Beginner day 1 help please

I want to start running today. I've downloaded the couch 25k app along with runkeeper, even purchased some feel good summer tracks. Dusted off my trainers and leggings but I'm really far to nervous. Plan to run at 6pm once my partner is here to take on my two toddlers.

I moved here two years ago and not even sure where to run and the apps to map a route are a little useless. I have been eating low calorie but I'm within my normal bmi and have reached a plateau. Have 1 more stone to lose to feel happy, so I'm hoping running will help (I'm tired of workout dvds).

I'm just worried I actually don't know how to run and will look silly along with getting lost. I used to run years ago and would like to work up to 5 runs a week getting longer each time.

I'm just really really anxious. Im sick of putting it off. Any words of wisdom? Will this help me lose that last stone? Any suggestions on how to map a route?

TIA Louise

88 Replies

  • Hi Louise, it doesn't sound as if you'll have much of a problem - within your BMI and having done exercise videos - I'm overweight AND was entirely sedentary, but here I am at the end of week 7 and loving it - so don't worry about 'not being able to do it' - you will be able to :-) Trust the program, do what Laura asks of you and you'll get there. I started a little after new year and up until last Saturday only ever ran after dark - precisely so that I wouldn't look (or more accurately, feel) daft - but then I realised last week, caught up in the euphoria of my first park run, that I had run in the daylight, with people not only being able to see me but talking to me - and, to cap it all, that I had a face like a beetroot when I'd finished! But guess what? I loved it and can't wait to go again tomorrow. I think the best advice I can offer - is just get out there and get stuck in - this is for you! Enjoy it :-)

  • Thank you :) that has helped. I actually can't believe I'm a little tearful over the fear of getting out there. I used to love running 6 years ago before children. I guess I know I can do it, I'm very active running around after my boys all day (aged 2 and 1). Its just the not knowing what to expect I think and history of anxiety.

    I'll be sure to update on here and start using this site its such a fantastic support network.

    Well done on your success so far :)

  • Lou, go for it this evening. Just up and down the road and let us know how you got on. Bite the bullet, face the fear etc. You'll feel sooooo much better once you've had a go and you'll get everything into proportion. Will your partner get the children into bed for you so you can come home to a peaceful household?

  • He will at least have them bathed by the time I'm home and then he will put them to bed for me as I'll need to get on with my college work this evening.

    There is a small park up the road (very small) but I guess I can run there it has some paths. I may Google and have a look as I can run around it and then through it. Then just keep reprating that. That sounds like a plan :)

  • Hi Lou, I understand your nervousness, I really do. The first time I went out I didn't have proper running gear on , and I just pretended in the running parts that I was just rushing to get somewhere ha ha :-)

    You feel self conscious now, but after a couple of outings, it wont bother you as much , promise. You will just want to get out there and strut your funky stuff !

    The only thing that is holding you back is fear , but honestly there is no need. Just go into that little park near you and take it from there .

    You will be fine , we are all rooting for you Lou :-) xxx

  • I feel like I sound so daft but so many on here have been there and been through it so that's motivation in itself. Thank you for the support :) its really appreciated.

  • Bless ya Lou, youre not daft at all ! Weve all been there , don't worry about that :-)

    I hope you come back and tell us how you went on ! :-) xxx

  • I will definatly be back later. Out of breath I'm sure but I will post :)

  • Ah, that's good ...

    Good Luck ! :-) xxx

  • Excellent! Sounds like a good plan. So, a nice intro to C25K and meeting Laura, a bit of a entle trot round a bit of green. Home to freshly laundered children tucked up in bed. The college work doesn't sound too good, though! Hope it's interesting!

  • OK I'm definatley motivated by yourself and everyone else that's taken time to post. I will not put this off for another day, I refuse to.

    The college works a little too easy but I'll move onto something a little harder in September. I'm doing a legal secretary course in preparation of getting back into work.

  • If you used to run in the past, you probably already know it can work wonders for anxiety - it's just getting out there and getting the ball rolling to start with. You'll be very glad you did. This forum is brilliant for support, as you say, so do let us know how you get on. You can do it! Good luck :)

  • I did used to feel fantastic when I ran. It is defiantly the first few times of doing it which is the struggle. Once I'm in a routine there's no stopping me. I just need to get out and do it.

  • I run in a straight line up a canal and turn back half way through, so maybe just do that rather than trying to map a route. You just need some trainers/running shoes, headphones and a pocket to stash your keys/ipod/phone. Do the first podcast on the couch to 5k and then post on here to tell us you've done it and how it went. Good luck! One tip about app versus podcast. I started with the app, but the podcast is better because it has music and more encouragement as you go along. Podcasts here:

  • I just had a listen to the podcasts and they are much better than the app. I'll be using those instead. I'm in south east London so very built up, no where I can think of to run where I won't get lost.

    Any ideas how many calories are burnt whilst doing this? I don't have my hrm yet.

  • About 100 calories per mile, if I am not wrong.

  • Thank you :)

  • I'm in East London, also very built up, but luckily I'm near a canal and that's working well for me. I have thought of cycling to a park to do my runs, but it's good to feel like you can just leave your front door and start your run straight away, so a local route is probably best. Perhaps estate paths or residential streets can work, anywhere that you can avoid having to stop at busy road junctions. I'm sure you'll work it out as you go along. Let us know how it goes :)

  • I will need to head towards a main road but think I'll get past that in the 5 minutes warm up. Its trial and error I guess to see what works. I was thinking of driving up to the park but would like to start the minute I hit my front gate :)

    I'll be updating as soon as I get home.

  • I have to cross the infamous Bow roundabout in my 5 minute warm-ups, which involves 4 different 2-lane busy carriageways, but then it's straight onto the towpath, ready to start. Yes good to approach your route in terms of how much ground you can cover in that 5 minutes to get to quieter roads. You may choose to vary your routes, sometimes going to the park, sometimes sticking local. It will all unfold in the next few weeks :)

  • Steady, now!!! What's there to get a tizzy about? You are starting on week 1 run 1 not entering the London Marathon. It's pretty much mostly walking. So, seeing as you're worried about getting lost etc (I understand, I have no sense of direction at all. Zilch.) think about it as an energetic walk which you're taking on to explore your new neighbourhood. It doesn't matter if you retrace your steps and then go up a path that you hadn't noticed the first time. What I'm saying is you could probably manage by repeatedly going up and down the road. Routes will come as you run further and get to know the area.

    As for looking silly, well a lot of us have worried about that, but you'll soon get to the point where you simply don't care. Seeing as you used to run you'll remember what to do. But please don't think about speed. Concentrate on getting to the end of each minute's running/jogging/ambling/staggering/etc rather than being a Speed Queen.

    And weight; well done for weight loss so far. It'll take time to be burning enough calories to make you lose more just yet. However, many people have been very successful at losing weight and hopefully you'll hear from some of them.

    And enjoy some from time away from the Tinies and doing something for you!! Good on your partner for helping out.

  • Thank you. I am working myself up a little. I really think I need to just stop thinking about it and do it. When I allow my brain to think the smallest of tasks become mountains. If I get lost I can always call home to be collected :D

    One of the other reasons to do this was to have some time away from the mad house so that part I do look forward too.

    This site is really fantastic.

  • I had children in quick succession and I know what you mean about the madhouse. So difficult but really important to get some time to yourself. Enjoy it!!

  • It's actually a really good way of getting to know your area - as the distance you're covering lengthens you do find new bits of routes and I have found lots of little shortcuts and alleyways I didn't know about. Good luck

  • Eventually I think I'll tour the many parks in my area. Will be handy to see what's around for the kids so totally agree, great way to get to know my area.

  • I have just finished week 1. I was nervous too. I found the running tips useful. It doesn't matter where you run. I didn't have a circular route do turned round after the 4th 60 second run. Just take it slow with small light steps. Too fast and you will run out of steam. If I can do it at 59 with zero fitness anyone can. Just started week 2 and surprisingly I sm loving it. Such a sense of achievement.

  • I think I'll be easing myself in today, defiantly won't be over doing it. Well done on getting through week one :) I hope I enjoy it too.

  • Thank you for all your kind words :) a part of me is now a little excited about getting out there. Can't wait for 6pm to hit. The count down begins.

    :) x

  • Ok, running is the single most effective tool in managing my otherwise life limiting anxiety, so that's motivation right there. You'll be fine once you get out.

    Also, if you're using Runkeeper and put your height and weight in, it then estimates how many calories you've burnt - obviously not super accurate but a good guideline.

    Have a lovely run later :)

  • Brilliant I'll turn my music off in runkeeper but turn it on then use the podcast (I better charge my phone). My runkeeper is linked to my fitness pal so has all my details.

    I intend on having a lovely run and pretending I don't see any people lol

  • I was once told that anyone passing by has no idea how long or far you have run for, so just ignore them :) I was super self conscious to start with, and still am a bit especially recently as i've not been regularly, but I just pop my headphones in and focus on myself.

    You are lapping those walkers, drivers, sofa surfers and getting out there running! Be proud x

  • I really shouldn't worry about what others think, in usual daily life I don't so not sure why I've got myself into a panic.

    Very true about lapping others :) thank you.

  • Good luck, you will be fine once you get out there!

  • I felt just the same way. I have lived in my area for 12 years but I drive everywhere (I live in a small village) so I wasn't sure where to go. I also didn't know how far my 60 second "runs" would take me. Turns out I needn't have worried I go slower when I "Run" than when I walk. I, like yourself and Potty, worried that other people and runners would laugh at me or think I was stupid but when I got out there and did it I was so involved in the music and listening to Laura that everyone else didn't matter. I will be running Week 7 run 3 at around 6pm tonight so I will run with you (in spirit) tonight keeping you company. :). This is a great place to air your fears, thoughts, achievements and ask for help. Everyone is so supportive as you can see.

    Go for it.

  • I like that idea of having someone running with me. I'm looking forward to the podcast, I quite liked the music :) not long now eeeek

  • Hi and I can sympathise with you there (read my profile :)). Earphones and a cap helps and remember how you feel when you see a runner... Envy, guilt, admiration? - or all the above. You will be fine trust us - enjoy the freedom and the fresh air! Good luck! x

  • I did it and really enjoyed it, I'll be doing that again as soon as I stop aching. I really zoned out and I found that I wasn't even thinking anything most the time. :) yay me

  • Probably not appropriate for today, but look up "parkrun" on google and find the closest one. You could use the same track, though maybe not as far at first. My local parkrun is twice round the lake, all on tarmac. Unfortunately it's not brilliantly lit and there are lots of dog walkers, but otherwise perfect:)

  • Someone else had suggested this site. I've already looked it up and found my local groups. Its another fan site. Thank you :)

  • Try not to worry about what other people are thinking. Other runners will either nod/say hello or ignore you, and as for the rest, well you are the one out there doing it so just don't worry about them. When I started, I bought a pink top and black tights, and a black top and pink tights and I thought I will never wear pink with pink. I have been away (with my running kit) and realised it was going to have to be pink with pink, or my more recently purchased yellow top with pink tights, sweaty clothes, or no run. So I went out, overweight, clad neck to foot in pink, face going pink as usual. And no one seemed to be laughing. In fact a dog walker came up to me whilst I was stretching after the run, said she had seen me out a few times, and wanted to tell me she had noticed how much I was improving (I started C25k in January and graduated earlier this week).

  • Well done on graduation :)_ I went out head to toe in black with my white asics so I was well in disguise. I actually think I gave some people a fright when I flew past. I done an extra 10 minutes too , I'm very happy. :)

  • Just want to wish you luck.

    My first run was pretty much in disguise!!! Black yoga pants, black t-shirt, black hoodie and a black beanie hat pulled down as low as it would go. I have now invested in proper running gear but that beanie hat still gets pulled down as far as possible. I'm going to have to invest in a baseball cap soon though - my head sweats too much!!!!!

    I try and pick places where I am pretty sure I won't know anyone - I tend to go in the middle of the day when everyone else is likely to be at work and I go to mainly dog walking spots (I take the dog with me when I can).

    But I haven't got a circular route. My very first run - I did the first 7 runs (though I was so unfit I had to walk all but one of them) and then realised that I only had one more run to do and that I had to walk all the way back along the canal towpath! Since then I have made sure I know where the half way point of the run is so I can turn around. I won't make the mistake of having to walk a mile back to the car again!!!

    Good luck - plug yourself into your podcast and if you see anyone you know just nod at them and keep going. Make out you do this all the time!

  • Great advice :) thank you. I was dressed all in black lol and kept tabs of where I was although I did get lost in a poorly lit area but didn't want to stop (in the moment). I did have to walk on some of the run parts but I did make up for those with 10 minutes at the end. Thank you

  • What else to add other than....try not to think about the run or the effort, focus on how fantastic you are going to feel when you did it and can tell us all you smashed it :) I tell myself it's half an hour of my life, that's all, but the sense of wellness lasts forever!! Go for it!!!

  • I did do well :) but when I got home it was a different story lol I'll be updating below. Heehee

  • Firstly... Well done, you've made a brave and wise decision to start the programme. I started 2 years ago having never run before and I kind of just ran and listened to Laura's instructions. For ease I headed out of the door down the road, and at half way turned back again ( keep it simple). Good luck and take each run achieved as a huge hurdle overcome. Use us here to support you through :)

  • I'm sitting here with a huge smile that I got past the first hurdle. Even got lost but it didn't phase me at all. I can't wait to get out there again. :)

  • Well done Lou ! Sounds like you really enjoyed it , great innit ?

    I am so pleased for you, keep going ! :-) xxx

  • I'll definalty keep going, it really wasn't that scary :) I'm hoping I'm not sore tomorrow. I had a nice warm bath already and will be an early night for me I think. Xxx

  • Good job Lou ! The cool down stretches are really important, have a rest day from it tomorrow and then youre good to go again ! :-) xxx

  • I really love this feeling of achieving :) don't get to do much for myself these days so its such a boost in self-esteem when I manage too.

    I'll be posting a lot more on here :) x

  • you have come along way already with your weight loss , don't worry about being out there we all felt self conscious at first , it really does soon pass :D

  • Its passed, can't believe how silly I was being and getting tearful over that. It was a breeze :)

  • So, how was it??? :-)

  • I did it I did it, not as planned but it happened. I'll be updating once i be replied to all responses . I enjoyed that.

  • Yes!!! Well done! Do not skip the rest days, do stick to the plan and you will enjoy it without a doubt!

  • I'll stick to the plan then, wasn't sure how flexible it was. But I may do some strenght training on rest days.

    I really felt like I was working for a better me, I don't get that from work out DVDs. :) I'm going to sleep so well tonight.

  • Okay, I have scrolled down through all those answers, so you know this is an incredibly supportive forum and we all love success of a new runner. My take on C25k is that it is empowering, giving you the control over your health and fitness. You decide how fast you progress, repeating runs if you need to and it absolutely, totally, irrefutably works and there is absolutely nothing to fear about it. You have run before, so you will sail through C25k. Many (most, I dare say) graduates here have not run for decades but have transformed their lives and attitude to exercise. You can do this.

    Keep running, keep smiling.

  • I really enjoyed it, I feel fantastic now its over. I'd quite like to go again tomorrow if I'm not too stiff but not sure if that's ideal. Thank you for your response. :)

  • Well done you. A rest day from the impact of running is recommended, although you can do other exercise; walking, cycling, swimming etc. with no problem. These stretches are worth doing straight after your cool down walk to avoid aches

  • I've bookmarker those stretches for next time.

    I think I'll do some strength training tomorrow. :)

  • How did it go ☺

  • I did itttttttt!!! Soooo proud of myself.

  • Well done. You should be proud. That is the hardest one over with. 😀

  • Feeling a little sore this morning Eeek lol but I'll be looking forward to a Sunday park run :)

  • Thank you for all the advice and motivation. I did it!

    I didn't get to the park though so here's how it turns out.

    I had forgotten I hadn't been to the supermarket so ran out to there, once home I realised I didn't have time to cook the family dinner so had to make a choice dinner vs run. I chose run but at a price (Takeaway). I told myself if I just get this run over with I'll have takeaway tonight (I never eat takeaway and it was a lovely treat). By the time I left it was darker than I expected so skipped the park for safety and just went around my local roads, I did get lost but my run app had me on a map so that was easy to rectify lol. I ran for an extra 10 minutes up and down hills and didn't stop. I did need to cut some running parts short but I expected that to happen. I also Boughy my running leggings a month ago and didn't realise they are too big lol they kept falling down so that was awkward. I defiantly sweated loads more than from 30 day shred. I feel fan but a little let down that I ate Chinese but its a one off treat as I always cook clean low GI meals at home.

    I also came home to mess and screaming toddlers so was nice to get away. Maybe my partner will actually get them into bed next time :)

    Thank you sooooo much everyone, I really couldn't have done it without you.

  • Glad you were able to do it Lou. It's hard, but really important, to build space into your busy life - and also to make time for those celebrations. Good luck with the next run.

  • Thank you :)

    A wall calendar tomorrow (needed one for a while) so I'll add my run days to that. I'll be doing some strength training on rest days.

  • Been wondering how you did......scrolled through all the comments til I could see you did it!!!! Yipeeeee!! Keep posting and running, just follow Laura and don't do more than she says, last thing you need is an injury. Enjoy :)

  • Lol I was feeling very sore today so just sat on my computer all day and have managed to catch up with all college work :)

    Looking forward to day 2 :) it's exciting.

  • Really delighted that you did it and enjoyed it, Lou! Well done. Don't go mad and overdo it!

    So, I'm going to be irritatingly bossy now.

    Forward planning is going to be the key here. Get military. Make C25K your priority. Remember to plan your evening meals in advance for your run days so that you're not stressing about what to eat etc. And get your partner to get the little ones into bed. Nothing wrong with bed at 6pm or 6.30. - they need 12 to 14 hours of sleep at their age. Tell him I said so!!! (My children are going to hate me when they produce my grandchildren!!!) Then you can eat in peace and enjoy each other's company or get on with your college work. Looking forward to hearing from you again!

  • I'm all ready for day two :) my house is tidy, laundry done, washing up all done, college work caught up on and tomorrow's dinner cooked and in the fridge and I'm ready for day 2 :) planning on going in the morning tomorrow. I really didn't feel too safe in the evening on day 1. The plan is to go as early as possible before children wake or afternoons when they decide to nap with last options being the evenings.

    We are off for a day out tomorrow so I'll pick up a wall calendar too.

    I'm sure your children will welcome the support from you when they have children. I worship my mum and her words of wisdom. Children really aren't easy lol

    Thank you for the support and checking back on me :)

  • What a woman! Wow, Lou, beam yourself over here and wave your organisational wand over my house!!

    Seriously, well done. You're empowered! Maybe evening runs will be easier as lighter nights start and also once you feel more at home in your neighbourhood. It takes time to get to know a new place. Have a really lovely day tomorrow with your run and family day out!

  • I do like everything to be in its place, it can be a little too much especially when toddlers go around after me trashing the place. Not a good combination.

    Yea once the evenings are lighter until 7pm I should be okay in the evening.

    And thank you I intend on having a stress free day out at our local soft play that has everything, even dodgems :)

  • Well done for achieving it - always difficult when everybody else seems to come first. I agree with routine - put it on the wall calendar then everyone, including yourself, knows that that is when you are going to run. I stuck to my routine every single day throughout the 9 weeks - once it was too icy, but I made myself go later in the day - I thought if I miss once, that'll be it. Keep going, keep posting.

  • I defiantly need to stick to this as a routine as that's my issue with everything I do. I tend to be strict but there minute I miss a day or go OTT and binge eat it's a major set back rather than just thinking tomorrow's a new day. It's all or nothing with me. It's taken 2 years to lose 2.5 stone (PCOS really didn't help). So I'm so so keen to finally lose this last 1 stone in time for my 30th in July.

    I can't afford to miss any days. This literally is like a military operation for me :)

  • Lou, well done. To lose over 2 stone in 2 years is just the way to keep it off - nice and slowly - a bit like this running must be - as long as you're not walking with this programme then you're running - no matter how slowly. I was lucky as I completed the programme in 9 weeks (not common) but I also had a goal in that my birthday was 9 weeks from the start so couldn't allow myself to slip one day. So you too have your goal - tick off every run as an achievement - believe me, it doesn't get any easier, its totally a mind thing, but if you're determined, you'll do it. Try and find someone on this forum thats at the same stage as you - that's what kept me going - I wasn't going to be the first to fail. Then when you graduate you celebrate with all your new friends. Good luck sweetie. KEEP POSTING.

  • I managed day 2 yesterday morning very early and the streets were empty, it was great. I will be looking for a busy :) off to post for one now. I already have an accountability busy for food so a running one is a great idea, thank you.

  • Another success chalked up - really well done.

    I've been really bad in that I haven't run for a week since graduating - so tomorrow is my day - wish me luck, determination and to stop being lazy!

  • Good luck for tomorrow :) I only hope I can get to your point so keep goinggggggg!!!!!! Lol :) I'll be trying to squeeze my run in tomorrow too.

  • Thanks - you'll do it I'm sure - we're all rooting for you.

  • Are you back in the swing of it???? Did you go for a run?

  • Oh thanks Lou - yes I did! 2 runs chalked up now - my routine was Tues, Thurs and Sat - important to stick to the routine you know! Still tough but I'm back in the groove. How about you - you're on this forum so I guess that means you're still going?

  • Lou192. Relax chill and go and enjoy it. I graduated today and the feeling is great. I've also lost 2.5kgs in the 9 weeks without trying. And just remember no one is watching you if anything they will feel jealous because you are perhaps doing something they want to do.

    Keep coming on this forum it's a fantastic place with fantastic people.

    But like I said enjoy it J

  • Congrats on graduating :) I'm looking forward to getting there but will take each step as it comes.

    I was watching people jogging this afternoon from my frontroom window and it made me feel very happy. It's good I have a positive feeling towards it now all because I just went for it. Otherwise I'd still be miserable as I couldn't get over the fear and would have kept putting it off.

    I will definitely enjoy every step :) thank you

  • Just remember every step you take we have taken too. So any fears worries etc you can possibly believe some of us have been there to. Just post on the forum and we will help where ever we can. Good luck Jase

  • Just read your final run post :) that was inspiring. You just kept running, I love that.

    I will defiantly be on here a lot. It helped me so much. It's just full of positive people not one negative thing to be said and that's the support I needed.


  • Lou I guarantee this is one place you will get that as well everyone is here to help because we all have a common goal, to become runners :) if I can do it after my illness, anyone can do it believe me J

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