thinking of starting the challenge next week

total novice here! always hated sport/ PE at school nut fee i need to do something. I'm 35, weigh about a stone more than I'd like but the icing on the cake is having my blood pressure taken last week and it being way too high. So I want to do something positive. However...I don't even own a pair of trainers. What kit do I need to run exactly? If someone can give me a beginner's shopping list, that would be great.


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20 Replies

  • All you need is a pair of trainers to start with really - you can wait until you get the running bug before you start spending a fortune on lycra gear and gadgets.

    Most of us are doing/did the C25K programme along with the podcasts or apps, so you'll need a phone or MP3 player for that.

    Well done for giving it a go and remember, we run because we enjoy it!

  • Welcome to this site. The c25k is a fantastic programme and before you know you will be a runner. You can run in whatever is comfy but footwear is really important. Proper running shoes are best but good trainers are good to start just in case you don't stick with the programme but if I can do it you can. Just trust Laura, do what it says and you will be amazed. Good luck and keep us posted. This is a great site for all sorts of advice and encouragement.

  • I would agree with AHS, you don't want to be breaking the bank early on. There is plenty of time for that later!

    Just a pair of running shoes and whatever you are comfortable wearing. Neither AHS or I are ladies but pretty much all of our female runners advise that you should get a good quality sports bra.

  • Trainers (and a sports bra if you're a female) the NHS podcasts on a device and half an hour of time and you're off !! Good luck and let us know how you get on.

  • Good shoes, anything else is up to you.

  • fab! plan is to drop the kids at school and do the half hour straight away so I can then come back home by 9.30 and spend the rest of the day at my desk getting on with a day's work.

  • Welcome 2SL, you are in the right place to be highly motivated by all the lovely people on this forum. You'll read inspirational stories from non-runners who now run in marathons, folks who wanted to take part in Race for Life or other fundraising events in memory of loved ones, others who wanted to lose weight and be more active. This C25K program really works, and the best part is the encouragement (and occasional nagging) that you'll get from us lot.

    OK, getting started. It is very simple:

    1) Don't wait til next week, go tomorrow in the sunshine!!!!

    2) Download the podcast (I don't recommend the App)

    3) Put podcast onto your phone, and find your headphones

    4) You won't need any special clothing to get started, shorts or joggers and a comfy T-shirt will do.

    5) SHOES - In the first couple of weeks you will be running for a short time - 60 seconds - then walking to recover. You do not need to rush out and buy expensive running shoes, but to be honest you will need some trainers. On this forum we tend to recommend going to a proper running shop and getting a gait analysis a month or so into the program. However, for you I'd recommend just popping to a local sports warehouse and buying some £20 trainers. If you get on well with C25K, then some more technical, gait-appropriate running shoes will be a good investment later. You'll know when if your legs/knees/shins/hips/feet start playing up, but we can help you all the way through. Just ask!

    6) Bra - you'll know what you need. As a chap I can't be any more helpful than this: :-)

    7) Did I say start tomorrow?? :-) Ahh... childcare. OK, start next week.

    Wishing you all the best. Light jogging 3 times per week should do wonders for your blood pressure. Did you GP give you the OK to do some gentle exercise?


  • When you do buy your shoes, try them on in the shop , make sure they are comfortable -- AND THEN buy one size larger!!!!! Feet swell when running.

  • I do a half size bigger. I like karrimor tempo shoes as a first pair. Come in all colours but inexpensive. They do a road and a trail version

  • I have these now and love them. They are doing me well. I think I paid around £19 so they didn't break the bank and are lasting me well. :) They seem to have a lot of toe room. I don't have wide feet but like to wiggle my toes :)

  • Can't really add to the excellent advice above. Just to say welcome, and go for it - you won't regret it! Prepare to become addicted.

    Keep us up to date with your progress or when you need support or a kick up the proverbial!

    Good luck!

  • Well done for thinking about starting this. I loathed any kind of sport at school but I started C25k (podcasts NOT APP) at 63. In the early weeks any comfortable clothes will do. Lace up your trainers, start the podcast, and off you go!

    Just a word of caution though, when you get to week two ignore Laura telling you to hit the ground with your heel first.

  • The only thing I would add to all of the above is keep reading and posting on this forum. I found it super useful after the rush of doing a run to connect with people who were in the same boat. Also, when you have the bad days its a great source of encouragement.

    Its really inspiring to read so many 'I'd never run, never thought I could, hated PE in school but this programme has changed my life' stories.

    Best of luck!

  • Trainers and good socks that don't rub. Podcasts definitely. Once I'd got to about week 3 and knew I was sticking with it I invested in new trainers and am glad I did, you may not know what suits you best until you've had a go? Also agree about ignoring the heel strike advice from Laura, but everything else is spot on. Get yer trainers on asap and do the first run!! Good luck :)

  • Hi. Well done for joining the dark side. Life will never be the same :)

    Primark have some super sports bras. Make sure you get the medium/high impact ones. Im a large lady and they stop any jiggling :)

    Sports direct have some great deals on shoes. Mizuno crusaders for £18 or some lovely Karrimors for £18 which feel lovely and cushioned.

    Sports socks. B&M bargains had some more miles socks for £1 a pair. They were fab.

    Kit wise - sports direct has great deals on tops and leggings. But you won't need these yet. I've found the kit is cheaper than the race entries :)

  • Well done for thinking about starting C25K. Go ahead, you will not regret it. Just listen to Laura on the Podcasts/mp3s, and do no more or less than she tells you to do.

    I agree with gingernut, ignore the heel strike advice.

    Happy Running

  • The only things I bought before starting were a pair of cheap trainers from sports direct, a sports bra and an arm band for my phone. I had leggings and tshirts already which I could use. Once you get addicted though you will find there is lots of kit that you just HAVE to get and drawers will need reorganising to make room for it, but that is all to come!

  • I am a 38 year old mum and C25k has changed my life :) I started in joggers (or were they PJ bottoms?????), vest, fleece and wooly hat given it was January. I had some old, cheap trainers that were just fine until I graduated. My kids have the Karrimor Dumas from Sports Direct and they are fab for the money. One more thing - don't worry if in this warmer weather you get a lovely red glowing face! I have one within 5 minutes but can carry on for another 55 minutes now. It is no reflection of your fitness level ........ I guarantee you'll feel like a different person within a month and by the time you graduate you'll feel awesome. Keep posting and good luck :)

  • Excellent advice in every post above!

    I'd like to add 2 things:

    (1) Do NOT be tempted to run/jog fast - go almost as slow as possible. If that sounds counter-intuitive, don't worry. The most important thing is stay injury free and enjoy it. The greatest risk as a newbie is injury from either running too hard or fast and/or rubbish footwear. So....

    (2) With running pace in mind, as you go to weeks 4 and 5, the runs get a little longer and it's very easy to lose track of your speed and before you know it, you're out of breath and despondent at failing Week 4. If you're running at the right pace, this shouldn't happen and EVERYONE should be able to finish Week 9. So.., my suggestion to help with pace is to use a treadmill if you have access to one. It's much easier to control your pace on them. You simply set a speed that's "right", lower it if too fast and off you go. That's your pace for the next 9 weeks :-)

    It worked for me and I'm feeling GOOD :-)


  • Its last week now, did you start?

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