Couch to 5K
52,899 members84,945 posts

Oh dear!

This is my third attempt at doing this program and I am determined to do it which is why I keep attempting it! I'm not a runner, I don't have the build of a runner, I have the build of a couch potato. I've completed W1R1 yesterday and decided I'd return to this forum because it's full of positive messages and helpful hints to encourage me even when I feel like a failure. I would dearly love to be able to run 5k by the end of this program. It would mean such a lot. Anyone else out there feeling like this? I'm in my late 40s and hate being overweight. I'm dieting but also want to be fitter generally so exercise I will!!


Let me know if you're in the same boat so to speak..... It'd be good to hear from you.

SB x

19 Replies

Keep going SB!! I'm now on week 8 and had a bit of a blip but managed to overcome that this morning thanks to this forum. You will feel so good and I cannot believe how much progress you make with this programme.

Perhaps write it down in your diary, lay your running gear out the night before and give yourself a treat when you reach each week.


I've just completed Week 1.

W1R1 - I was so, so knackered after 60 seconds. I could barely recover in the 90 sec's.

W1R2 - is about 5% easier

W1R3 - I felt like I was walking. I couldn't believe when 60 secs was up. I hadn't even broken a sweat by the end, so literally done it again, back to back. Still felt like I was walking!

Stay in there, it really does get so much easier!


I am 46 and started the program in May this year when I weighed 115kg (I was clearly medically 'obese'). I was sceptical as well at the start but my older sister had graduated from the program and had both lost weight and was clearly a bundle of energy. She was mad keen and given that she had been very overweight and very much a couch potato, I decided that if she could do it then I should as well.

Let me be clear. I HATED RUNNING.... with vengeance! At school there was nothing worse than cross country. Muddy, wet, sweaty and awful were the words that came to mind. My lungs were always heaving and my legs felt like they were made of lead. I also did not have anything near the build of a runner.

We are now in August and things could not be more different. On Sunday I completed a 8km run in under an hour. I have already run 9.4km albeit more slowly. I can run AND TALK for heavens sake. I am looking forward to completing 10km this year and am searching for an athletics club to join. Whatever it is I am now, it certainly isn't what I was. I feel so much happier and I feel good about myself and what I have achieved.

If I could wish this for everybody I would. Whenever I feel hot, tired, sluggish, whenever I feel I've reached a plateau, I just look back at where I've come from. Nobody can take that away from me.

As you can see, I am only 4 months ahead of you. That's FOUR MEASELY MONTHS! My advice is to stick to the program. Don't worry about distance covered. Don't worry about speed. Just complete the running times. If you feel knackered slow down but don't stop. It is ok to run slower than you can walk!

I wish you all the best SexyBexy. See you at the other end.... :)


Hi SB. You are not alone. There are literally 100s of people on this forum who've had doubts, and bad days and have thought about giving up at some point. But C25K is proven to work, and I would guess that the majority of people who do not complete the course get injured and stop.

I found this forum the most positive aspect of the whole C25K program. On days when I wasn't running, I came on here for inspiration. I have graduated now, but I still want to encourage everyone.

One thing's for certain - you are not a failure. You are a runner. You get out of your front door and go for a run.

Do post here regularly & let us know how you are getting along. We can't give you encouragement without knowing what you need!!

1 like

Hello SB!!

I completed the programme back in 2011, ran my first 5K race and then stopped. Somehow life got in the way and I stopped running. Now 3 years later, and initially 4 stone heavier I started again. That was 9 weeks ago. I graduated this week and I've lost 11lbs in the process (with no change to my diet!).

I wish I'd known about this forum in 2011 because the advice and support would undoubtedly have kept me running. I am going to keep running - the weight loss alone is motivation but I've rediscovered my love of and addiction to running.

I have doubts and misgivings every time I run - I battle inside my head for nearly 10 minutes - then I realise I'm not dying and I'm really enjoying being out in the fresh air and I give myself a shake and keep running. Running is so much more a mental battle than a physical battle.

I'm counting on being mentally strong this weekend as I attempt a 5K fun run - I know I'm nowhere near running 5K in 30 minutes so I've set myself a target of 45 minutes - even if I have to run/walk part of the way. I'm going to enjoy the bit I do run, then I'm going to come back here and tell everyone how well I did - and bask in the support and encouragement I know I'm going to get from this wonderful group of people.


If you really don't want to be overweight and unfit then STOP QUITTING! Stick with things and you'll achieve something positive.

This is so structured and easy to follow as literally Laura tells you exactly what to do. I reckon that should be good for you as it leaves no room for you to deviate from the plan

If we were all natural runners, slender and gazelle-like do you think we'd be here? No! I'd be on the front page of Vogue modelling bikinis and running in the European Athletics Championships on my days off. Instead of which this morning I was getting out of puff and sweaty throwing moves to Jillian Michaels in front of the telly having walked the dog. Still, every little helps, and by the time I've done, I hope not to be MissWobble any longer

You can get fit enough to run round the block a few times if you get with the programme. It's all here for you and there are folks in the same boat as you, so no excuses now, get moving.

I know you're talking about being able to run 5k by the end of the programme but you have to put the work in to reach week 9. Best get started then on Run 1.

Laura will be right with you, so you're not to worry. We will be here when you get back so you can tell us how you got on. Good luck!


Dear SB, banish those negative thoughts and follow inspiration and the good advice written above- it's not about what you haven't done but about what you want to do, nor about where you've been but where you're going.

You've reached week 7 before! And you know you can do it again - the days are cooler and it's gr8 to feel the wind in your hair! Remember how good it felt when you had done each run of the programme before? Well nothing's changed - it's all the same and I believe that when you have done the first 3 runs of the first week you will have a more positive feeling approaching carrying on because of all the endorphins and self satisfaction you will feel. Leave the couch and well done for starting, as Laura says

"You can do this"!


I've gone from Oh dear to Oh my! Thank you KatrinaC, Urbanxi, King9fisher, MarkyD, Lambeek, Miss Wobble and Jaxmc64! Now I feel like there is someone out there is listening - that is such a help and relief. I am truly grateful. Wow.

SB x

1 like

Ha ! Well now we are all watching you.....we will be waiting for your next post fingers crossed that you complete it. You CAN do it, and if you feel you are having a bad day, or a bad run or can't be a..sed to get out of the door let us know and hopefully someone will be able to gee you up.

1 like

Welcome aboard ;o) Ok, SexyBexy, this is third time lucky. You 'will' stick to it, you 'will' graduate and you 'will' run 5k ;o) You can do it and you are more than capable. The c25k really does work. Trust in the programme and trust in yourself and you will be graduating before you know it. Good luck and keep posting on the forum so we can offer encouragement and help if needed ;o)

1 like

I reckon many of is were/are in the same boat.

I don't have the build of a runner, in fact I probably have the run of a builder.

Hit the road and tell us all about it. Come on, you can do this!!!


Hi, I have not run since I was in my early 20's and have just started this for first time ( many years later ha ha). I felt like grim death day 1. Have just done day 2 and was like a snail but kept going. This forum is so encouraging. Don't give up! I feel like it's a big mountain to climb too but I believe it will be worth it. :)


Hi I have just been on the front page of Vogue modelling bikinis and running in the European Athletics Championships on my days off. Before I started C25k I worried about what seemed like the inevitable decline in my stamina as I reached the dog end of my fifties. Now I have discovered that I can be fitter by the time I reach sixty, than I have been at any point in my life. I am also happier and more positive about life in general having learnt to run using this wonderful life changing training plan.

You need to want to do this. It can be tough at times, but we are here to support you through those downs and celebrate with all your triumphs. C25k is about you taking control of your life and your future health and it really works. Good luck. You can do it.


Go for it, SB. It's interesting that you didn't have this forum to help you last time. I have a strong suspicion I wouldn't have completed the course so well if I hadn't had all the encouragement people gave. There were several days when I went out thinking "I can't do this one - not Me?". Immediately followed by "ah but if I do, I can go back and tell Want2run2 and Granny Judes and the others about it". Sometimes I found I was halfway through the 'impossible' run while composing the post. Silly, perhaps, but I'm sure it helped get me through.


I agree that this forum is what is helping me keep motivated. Even while not able to run I am reading posts on here and looking forward to the next time I can get out there and report back with a success. Go SB you can do it!


Hi SB,

I have dabbled with the programme for yonks, as I also go to Fitness Boot Camps twice a week so its not always been a joy to go 'plodding' (I don't run) 3 times a week on top of boot camp. So this week I decided to focus on my plod and missed out on going to boot camp.

I completed W1R1 last night. First couple of runs were pretty easy, even thought at the start that I could run longer but forced myself to do as I was told by Laura. And she was right, the last few runs made me feel like I was having to work. Am looking forward to W1R2 tomorrow!

We can do this SB, don't give up this time, make a promise to yourself that you will just keep going no matter what, give it a go. If you do week1 several times over before you move on to week 2 then that's fine only move on when you're ready to, but don't give up!

I'm with you on this, the two of us can do it.

Good luck.



SB: just to clarify. The goal is 5k and/or 30 minutes. Quite a few get to the end, and while they can do 30 minutes, they fall short of the 5k. That is fine! Healthwise, 30 minutes 3x a week is excellent, the distance does not matter as much as the time. Once you have the stamina, you can eventually get the speed. The other way doesnt work. The other way is the error our school gym teachers let us make by expecting us to 'keep up' rather than build up. It's why we felt slow and awkward and bad about ourselves, that we werent good enough, werent athletes.

Slow and steady.

Now, some of those discover in the runs after graduation, that they have the stamina to run long enough for 5 k. 35 minutes, 40, 50, so they do that and gradually the minutes come down. Others have to keep regularly running for some while, and even look up speed increasing running plans. Some, never manage to go that fast. But they keep running.

Listen to me. You would think i wasnt in the same boat as you, starting over. Trying to make myself accept these truths I guess.


Definitely slow and steady - I went out for my week 8 run 2 and didn't look at my watch, just listened to my music and enjoyed the scenery, dropped my speed which worked out at 12.45ish minute miles. I was coming near to my house and wondered how long I had been going and it ticked over to 28 minutes. I decided to finish the run so it was technically a week 9 - just over 30 minutes run. Currently, there is no way I will reach 5k in 30 minutes lol

but keep going I had a bit run on Monday and posted it here and people have spurred me to now completed a 30 minutes run.


Hi SB, I am 41 years old and almost 17 stone in weight. I tried this program about 18months ago but got to the second or third 60 second run on day one and quit. My shins hurt. I couldn't breathe and I felt like if I carried on it would kill me. Since then I have yo-yo'd with my weight and diets and have finally become so fed up of looking at the flab that I decided to give this another go. I am extremely proud of myself for completing week 1 today. I wouldn't say I find it easy yet but I definitely am not struggling as much as the first run. I am determined to complete the course as I would love to be able to do a 5k fun run for charity one day. I am fed up of being fat and that is what is keeping me going. I hope you stick with it SB. I look forward to reading your posts. X


You may also like...