Couch to 5K
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Beginner on jogging/running

So I've just beat a nasty three week virus, and was able to get some jogging in this week.

Now, I'd like to get some advise on this next step of my weight loss journey, because as I explained a previous post, I realise how unhealthy my lifestyle had been! But after my second jog of the week finished just half an hour ago, I came to understand what I regularly experience in each session in terms of difficulties, I'd like to overcome these.

I'm still pushing for a mile run, Tuesday I did 11 min 5sec and managed 0.83 of a mile (considering my "jog" before this was 0.45 of a mile at 6 minutes 44sec, all I see is some progress!, albeit minor) Today I clocked in 11 minutes 15 sec at 0.89 of a mile! small steps, it's all I keep telling myself haha.

Now my issue here, about this time and distance is that I'm only averaging 3 mi/h or at most 5-6 mi/h, it's really damn slow! I did a run a while back where I averaged 8 mi/h and topped at 10 mi/h but I couldn't do that for more than 6 minutes.

The question is, is it worth continuing to push with my current method of slower speed + longer distance? because my idea is that I can eventually do a mile jog without stopping and slowly but surely I'll be as fit as I can be to run 3 miles at a good running pace if I keep pushing myself with that method. Or will I benefit more from my previous method of trying to run faster at the cost of having to slow down more often? having bits in-between running where I slow down to a fast walking speed to catch my breath seemed painful to continue but I've been able to catch my breath better and better as these jogs go along.

I want to reach a good cardiovascular strength where I can run just as well as anyone else my age, I just feel like I'm playing a long, shitting game of catch up of all those years of smoking and being a couch potato.

Also, reading all that, I'm sure it's easy to see a common trend, because in all my jogs/runs ever, my endurance is terrible. Though I'm sure that's going to change over time, any ideas on what I can do to make progress on my endurance with each run?

Opinions are welcome!

P.S I've read up on the couch to 5K program, however I really don't know where to start, as I don't want to start at week 1, I'm sure i'm on par with week 2, is it worth starting from scratch? I haven't exactly gone far from week 1 but the last thing I want to do is feel like I'm taking steps back.

9 Replies

It sounds like you are a lot fitter than some C25K starters, but for the sake of 1 run, I'd start at the beginning. If it's really easy then go onto week 2 on your next run. C25K builds you up week on week, so in 9 weeks you'll be running 5k without too much difficulty.

The time it takes doesn't matter too much. It sounds like you'll be on the faster end of the scale.

enjoy your running

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I agree. The good thing about C25K is that it builds you up slowly and safely so you (hopefully) won't do too much too soon and get injured. If Wks 1 and 2 are too easy, just run one of each and progress from there. It won't be a backward step, it will help you build up your stamina. Don't even think about speed or distance until you graduate - these will come after.

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Definitely start at the beginning. A few weeks after I started, a colleague of mine heard what I was doing and decided to have a go. On the face of it you would have said he was fit. Not only that but he ran (and still runs) a junior football team on Saturdays, so he was no stranger to the outdoor life. He thought that even though W1R1 looked a little simple he would go from the beginning. He found that the gradual extension week after week was exactly what he needed.

Six months later, he ran the Liverpool Marathon in 4 hours......

It's a great programme and you won't regret it!

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Start at the beginning and give yourself one less excuse in the weeks to come. If it's desperately easy, then skip ahead a week. But that way, at least you'll know where you've been and how far you've come.


As the others say start at the beginning, but please forget about your speed for the time being. I can run for two hours, but I can't run at 10mph. C25k is about building stamina and a degree of endurance, ie. 30 mins continuous running, three times in Week 9. The gentle graduation of the programme is designed to do that without risking injury, which normally comes through doing too much too soon.

I was 57 when I started, hadn't run for forty years and ran ten miles within six months of starting. I am fitter now than I have ever been. Week one was a doddle and I considered jumping ahead, but decided that nine weeks was not a long time to wait and that the folks who devised the plan knew more about running than I did, so I quashed my male arrogance and followed the programme. It is brilliant.

C25k works, if you take it slow. Speed comes later, when your body can work efficiently in terms of providing the oxygen required to push harder. There is no short cut.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Thanks for the advise Mr Truffe! I decided to take up the challenge, day one today was a good session and I'm going to commit with this.

I will do my best to post up my progress of this C25K. In fact, I'm almost certain I've got my father who is hitting 48 years of age tomorrow to join me on this program.


I understand that if you run on a treadmill, you have to tell it how fast you want to go, but do please try not to get obsessed by the numbers it gives you for speed or distance. As others have said, the aim is to build up your fitness by building up your stamina, and what matters there is how long you can keep going for.

The walk-run method might seem like a regressive step if you can already run for 6 or 10 minutes, but it's actually a sneaky and quite brilliant way of increasing how long you can run for. This programme really does work, so why not give it a go?


Hey, thanks for the advice. I decided to take it up as many here have expressed I should just start, so I began from day one in week one today! I felt great. Challenging too, but didn't feel defeated at all. I try stay away from treadmills, I've used indoor machines from the age of 18 to 20 and now that I'm comfortable running outdoors I don't want to go back to that. I hate having to dial in how fast I wish to run, sure it's easy to change but I'm more of an outdoor person and running through a nice area that works well with the music I'm listening to is a million times better than staring at a blank boring wall!


Well done for making a decision and going for it! Glad you found the run challenging - if it's too challenging you can slow down a bit, but the great thing about this programme is that the level of challenge is just enough to keep you motivated because you know it'll be hard but doable.

Enjoy your rest day and the next 26 runs!


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