm sure I will also be talking back to Laura and maybe even shouting at her! Haha :)

Fab news you went out jogging with others, what a great accomplishment I hope you are extremely proud of yourself! I feel the same now as you did I don't want people to see my attempt to run haha!

It's great to hear your story thank you for sharing and keep up the hard work! :)

Thank you for your support!! x


Oh I will be excited for you - the first step can seem the hardest but the most rewarding just promise me you will step out of the door and keep going till the end of the session even if you need to walk you can think about breathing and stretching your stride and the fact you've got off the couch - it's only half an hour after all. Drum roll at the ready - you'll be just fine "shut up legs"! X we all started from where you're sitting now.

Ps yes am feeling pleased I conquered negative thinking - again!


I promise I will I'm feeling very motivated right now can't wait to get started but I know I will be a bit nervous tomorrow. I will post when I've done it :)

Great that you conquered the negative, keep it away *bats away negative feelings and brings on positive vibes!!* haha :) x


Haha that's the spirit. Catch up after ok!


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