Where do I even begin?

At 20 years old and about 3 stone heavier than when I started at university, I am looking to make big changes. My New Years resolution was to get fit and lose weight, I've lost a stone since then but I want to be fit again and mostly to be able to run, my dad can, he can easily run 10k, so I should be able to right?

I think my biggest fear is being seen red faced, struggling for breath and failing, when looking for some new sports gear I avoid picking the brightly coloured stuff that I love, so I don't draw any attention to myself. I keep trying to work out when will be the quietest time of the day and how is best to start this journey I am so desperate for.

I am astounded by how many determined and wonderful people are on this site, I'm just hoping it will rub off on me! And that I will start my C25K journey on Monday as planned.

Any advice on how to get going or words of wisdom would be hugely appreciated.


23 Replies

  • Hi hlmaskell28! Congratulations on deciding to start the program! I'm only up to W5 myself, but wanted to say that this program has worked for me so far. I'm sure that combined with my determination and the way the program is designed, I'm not destined to fail unless I want to. I too wear dark coloured running gear and run in the dark (outside) so as not to draw any attention to myself. I didn't want people to see me leaning over struggling for air and not able to continue. But I've come to realise that most people just don't care to be honest. I figure they are too busy concentrating on their own running struggles to worry about me doing mine.

    Once again, congrats on deciding to start out. Take it easy on yourself but remember it works and as long as you're up and off that couch, you're already winning!

    Cheers, Kel

  • Totally agree. Sounds like you've had a good start to the year so this will be a fabulous next step. Believe me, a few weeks in you'll start taking pride in your progress and you'll be so focused you mostly forget other people are even there! Can you ever even remember seeing someone 'struggling' to run? Nobody notices. I only notice runners now I run myself and no matter what size, shape or speed they are travelling at I always think "good for them". Good luck with it. You are at the start of an amazing journey. Keep posting :)

  • Do it! You will thank yourself for the rest of your life. When I started I was at least 4 stones overweight and got out of breath walking up two flights of stairs. Four months later I can run 5k 'comfortably' (although not fast) and am building up to a 10k race in May. The podcasts build your running time up slowly so you need to listen to Laura and do exactly what she tells you - she'll get you there. Also, if I may offer a word on the "what will other people think when they see me" question... Don't give them a second thought. You'll find that other runners (and many other people too) will be silently saying "well done for getting off the couch and getting moving". Anyone who looks critically or disdainfully at you is almost certainly jealous, and thinking "I wish I had the guts and willpower to do that". I was in exactly your position - paranoid almost about what people would think of this short, fat 50+ year old plodding along, but the advice I've just given you is what I was given on this forum and it changed my outlook completely. I went out and bought bright and noticeable running gear because I WANTED to be noticed because I was proud that I was doing this. You should be too. Every good wish to you, good luck, Steve.

  • Well said Steve, brilliant post ! xxx

  • You've taken the biggest step already by deciding you want to do it. I'm on wk 7 & when I run I am literally puce, but do you know what I've come to realise I don't care. I tend to run earlier in the day not to avoid seeing people (I'm amazed at how many dog walkers there are early doors!) but purely to avoid having to negotiate busy paths/ pavements. You can do it & you will very quickly see improvements if you stick with it & most importantly listen to Laura. Good Luck with it. Enjoy it. Trust in the programme & most importantly don't give a flying fig what others may or may not think. You'll probably be doing more than them anyway!! Have fun xx

  • Have a look at this ...


  • Hi. I'm a morning person so I find running early in the day about 6am suits me best. Also it's pretty quiet and now you see fantastic sunrises. I too didn't want to be seen looking red hot and sweaty when I first started. I'm on week 8 now and I don't care. Everyone who runs feels the same and understands. We all started somewhere and for some reason. Running early also always makes me watch what I eat and drink the night before, which I think helps. Good luck and keep in touch. You're definitely doing the right thing. Go for it but at your own pace. :-)

  • I understand your nervousness about this, I've been there, I think we all have to some degree. The question really is....what do you want the most? And will you allow fears (imagined ones in your head) to get in the way of what you want the most? This got me out the door in early Jan and I have never once given a thought to other people. And if you do get so out of breath....you can always walk. Go on. Do it. As soon as possible! You'll feel amazing honest ;)

  • Welcome! So glad you're coming out to join us. Don't worry about the red face- mine goes bright red every time I do something active - to the point where folks have asked if I'm okay. And I huff and puff, but it gets better with practice - until you go faster or longer and then you're back to huffing and puffing again. Also please consider some fabulously colored clothing. The colors for the running gear can be quite fun - you should enjoy them as well. Maybe as a reward for graduation? Finally, there is no fail - only get out there and run again. Happy running, keep posting - we're here for you.

  • Hi HLM,

    All the best for Monday. Just take it easy, follow the program and make progress week by week.

    You won't regret it!


  • Just to reassure you, I was self conscious when I started and bumped into a colleague while running. To make things worse, I was sweating unbearably, had a snotty face from my nose running, and was breathing like a fish on land. She was running along like a gazelle looking calm and put together. And she saw me, and sang out hello, and I was so mortified I just nodded and ran away!!!!!

    And then...absolutely nothing happened. She continues to be polite and friendly at work, has never mentioned it, let alone made a joke, and I've come to the conclusion that what I saw as a hideously embarrassing being-seen-while-in-a-state experience, she saw as 2 runners acknowledging each other whilst running.

    Go for it. You'll feel tons better :)

  • C25k IS the answer.....

    This forum IS the place.....

    YOU can do it.......

    Mind you, your dad will hate you when you start to challenge him.

  • You Dad will hate it when you set a 10k pb that is better than his. And I suspect that sheer biology means you eventually will. (But he'll hate it in a proud sort of way).

  • Just do it, try not to think about other people staring- they wont, and if they did its usually jealousy because they aren't out there going for it.... when I started I went at night so no one could see me, but that does go as you get more confidant and more able. This programme will give you mega benefits to your life and I know you won't regret it. A very good friend of mine is also starting next week and he will be on here too, so there ware lots of you in the same boat :)

  • Well done for you for stating earlier on than me. It took me another 30 years after leaving uni to start running. I really, really wish I'd started earlier when my legs were younger :-) These days I don't worry nearly so much about what others think. I seriously wish I'd thought about ME more then! You go for it and enjoy it: it's a great feeling.

  • You will do it if you have the motivation which it sounds like you have, I started running three years ago after many years of not exercising, when I first started i passed a guy from work we are about the same age, he said " you looked knackered" and we had a long chat about putting on weight as you get older, I still pass him sometimes, I'm going for my first half marathon in May, stay motivated , stick with it and don't worry too much about what other people think, soon they will be commenting on how much weight you have lost.

  • Likewise bloomingEck, I also wish i'd started years ago. This is the fittest I've ever been. And I'm another 50+ who started running at the end of the day down quiet streets to avoid being seen, but after a few weeks realised I didn't care, and now run early in the day if possible (just because I feel more energetic then) and never give a thought to anyone else and what they might think. Because I don't pay attention to other runners particularly, and I'm sure most people don't pay attention to me. So, hlmaskell28, I'm sure if you stick with the programme you will very soon lose any self-consciousness, and the benefits of running will make you really glad that you have taken it up. This forum is a wonderful source of support and encouragement. Good luck and report back please on progress!

  • All I will say is good luck , be positive and you can do it. If you get stuck, need advice then you will get all the help on this forum. Ps you can fry an egg on my face when I have finished ...do I care no, because I so happy to have achieved the run, and feel so proud off my self. It's baby steps and wear whatever you want. Go for it

  • Hi, well done on losing a stone and getting here! Sounds like you are doing really well. I was like you when I started, I avoided people like the plague. Do you have a park near you that you can run on? Early morning or early evening are the best times to avoid people (I didn't even like running near other runners!!). Around half way through the c25k, I realised I didn't care anymore and ran by people (even the teenagers on the skate park!!).

    Good luck, you can do it - just listen to Laura! She is all knowing!!

    Lucy x

  • Just do it! Put on your heaphones, the best running shoes you can afford, any other clothes that are comfortable - and follow Laura's instructions to the letter. When she says slow, believe her - it still works, even if your run is slower than someone else's walk. It will hurt at first, but keep going. I was sixty when I started and had never run voluntarily in my life (my family always said I was "built for comfort, not for speed") . Nearly a year later, I am still running - not fast, and not far, but enough to make me feel a hundred times better about myself. You'll probably be doing half-marathons a year from now! :)

  • Great advice given already. I'll just add one more bit: Why wait?! If you start today you can be on your third run by Monday! Honestly, just get out of the door and do it and everything else will fall into place as you learn about what works best for you.

    I look forward to reading about your progress!

  • All I say is if you like bright colours go for it - sometimes i look like a rainbow has thrown up on my but i don't care. Trust me this will be the best thing you will ever do for yourself - it will teach you with will power and you can achieve anything. Why delay and start today. All you need is a pair of trainers, some jogging bottoms and a t-shirt to get started for the first few weeks. Once you have downloaded that podcast go for it, you will feel a million times better

  • Thank you all so so much for the encouragement I am all set and ready to do run one nice and early tomorrow morning! :) nervously excited would be the best description right now!

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