Couch to 5K

Too fat!

I am on second week of c25k but started using someone else's formula before finding the NHS version. This week is 2min run, 2 min walk x 7 and the step up from a minute to 2 minutes is killing me and a little of my motivation. I am about 3 stone overweight and my whole body is feeling the strain of running with that kind of baggage on board. I am doing this with my partner and she doesn't want to go down to 90 seconds but I would prefer to do this without the shock to the system. As far as I am concerned if I am out 3 times a week running some and walking some this is a great improvement. Next week is supposed to be 3 min run, 2 min walk x 7m, 3 days a week and I feel that the NHS version is more gentle. Anyone else switch versions or find the increases too much?

12 Replies

Someone will come along with more expert advice than I can give, but I believe motivation is really important and getting out is crucial. Many runners here have repeated weeks until they feel ready to move on - there is absolutely no shame in that. Not sure I understand the alternative formula? c25k has worked for many of us so definitely worth sticking with

Just keep getting out and remember to go really, really slowly. Run at walking pace if that is comfortable and repeat weeks or runs if you feel overwhelmed. But keep getting out. Keep at it and good luck Eddp :)


If you are really struggling then I would repeat Week 1 again, and see how you feel after that.

It's lovely that you're doing this with your partner, but as you've already discovered, everyone has their own pace and speed to start with and I think you'd be much better to do this by yourself (as would your partner!) The added stress of slowing someone down/or pushing someone too hard is not what you need when you are just starting out.

You need to be able to focus on what YOU can do alone :) Well done for starting, I'm overweight too and I know how difficult it is! You will surprise yourself if you stick at it.


I'm 4 stones overweight and on week 6, and if I can do it I'm sure you can. My (non-expert) advice is follow C25k - do what Laura tells you and no more. That'll build you up slowly and the increases in running time each week are a bit easier to manage. Good luck!


Hmm. Hello there Ed. You've come to the right place.

Stick with the NHS Live well podcast with Laura. Laura is the woman you need in your life right now. If you can't keep pace with your partner then be prepared to jettison her in favour of the other woman. Having someone a bit quicker than you is usually a good thing as they help pull you round, but if it means you lose motivation cos you're too out of puff and struggling, then you need to consider running with just you and Laura. You can still do that and run at the same time as your partner, if you get what I mean. You're not joined at the hip.

Whatever you do, don't quit! You have to keep going. If you do exactly what Laura says - - and when - then you will Graduate just fine. Take each week at a time. If you do what you're told you should be able to progress through the weeks just fine. It's when you try and run too fast that the wheel falls off.

Good luck Ed, and keep smiling, this is FUN


No you're definitely not too fat, you just need to run at your own pace. We're all different and we all get good at running in our own good time. Just do your own thing and you'll get there eventually, with Laura's help.


I agree with all of the above and stick with Laura. You can still go with your partner but each do your own thing. It's much better to feel motivated and happy :)


The different programs are designed for different audiences, perhaps the one you were using was designed for someone more fit to begin with. The NHS is for absolute beginners!

It does sound like you should make the switch. The trouble is,

are you running together for support in fitness? (In which case, supporting each others seperate efforts will do)

or because you both think it is a positive thing to exercise as a couple? (It is, so you two olan in that once you both have this sorted individually)

Or because she feels safer with company? (I dont know what to do about that, besides helping her find a different time, or finding a place like a park you can run round where you can see each other doing your different things. )


I'm 3 st overweight and yes it's a bit of a trial. I had lots of trouble in the first few weeks until I took peoples advice to SLOW DOWN. running at 6.2 is far far more difficult than running at 5.5. The only way I could carry on was slowing down. You are doing really well so keep it up - by yourself if necessary, but slow down and keep running.


The thing is - all of these running/training programmes are not chiselled into stone like the Ten Commandments!! :) If you feel that 2 minutes running is too hard for you right now, then stick with the 1 minute until you do feel ready to move on. I did a 6 week programme that only had me running for 15 secs at a time at first , because I did not feel capable of going straight into C25K . After 6 weeks , 3 times per week, I graduated that programme doing 30 second run/walk intervals - but I could cover up to 6.4 klms doing them. This was a major breakthough for me and made me more confident that I could do C25K..

I did the programme by myself - doing it with someone else could indeed be "tricky" - because you have different fitness levels and different rates of advancement.

My wife doesn't run at all - only walks. So sometimes I run with her - by running for a minute or so ahead of her as she walks , then walking back to her - and then repeating that over and over until we get back home again. It gets my heart rate up to where it should be on an "easy" run - and gets us out together at the same time.


Just persevere, it's not easy and your body will complain. I supported a friend through the programme who was 20 stone, it was hard for her but well worth it....push yourself and you will reap benefits


I agree with the above, I am 3.5 to 4 stone overweight, stick with Laura and some weeks you will even find you may be running slower than you can walk, but it does get easier.. I can now run at least 5k but am still slow, just keep it up!


The thing with holding yourself back from running for longer, assuming that you *can* complete the session but find it terribly hard, is that you don't learn to pace yourself for sustaining a longer run.

I found week 1 tremendously difficult (it took me six weeks to get to the point where I could complete it). I went back and gave it another go after graduating from the whole programme and still found it very difficult... the tendency is to go too fast in those shorter runs.


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