Is it possible to enjoy running!?: Hello, I've... - Couch to 5K

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Is it possible to enjoy running!?

Hello, I've just signed up to C25k for the race for life year, whoop!

I have run on and off for a couple years now and have always envied people that make it look soooo effortless. I've always felt running is a struggle, and that I'm no natural. Are some people just not meant to run, or is there hope that I can get to a point where I may enjoy it!?


19 Replies

Well done Sarah on starting this great programme. It will not disappoint. Just take each run slowly and you will be fine. It takes time to run effortlessly but it doesn't take long to feel results so patience is the key. We're all meant to run. Most of us forgot to continue doing it when we grew up but this programme reminds us of our inner child!

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I took up running to do a 10k a few years ago, I didn't follow an official programme. It was a cross country in Wiltshire, for which I trained on a very flat sea-front. I decided that no one would really take it seriously (arranged as it was by the people that live in my in-laws teeny tiny village). So after several large glasses of wine the night before I turned up at the start line with a bit of a hangover, thinking phuh! I'll probably come in the top 10, I've been out a few times for a run and everyone else will probably do it in wellies anyway... Not surprisingly several running clubs turned out, I hadn't allowed for the steep Wiltshire Downs chalk tracks and I came second from last. I hated every second, hated the few times I went out to "train" and didn't put my trainers on again for years, because "I hate running, it's Not My Thing At All."

This time around I found this C25K malarkey and have followed it (almost) religiously. The forum is amazing, there is so much support when you need it. You can see and feel yourself improving each time you go out. While I still can't say "I LOVE running" I am finding myself liking it a bit more than I thought I would. I'm definitely not a natural but then I'm not doing this to run Marathons, I'm doing it so I have the stamina to get out and do 5k a couple of times a week for my own health and well being. Who knows I might even do another 10k one day... Not giving up the Red Wine though.

Go for it, it would be boring if it was too easy!!


I always hated running. It hurt. People would zoom past me so effortlessly. I was the wrong build (or so I told myself). I just couldn't see the point. It wasn't that I've been inactive - I've been a climber, a caver, a white water kayaker and a cyclist. In November I decided to give running another try (I should say, one last try) after discovering C25K. I can honestly say that I'm now enjoying it. I managed my first 5K Parkrun at the weekend and surprised myself about how well I coped.

The C25K programme brought me along slowly. It let me improve at the rate I needed to do, rather than allowing me to jump ahead too quickly and run out of puff / go down with a stitch / come to the conclusion that the world would end before I'd managed to run as far as the next lamp post.

I would certainly recommend giving C25K a try. It's worked for me. Now I get up in the morning and actually enjoy my morning jogs. I'm looking forward to the alarm going off to get me up and out - not dreading it. Just download the podcasts, get your running shoes on and go out and listen to Laura.


It DOES get easier in some respects - we forget how really hard it was in the very beginning. But in other respects, it doesn't get any easier - because as fast as we achieve something and it becomes easy to repeat that something - we then invent ourselves another hurdle/goal to jump over!! :)

So - what we did in the beginning becomes easy -- but what we are doing right now is just as hard as what it was at the beginning!! :)


Some folks have the ability of making it look effortless, but underneath they are working hard. What C25k does for you is that it gets you to a point where you can genuinely enjoy the effort and the reward - that you can push yourself and know that at that moment you gave it all you had. May sound odd right now, but it is a great feeling. The key thing that improves is your recovery. The period post run where you're probably wheezing and spluttering right now will decrease exponentially. I ran 10k on Saturday and I was just fine within 5 minutes of finishing. Honestly, I am no expert and I definitely do not make it look effortless!

You have lots to gain and nothing to lose. Come on in, the water's fine!

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I'd agree with all the above, like Adam I've always been active, body building when I was much younger, horse riding, ballet and belly dancing (not at the same time!) and most recently swimming, but swimming was giving me problems with my ears and worse, so I felt I really had to look for something else. Hmm, what about running I thought? I've never been able to run, too heavy for my build...a friend of mine who is no light-weight did C25K and as he is a journalist wrote a brilliant blog. Well if he could do it so could I....I found during the programme I really didn't enjoy the running, but as soon as I'd finished, I wanted to go again! I still can't explain that... Bazza is right too, as you begin to find what you are doing easy, you find another goal so you are always pushing yourself. I ran my first 8KM non stop last weekend, I don't suppose I looked very elegant while doing it but I did that , ME, Curly, and I am still buzzing on it. You can buzz too if you want!


To be honest, there are very few times when I enjoy the actual running. I started C25K in April 2012, 4 stone overweight and not having done any exercise for years. It took me 50 runs to graduate, repeating weeks as I needed to. I run twice or three times a week nowadays, up to about 6k and am considering increasing to 10k. I am now 2 stone overweight (officially, but if I lose another stone I'll be happy) although this is nothing to do with running. I've toned up a lot due to the running, and I am much, much fitter - my recovery rate is great, my blood pressure is now much lower than it was. All this is wonderful, but I still sweat like a very sweaty thing and huff and puff like a... don't know what. I envy these people who find this runner's zone - I have found it perhaps 10 times in 266 runs (yes, I've counted them :D ) and it hasn't lasted for long. This is where everything is working and I'm actively enjoying running. Most of the time I am a bit breathless, dripping with sweat, probably swearing because there's a hill, gritting my teeth muttering 'only to that lamp post' or 'if you get to the bridge that'll be 3k and that's the halfway point so you can go home'.

So why do I do it? I enjoy having run. I like sticking at something. This is my 'me' time. I like being out there starting the running, and I like stopping :D I love the benefits it gives me. I like the changes it has made to my thighs! I love running tourism, where if I am in a new city or country, I run somewhere new - in fact, I often choose my hotel (or city!) around where I think I can run. It is the only exercise programme I've ever stuck to, which says something, and I think that's because it fits into my life very neatly.

You say you've run off and on before - have you previously got to the point where you can run consistently? Laura will get you to that point, if you haven't before. So go for it - see how you feel, and then perhaps you too will get this bug we are all so evangelical about! All the best with it, and happy running :)


Annie and others say it so well, so all I'll add is that once you get used to it, it does become a lot easier. Does it become pure joy? Maybe, maybe not. After 11 months I'm at the stage where it it's often more than 50% joy, but there's always a bit of hard work involved as well. But you - we - get used to the hard work and tend to forget about it, but you - we - do remember the joy. So yeah, give it a go, you will enjoy it :)


I think throwing in a "Phoebe from Friends" moment in your running makes it more enjoyable. Especially when no one is looking


I started in April last year, soon after my 60th birthday. I have always hated running, and managed to avoid it most of the time even at school with a demon PE teacher checking up on me. I didn't really believe I could do it, but here I am, a graduate and still running. Probably, the biggest giveaway is that I have twice managed to get back out there after a two- or three-week break due to illness. The reason? I can't honestly say I enjoy the running (although just once or twice there has been a little glimmer of light in the tunnel) but I love the high immediately after, and the glow it leaves me in all day and through the rest day. And the improvement in my general health and well-being is phenomenal. I couldn't bear to lose that now, so I'll keep running as long as my legs will carry me... This year I intend to enter a 5K Race for Life, and start working towards 10K.

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Yes, I think it is possible to learn to like running. I've always hated running, despite being generally pretty active. In hind sight, I've come to realize that I never managed to get to a place of running-fitness where I wasn't constantly out of breath. It's a horrible feeling to be always out of breath. But by week 7/8 of the C25K programme, I noticed that I wanted to stop more because my legs got tired, and less because I was out of breath. I can now keep up a steady jog for 30-40min without too much trouble, and it's become much more pleasant to go running. My mind doesn't focus so much on how difficult the running is, and I can let it drift, or listen to an audiobook or similar.

I think the other part it creating new habits. It was really hard initially to get out of bed to go running first thing, but even harder to come home after a day of work and put on running shoes instead of dropping onto the couch. But the more you do it, the more you create a new habit, and I find it takes less strength of will to get going. In fact, I now trust myself enough not to skip the running after work that I've switched to running evenings more often than mornings. Initially, I knew if I didn't get the run in right away, I'd probably not make it.

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I can echo what others have said, I have walked, cycled, swam but never ran. The few times I tried I gave up after 5 mins with sore shins. But back in October I heard about cc25k and decided to give it a go because I wanted to do a Race for Life. The programme has been great, I can't say I love running but the sense of achievement and the buzz you get from each goal achieved is what keeps me going. So good luck with the programme and let us know when you graduate


I have so enjoyed reading all your posts this morning. I don't often comment, but it is so reassuring to read about how everyone is getting on. So thanks guys, you made me smile!

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I never thought I could run due to knee and foot injuries. However, having lost many frieds and relatives to cancer I decided to sign up for Race for Life and started C25K to prepare a few years ago. I was on week7 when the race happened and managed 5k in 35 minutes. More than that, I raised more than £600, so I felt I really had to prove those donations worth. Last year I did another 10K for BHF and I'm signing up for half marathon this year. My mantra is "I know I can do it walking, so I'll try running it".

I agree, some people look really "light" running, I don't think I'm one of those; more, I don't "looove" running, but what I know is that I actually fell great after a run, specially after a morning run. There is a feeling of achievment, which keeps me motivated to run more.

Go for it!


I enjoy it lots. At the end when I have a large mug of tea and can congratulate myself on having DunTheRun.

Otherwise I still haven't found that rhythm and ease I lost about 5 years ago when I last ran consistently. I am hoping it is just a general fitness upgrade which is taking a long time to download (serious lack of exercise for 5 whole years until c25k last spring, so probably not so much an upgrade as a complete new system installation) and when it has finished the running will feel good again. If someone could confirm this will happen that would be great cos it's blimmin hard work. Thank you. :)

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Wow I feel overwhelmed by all the responses and fabulous positive attitude you all have. Thank you all for the lovely warm welcome. I am going to start tomorrow as I have just got back from work so will keep you all posted.

I have a feeling you'll be hearing from me again, and again!

Thanks lovely people

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Oh my dear, running is a 3 stage process

1st you hate it because it's so hard

2nd you love it because you're getting better

3rd it becomes who you are not what you do

There is no right or wrong way to do this running lark, it doesn't matter how fast or slow you go, you don't compare yourself to others you compare yourself to you and do your best

May I suggest couch to 5k nhs it is a step by step program to get you to that 3rd level....I should know I found it almost impossible the first time I ran, see spots the whole lot

See below for my journey

As many of you know when I started my journey I was obese and unfit and that has changed.

Here are my previous stats for those who don't know

January 2014

I am 5 foot 9.5

18 stone (I was clinically pushing out of obese into very obese on the height/weight chart)

Size 20

August 2014

Still 5 foot 9.5

14 Stone 5 Pounds

Now overweight on the height/weight chart

Size 16

Today I have conquered my demons.....

November 7th 2014

Today is my birthday and I am 33.....

Today I ran 6.27 Miles so a little bit over a 10K.

Today I ran 6.27 miles in 1 hr 11 minutes

Today I weigh 13 stone 6 pounds (still overweight on the height/weight chart but now close to the healthy weight bit)

Today I fit into my size 14 jeans

So to anyone out there reading this who is unsure if they want to start or think they can't do it as their overweight....I am living proof that you can do it!

It takes time, dedication and sacrifice but if you commit 100% to the process you will do it.


Wow, what an inspiration you are TJ !

Many Congratulations on your fantastic achievements , all done through your own hard work and determination , absolutely brilliant !

Hope you have a very Happy Birthday :-) xxx


What a good question. I shall now read the replies with great interest. :p


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